US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has pledged to enhance “the entire spectrum” of strategic cooperation with Israel, from cyber defense and high-end attack capabilities down to a joint program aimed at combating terror tunnels.

In an address at Fort McNair on Tuesday with visiting Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Carter reiterated the Pentagon’s longstanding, “iron clad” commitment to the so-called qualitative military edge (QME) of Israel, which he called “a cornerstone of our strategy in the Middle East.”

Carter noted that on Wednesday, he would host Ya’alon at US Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, followed by a trip to the US Naval Air Station at Patuxent River for a demonstration of capabilities Israel will gain as the only nation in the region to receive the fifth-generation F-35. […]