Obama budget guts joint missile defense research with Israel
The Obama budget sent to Capitol Hill contains drastic cuts of up to two thirds to a joint missile defense program undertaken with Israel. This news coincides with news that Israel has intercepted a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran, bound for Hamas terrorists in Gaza – precisely the sort of threat that the missile defense research is designed to counter.
Adam Kredo writes in the Washington Free Beacon:
Joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs would be reduced by nearly $200 million under President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, prompting concern from lawmakers who have fought to keep the critical defense programs fully funded.
Israeli Cooperative Programs—which include the Arrow II, Arrow III, and David’s Sling missile defense systems—are slated to receive $96.8 million under Obama’s newly released budget proposal, a reduction of nearly $200 million from the previous year’s finalized levels.
Note that this program is not designed exclusively to protect Israel. The US can also apply it, and as Israeli PM Netanyahu noted recently, Iran already has missiles capable of hitting Israel, so its continued missile research is aimed at targeting the United States and Europe. Israel is quite literally the front line of the civilized world’s defense against Islamic jihad, but the ultimate aim of a global caliphate applying Sharia law universally necessarily targets the United States.
While the United States is the ultimate target, Israel is the immediate object is genocidal intent. This is not an abstract goal, by any means. Saad Abedine and Michael Schwartz of CNN write:
The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday it intercepted an Iranian shipment of "advanced" weapons bound for "terrorist organizations" operating in Gaza.
The Israeli navy stopped a Panamanian-flagged civilian cargo ship and boarded the vessel, the IDF said.
The weapons found were identified as Syrian-manufactured surface-to-surface rockets, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
It was an Iranian shipment headed for Gaza, the IDF said, citing intelligence. (snip)
The boarding took place in international waters about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) off the coast of Eilat, Israel, between Sudan and Eritrea in the Red Sea, Lerner said.
Asked why Iran didn't try to send its own missiles to Gaza, the IDF spokesman said Tehran was doing everything possible to cover up its role in the shipment of weapons.
"The IDF will continue to operate against the Iranian attempts to arm regional terrorist organizations, who intend to continuously ignite our borders," Lerner said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the weapons shipment was organized by Iran.
"At a time when it is talking to the major powers, Iran smiles and says all sorts of nice things, the same Iran is sending deadly weapons to terrorist organizations and is doing so via a ramified network of secret operations in order to send rockets, missiles and other deadly weapons that will be used to harm innocent citizens," Netanyahu said in a statement.
Iran and Hamas are denying responsibility and claiming it is (as always) a Zionist plot.
Given the magnitude of social welfare spending expansion in Obama's budget, the relatively small amounts being cut from the military budget to pay for a sliver of the new spending make the epxression"false economy" an understatement. The goal seems to be more one of undermining Israel than saving money.
Hat tip: Cliff Thier