S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 – Passed both Houses of Congress on December 8, 2016. Within the law several sections authorize military assistance to Israel, including:

  • SEC. 1250. UNITED STATES-ISRAEL DIRECTED ENERGY COOPERATION.(a) Authority To Establish Directed Energy Capabilities Program With Israel.—(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Defense, upon the request of the Ministry of Defense of Israel, and with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, may carry out research, development, test, and evaluation activities, on a joint basis with Israel, to establish directed energy capabilities to detect and defeat ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, mortars, and improvised explosive devices that threaten the United States, deployed forces of the United States, or Israel. Any activities carried out pursuant to such authority shall be conducted in a manner that appropriately protects sensitive information and the national security interests of the United States and Israel. Continue reading “S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017” »

H.R. 1649, Partnering to Detect and Defeat Tunnels Act

H.R. 1649, Partnering to Detect and Defeat Tunnels Act – The bill is designed to authorize the Secretary of Defense to enter into partnerships with Israel and other U.S. allies to develop technology to detect tunnels and for other purposes. The Secretary of Defense, coordinating with the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, would be permitted to enter into an agreement with Israel to partner and coordinate in developing and deploying technologies to detect and counter tunnels, including by:

  • Carrying out research, development, testing, and evaluation activities with respect to tunnel detection technologies
  • Carrying out operational testing of such technologies in both the United States and Israel.
  • Designating a military department or other DOD element as the lead federal agency for developing technology to detect and counter tunnels.
  • Having the Director of National Intelligence designate a senior intelligence officer to manage collection and analysis of intelligence regarding the tactical use of tunnels by state and non-state actors.
  • Having the Secretary of Defense submit a congressional report detailing instances of tunnels being used to attack the U.S. or allied installations, trends or developments in tunnel attacks throughout the world, technologies used, U.S. capabilities and plans to counter tactics.
  • Authorizing $5 million for research, development, test and evaluation, $8 million for research, development, test and evaluation in the DOD for the physical security program of the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office and $10 million for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund for FY 2016. 

H.R. 938, the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act

H.R. 938 -The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, declares that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States and was introduced on March 4, 2013.

  • Amends the Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 to extend authority to: (1) make additions to foreign-based defense stockpiles, and (2) transfer certain obsolete or surplus Department of Defense (DOD) items to Israel.
  • Authorizes the President to carry out U.S.-Israel cooperative activities and to provide assistance for cooperation in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies.
  • Amends the the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to extend the grant program for U.S.-Israeli cooperation on research, development, and commercialization of renewable energy or energy efficiency.
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States and Israel should increase cyber-security cooperation.
  • Urges the President to provide assistance for enhancement of the David’s Sling Weapon System, the joint United States-Israel Arrow Weapon System, and the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system.

H.CON.RES. 30, recognizing the 65th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel

H.CON.RES. 30, recognizing the 65th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel, was introduced on April 10, 2013. This resolution confirms America’s unwavering support for the Jewish State of Israel. The resolution praises the two nations’ strengthening relations on matters of defense, diplomacy, homeland security, and technology. In reaffirming the United States’ commitment to ensuring Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, the resolution also emphasizes the United States’ “unequivocal, enduring, and bipartisan support for the alliance and friendship between the United States and Israel.

H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act

H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act, was introduced on March 13, 2013. This bill commends Israel’s use of the Iron Dome to avert escalating tension in the Middle East, as well as its high success rate. The bill acknowledges that the State of Israel remains under constant threat from missiles, rockets, and mortar shells from Hamas and Hezbollah.

This legislation will explicitly include Hamas and Hezbollah as non-state actors threatening Israel’s qualitative military edge. As a result:

The United States remains committed to Israel’s qualitative military edge, including its advantage over non-state actors such as Hezbollah and Hamas, which boast increasingly sophisticated and powerful weapons as a result of support from Iran, Syria, and other state actors.”

The Iron Dome Support Act commends Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system’s impressive success rate in preventing massive Israeli civilian casualties, while also recognizing the system’s role in averting an escalation of Israeli operations during Operation Pillar of Defense. This bill, with Congressional and Senate approval, will affirm:

“The President, acting through the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, is authorized to provide assistance, upon request by the Government of Israel, for the procurement, maintenance, enhancement, and sustainment of the Iron Dome defense system for purposes of intercepting short-range and medium-range rockets, missiles, and projectiles launched against Israel.”