What’s $348 million between friends? That’s how much Israel would like Congress to add to the president’s 2015 budget request for aid to assorted Israeli missile defense programs, according to documents provided to Breaking Defense by Rep. Doug Lamborn, co-chairman of both the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the Missile Defense Caucus.
“I have communicated with officials from Israeli missile defense forces,” Lamborn said today at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, asking permission to enter the documents into the official record. “They say that Israel would much better able to meet its security needs if that part of the Obama budget were increased by $350 million.” (He’s rounding up slightly).
“I’d like to have more money in my budget too,” replied Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a rare moment of directness. (The notoriously vague Hagel got so non-specific in his answers that, at one point, HASC’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith, interrupted the Secretary and asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, “General, why don’t you take a crack?”)