Israeli military officers are negotiating with US counterparts to include forward-deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries in Juniper Cobra 2016, a biannual joint air and missile defense drill slated to play out here early next year.

“The Americans didn’t yet agree to our request,” an Israel Air Force commander told Defense News on Thursday. “We’re bringing our new David’s Sling and we’d like them to bring THAAD, in addition to their other capabilities.”

The officer insisted that despite Israeli press reports, the Israeli military wants to expand, rather than nix, the upcoming drill, known here as JC16. […]