Before the ink dried out under a decree of the U.S. President Barack Obama enacting spending cuts, Israel expressed its concerns. Pravda.Ru reported earlier on the impact of the American sequestration on the military-political situation in the Middle East. The reduced funding will significantly limit supply of arms and ammunition to the territory.
Only two days after Obama announced the budget cuts, Israeli Finance Minister said at a government meeting that the economic difficulties in the U.S. concerned Israel and expressed hope that they would not suffer from the cuts. The U.S.-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization, at its annual conference in Washington intends to seek preservation of military aid from the United States at the amount ofs $3.1 billion in 2013 and 2014.
The U.S. has been providing military and economic assistance to Israel since 1948. Over 65 years, this support in monetary terms amounted to about $70 billion in loans and grants. In addition, the U.S. maintains some additional targeted funding of defense programs. The average per capita of U.S. military aid in Israel is about $12 thousand dollars, which is 5 percent of the state budget in Israel.
What could Israel lose? Of about $3.15 billion dollars of annual military aid under the reduction the country is expected to receive about $250 million. The U.S. funding for the development and acquisition by Israel of missile defense systems "Iron Dome", "Arrow-2" and "Arrow-3" is likely to be reduced. In total, Israel has received over $730 million dollars of aid. While Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said that at the time Tel Aviv did not have accurate information on how the sequestration would affect the size of the U.S. aid, although it was clear that the cuts could not be avoided.
Later, an Israeli news portal, citing anonymous sources in Washington, reported that the reduction would amount to only $150 million, and a spokesman of the U.S. Defense Department said the program of support of Israeli projects in the area of missile defense would continue. There was no mention of specific numbers.
It is likely that the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby were successful, and it is also not Barack Obama's style to make sudden movements when dealing with such a sensitive issue with an old ally. However, the volume of material and financial support is not the only thing. In the end, military arsenal accumulated over decades will allow Israel feeling confident in any future military situation and fight freely for months.
The important part is that the Obama administration is consistently implementing the plan of departing from the unconditional support to Israel in the Middle East conflict. If before it was limited to replacing pro-Israel people in the Administration of the President of the United States, now we are talking about a complete withdrawal of funding to the Israeli armed forces. Without this funding its army is unlikely to be able to withstand in the long term, not just against the regular troops of the Arab countries, but also semi-guerrilla formations of the Palestinians, not to mention the powerful defense capabilities of Iran. However, Israel still has an absolute argument - nuclear weapons development and production of unconventional weapons that, unlike Iran and North Korea, does not bother the international community.