Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge: Legislative Background

A core component of Israel’s defense, defined by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, in 1953, is maintaining a qualitative military edge over its regional adversaries. The United States has long been a partner of Israel in helping to maintain that edge. President Ronald Reagan was the first president to explicitly commit to Israel’s qualitative military edge—an assurance that every subsequent administration has repeated. The commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge was only formally written into law in September 2008, with the passage of H.R. 7177, commonly known as “The Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008.”