Is Israel of Vital Strategic Value to the West?


#1

Many people have stated that our alliance with Israel is based upon the fact that they are Western and to some extent that they are “white.” Putting aside the fact that many Israelis are of Middle Eastern origin and some are black, i.e. the Falashas of Ethiopian descent, Israel is a major, probably indispensable Western asset.

Israel is vital to U.S. and overall Western interests in ways that may not be totally obvious. If you are familiar with WW II history, Hitler controlled Europe to the Atlantic Ocean. Spain and Portugal were “neutral in favor of the Axis.” Italy was separated from most of Europe by the Alps, and in any event was not conquered until sometime in late 1943 or early 1944.

The only usable avenues of attack to regain Europe was on the beaches of France; Normandy and/or Calais. The battle to make a beachhead was a bloodbath. Israel is a giant “Normandy” in the Middle East, a fraught and unstable area. Should the West need to enter the Middle East militarily, Israel is the only country that, as a stable democracy, that can be counted on as a springboard. That is why some Arab countries and groups want Israel out so desperately. Knocking off Israel knocks the West out of a large chunk of the world.

During the Obama years, his approach was that there is really only one world and that no country’s military should dominate. A beautiful dream and a recipe for chaos. I feel that most Presidents and especially their Defense Departments understood the essential role Israel played. The State Department, in general, has considered Israel to be an obstacle to peace. Over the years, during the Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and II, Clinton and Trump years (Ford and Carter were decidedly of two minds, as was Obama, and Eisenhower was hostile to Israel) the U.S. has been pro-Israel or neutral in favor of Israel.

I consider that we should be allied to Israel both as based on ideological similarities, i.e. it’s a democracy, and for strategic purposes.


#2

I USED to believe that we supported Israel to keep the Arabs focused on THEM instead of killing each other off–which they’d been doing for centuries.


#3

I get your logic, but it doesn’t actually reflect the reality on the ground.

Our biggest base in the region is in Qatar. Something the Qatar did in order to facilitate their own independent foriegn policy. Our next largest installation is in Oman. Then Kuwait.

Our presence in Israel’s Port Halfa is far more minuscule by comparison.

Right now? Who? Saudi Arabia wants Israel in its orbit to counteract Iran. They let the latter station planes on their airfields. The UAE is having back-room relations with Israel for the same reason.

Egypt is combating the Muslim brotherhood, and works with Israel to do so.

Jordan has just agreed to make Israel it’s #1 supplier of natural gas.

The Syrian regime might be hostile, but it doesn’t matter, they’re embroiled in a Civil War.


#4

^^^ Qatar isn’t reliable or stable enough.


#5

And yet we have 11,000 people stationed there.

Qatar is plenty stable, they don’t have any internal squabbles, hell, they barley exist.

They have less than 200,000 native citizens. Everyone else in the country, 90% of people, are foreign expats.

Their problem is that they wanted a foreign policy separate from Saudi Arabia, ticking the latter off.

Qatar has relations with Iran, makes deals with Turkey and Russia without consulting the other Arabs, and will even talk to the Houthis.

They also have Al Jazeera which works to expose all of the skeletons the Arab leaders have in their closet.

The Saudis want media control, while Al Jazeera covers whatever it wants.

The Qataris, even now, aren’t thinking of kicking us out. So I have no idea what you mean by “reliable”.


#6

Having spent time in Israel with the military, we don’t have a strong presence there because we don’t NEED to. The IDF is one of the best militaries in the world, well trained and equipped.


#7

As far as Qatar being stable it’s stable the way Iran was before 1978,


#8

That comparison doesn’t work. JBG, you need follow me here. The Geopolitics don’t back that assertion.

Again, they have less than 200,000 citizens, all of whom are of the same ethnic group & religion. The people have no desire to revolt. They had no demonstrations during the Arab Spring. Practically the only nation in the region that didn’t.

Iran meanwhile is less than 50% Persian, has both Sunni and Shia Muslims, and a great amount of Socialists in the mix. It’s a far more heterogeneous place, with large amounts of internal strife, and Iran has to keep a large military around, just to suppress breakaway minority groups like the Arabs, the Kurds, and the Balochs.

Iran is basically a mini-Russia, with religious leadership.

Qatar’s entire problem is external. They’ve pissed off the Saudis because they have relations with who they want, and have Al Jazeera talking **** about Saudi and UAE leadership.

That’s not the same thing. They are stable; it’s just that their foreign policy has made them serious enemies with our other allies (while also growing their relationship with another ally; Turkey… and maybe Kuwait/Oman.)