At the height of the Rick Perry firestorm, several of his supporters, including one who works for his campaign, insisted that he was solidly pro-Israel, and that therefore he was reliably anti-jihad (which doesn’t actually follow), despite his close association with Grover Norquist. Now even that is in doubt, in light of the information below. Israel is on the front lines of the global jihad — the same jihad that the U.S. faces. That is only dimly understood, if it is understood at all, in Washington — and in a Perry presidency that incomprehension would get even worse. Ultimately the victim would not just be Israel, but all free people who face the same jihad.
“Rick Perry’s Dangerous Israel Gaffe,” by Bruce Riedel at the Daily Beast, November 13:
Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal to start each year with zero dollars in foreign aid allocated for Israel and all other countries would have a very disruptive impact on Israeli military planning and Israeli security. Perry’s idea is bad news for Israel and shows how little he understands its needs.
For the last three decades, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) planners have relied on roughly $3 billion in U.S. aid annually to build a modern military with a qualitative advantage over all of Israel’s enemies. The IDF knows it can plan multiyear purchases of jet aircraft like F15s and other weapons because U.S. aid will be certain for years ahead. Planners love certainty about everything, but especially budgets.
Perry would introduce uncertainty. Despite his hunch that aid would be substantial each year, the IDF would not have certitude to plan on. It presumably would need to make its case every year for aid, wasting energy and disrupting planning. For example the U.S. and Israel hold joint training maneuvers every year. In the zero-aid world, planning maneuvers for next year would be tricky””how much money determines how big the training effort. If you start at zero, you plan zero.