The U.S.-Israel relationship has traditionally been defined in terms of a moral obligation, shared cultural and political values, and common strategic interests. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the two governments have preferred not to publicly discuss the details of their security relationship, while other types of crucial cooperation have gone unrecognized by the media and other observers, making it easier for critics to portray Israel as a liability rather than an asset.
In this report, Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock highlight the numerous, often-ignored benefits of the special bilateral relationship. In the hard security realm, Israel remains an important partner in dealing with evolving terrorist and military threats as well as preserving the competitiveness of the U.S. defense-industrial base through joint development efforts and cutting-edge technology. Just as important, Israel has facilitated U.S. efforts to deal with emerging soft security challenges related to economic competitiveness, the information technology revolution, resource sustainability, and public health.
Michael Eisenstadt is director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute. His twenty-six-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve included stints with the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
David Pollock is the Kaufman fellow at The Washington Institute and former senior advisor for the Broader Middle East at the State Department.
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Information drawn from Asset Test: How the United States Benefits from Its Alliance with Israel.