US military aid to Israel is likely to rise by $400 million from $3.1 billion to $3.5 billion in 2018, the "Washington Post" reports.
In a letter to Democrat New York Congressman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, US President Barrack Obam confirms that talks are being conducted between Israel and the US on a new ten-year aid package commencing 2018. The previous package put together by the administration of US President George W. Bush in 2007 allocated more than $30 billion to Israel over 10 years. In his letter to Nadler, Obama says that the talks currently being held would, "Cement for the next decade our unprecedented levels of military assistance."
The "Washington Post" article claims that if indeed the annual aide is raised to $3.5 billion, this would cover almost 20% of Israel's defense budget. However, such an amount would not meet Israel's full needs. US "Defense News" reported in May that Israel had asked for annual military aid of between $4.2-4.5 billion annually.
In any event, the $3.5 billion in annual US military aid to Israel does not include an additional $500 million annually (as of 2015) to develop missile defense systems: the Arrow (long range), David's Sling (medium range), and Iron Dome (short range).
Israeli and US defense experts told "Defense News" that the talks over the new 10 year military aid package are completely separate from any potential compensation package that the Obama administration may offer Israel if the Iran nuclear agreement is eventually signed.
The "Washington Post" writes, "These costly steps are being taken not to gain Israeli support for the agreement. They are designed to provide a reason - or cover - for Jewish and pro-Israeli US members of Congress to justify their voting against a congressional resolution of disapproval of the agreement that will be voted upon when Congress returns in September."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 26, 2015
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