Israel’s Military Wish List

Since Congress first mandated military aid to Israel in 1971, the United States has provided the country nearly $100 billion in assistance. In 2008, Washington’s commitment to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) over its regional adversaries was formally written into U.S. law. That close military cooperation is set to intensify following last week’s visit […]

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The Saudis’ New Warships Are Missing Something

The U.S. State Department approved an $11.25-billion sale last month of four Lockheed Martin “Multi-Mission Surface Combatants,” or MMSCs, for the Royal Saudi Navy. While the announcement is only for a “possible” purchase, the deal is likely to move forward given Saudi Arabia’s need to update its aging Persian Gulf fleet. The sale comes as […]

Is Israel About to Lose Its Edge in the Air?

In a September 2 letter to Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Washington would ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. The letter highlighted items the Obama administration has provided Israel, including the delivery of Jerusalem’s first F-35 stealth fighters slated for next year. But expectations […]

Russian Forays Into Turkish Airspace Challenge Ankara’s Syria Policy… And NATO

Russian warplanes entered Turkish airspace from Syria twice over the weekend, sending Turkish F-16s scrambling. In separate incidents on Monday, a Russian-made Syrian MiG-29 jet placed two Turkish F-16s patrolling the border under radar lock for several minutes. Later that day, Syrian surface-to-air missile batteries locked on to another flight of Turkish F-16s. The incidents […]

Off-Target: The Folly of Removing Sanctions on Iran’s Ballistic Missiles

UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which enshrines the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement, stipulates that restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles will expire eight years after the deal’s implementation. This expiration date is a strategic blunder. Permanent relief for ballistic missiles will allow Iran to not only reinforce its deterrent capacity, but to […]

Should the U.S. Continue to Use Incirlik?

Turkey’s cabinet announced July 29 that the United States and coalition members targeting the Islamic State (ISIS) would be permitted to fly combat missions from Incirlik air base in south Turkey. This U.S.-Turkish facility is well positioned near the Syrian front, and offers the coalition greater tactical flexibility. It could certainly help in the effort, as […]

The Folly of Turkey’s Syrian Buffer Zone Plan

Ankara raised the prospect last weekend of a military operation to create a buffer zone along its Syrian frontier. While Turkey is officially part of a 60-nation coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), this military initiative would instead be focused on a different threat: the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (PYD) in Syria. […]