chapter  2
20 Pages

Israel and the Security of the West

WithGerald M. Steinberg, Steven L. Spiegel

The debate in the United States over support for Israel has historically consisted of a conflict between "idealists" who have argued for backing Jerusalem on moral grounds and "realists" who are opposed to close ties between Washington and Jerusalem on the basis of security considerations. The most significant regional military-strategic coordination between Israel and the United States took place in September 1970. During this period, Palestine Liberation Organization forces in Jordan sought to overthrow the Jordanian government and to this end received the active assistance of the Syrian Army. In addition to captured weapons and knowledge acquired regarding Soviet weapons and tactics, Israel has gained a wealth of experience regarding Western weapons and techniques. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) operates a variety of systems that are also in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization inventory, from M-60 tanks to F-15 and F-16 fighters. The IDF has also developed technologies and techniques related to weapons maintenance and readiness.