Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Netanyahu's Trump Card: Israel and the United States are Joined at the Hip Making Futuristic Weapons and Other High Tech Gizmos

When I read about Israel's bad behavior--attacking civilians in Palestine, bombing and strafing American navy vessels, spying on the United States, selling American technology to China, interfering in American domestic politics, etc. etc.--I often wonder why the President and Congress simply do not simply cut off the money spigot? 

Yes, the Israeli lobby is extremely powerful. But, the ultimate answer may be that the American taxpayer's money goes to Israel as a means of subsidizing the military industrial complex. As always, when you follow the money, you found out what drives statecraft. 

Despite the Obama administration's annoyance and upsetness at Netanyahu's despicable speech and grandstanding before the United States Congress and the Republican Party's near treasonous violation of the Logan Act, Israel will not be "punished". The deep state and the iron mongers would never allow it.

The Nation has an excellent piece on how the Pentagon has finally--shock! gasp!--admitted the obvious fact that Israel is a nuclear power. The more interesting aspects of William Greider's essay include how the United States and Israeli arms merchants have collaborated over the decades to produce the future-present weapons of today and their commercial spin-offs.

[Speaking of high-tech future weapons, are you ready for Boeing's science fiction made real "force field" like technology?]

Some insights from a now declassified 1987 report:
Yet the confirmation of this poorly kept secret opens a troublesome can of worms for both the US government and our closest ally in the Middle East. Official acknowledgement poses questions and contradictions that cry out for closer inspection. For many years, the United States collaborated with Israel’s development of critical technology needed for advanced armaments. Yet Washington pushed other nations to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires international inspections to discourage the spread of nuclear arms. Israel has never signed the NPT and therefore does not have to submit to inspections. 
Washington knew all along what the inspectors would find in Israel. Furthermore, as far back as the 1960s, the US Foreign Assistance Act was amended by concerned senators to prohibit any foreign aid for countries developing their own nukes. Smith asserts that the exception made for Israel was a violation of the US law but it was shrouded by the official secrecy. Since Israel is a major recipient of US aid, American presidents had good reason not to reveal the truth. 
The newly released report—“Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations”—describes Israel’s nuclear infrastructure in broad terms, but the dimensions are awesome. Israel’s nuclear research labs, the IDA researchers reported, “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.” Indeed, the investigators observed that Israel’s facilities are “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”
And why does the United States allow Israel to behave like an impudent spoiled brat?
However, the IDA’s most powerful message may not be what it says about Israel’s nukes but what it conveys about the US-Israel relationship. It resembles a technological marriage that over decades transformed the nature of modern warfare in numerous ways. The bulk of the report is really a detailed survey of Israel’s collaborative role in developing critical technologies—the research and industrial base that helped generate advanced armaments of all sorts. Most Americans, myself included, are used to assuming the US military-industrial complex invents and perfects the dazzling innovations, then shares some with favored allies like Israel. 
That’s not altogether wrong but the IDA report suggests a more meaningful understanding. The US and Israel are more like a very sophisticated high-tech partnership that collaborates on the frontiers of physics and other sciences in order to yield the gee-whiz weaponry that now define modern warfare. Back in the 1980s, the two nations were sharing and cross-pollinating their defense research at a very advanced level.
A powerful conclusion: All that money into an endless cycle of conflict and resulting riches for the shareholders and CEO's of the war merchants:
It would be good to keep in mind that these extraordinary breakthroughs in technology have one purpose—fighting wars—and are intended to give still greater advantage to advanced nations like the US and Israel that dwarf more primitive adversaries. Many of the new technologies, it is true, will find commercial applications that improve everyday lives (some already have). Yet it is also true that our advances in high-tech killing power have not subdued all the enemies. 
They find irregular ways to fight back. They blow the legs off our soldiers. They plant home-made bombs in crowded restaurants. They recruit children to serve as their guided missiles. They capture and slaughter innocent bystanders, while our side merely bombs the villages from high altitude. The victims do not see our way as pristine or preferable. Their suffering becomes their global recruiting. 
The highly successful partnership of American and Israeli military science is one more reason it will be most difficult to disentangle from the past and turn the two countries in new directions, either together or separately. But many people are beginning to grasp that lopsided wars—contests between high-tech and primitive forms of destruction—do not necessarily lead to victory or peace. They have led the United States into more wars.
I remember reading about Israel's arms industry while a preteen ghetto nerd in the various military and defense magazines I would read each month. I was fascinated by the equipment (the Lavi fighter and Israel's tricked out F-15s were/are beautiful things to behold). I was not sophisticated enough to understand how all that money taken from the American people subsidized the Israeli government's bad behavior. 

Israel's policies often make the United States and the American people less safe and secure rather than more. It would seem that the United States is financing the very policies that help to create the threats and dangers to "our way of life" that the military and the iron mongers then provide a false sense of security against. 

As the immortal bard and genius Jay-Z was once quoted as saying, "You Can't Knock the Hustle".  


SW said...

This makes me wonder what the true size of the U.S. military budget is? How much defense R&D is financed by "aid" to Israel. Or any other country for that matter.

chauncey devega said...

Much larger than is publicly reported. More than a trillion dollars once all the monies are counted.

James Scaminaci III, PhD said...

Let me just say that the article assumes that the highest level of conflict is physical conflict. That is wrong. In the evolution of strategy there is Fourth Generation Warfare which was built upon the strategic insights of our own military genius, the late great Colonel John Boyd.

One of Boyd's insights was that the moral plane of conflict trumped the physical plane. We (or they) could beat an opponent physically, but lose morally. Think of it as a reverse pyrrhic victory. In one sense, think Israel recently pounding the Palestinians in Gaza. No doubt, Israel won physically, but it is arguable that the lost the moral high ground.

No one can fight the United States or Israel in the conventional sense of fighting. Israel managed to wipe the floor with Syrian and Egypt. Hezbollah, which dug in and forced the Israelis to come to them in southern Lebanon did much better. Whether they would still as well physically is debatable.

So, what is going on with Israel and the Palestinians? There are three competing factions for the Palestinians. Hamas seems to be stuck in a time warp thinking that it can hurl primitive unguided rockets at the US-IDF Iron Dome. Dumb. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are stuck in the time warp of thinking that a Palestinian state awaits them. It doesn't.

The third faction is the smart, tech savvy, young radicals of the BDS movement. The BDS is a Fourth Generation Warfare opponent. It is non-violent, so it does not concern itself with inflicting physical damage on Israel. It only benefits from physical damage--however it comes--from the IDF or the Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And, its sole focus is the moral plane of conflict. And, its weapon of mass destruction is the one-state solution which forces Israel (and the Western world as the audience) to choose between being a Jewish state and a being a democratic state. Even left-wing Zionist Israeli scholars recognize the contradiction in that existential question.

The Iron Dome and the most sophisticated weaponry are no match for the BDS movement. That is why Bibi recognized a movement that most Americans have never heard because it is largely confined to elite universities in Europe and America as a strategic threat to Israel.

That Bibi used the one-state solution to win the election and then immediately abandoned that position shows you how potent a weapon it is.

Unless Hamas and the PA screw things up, the BDS movement is going to be Israel's worse nightmare--a non-violent moral force eager to negotiate human and civil rights. It does not get any worse than that.

James Scaminaci III, PhD said...

Here is an example of how Fourth Generation Warfare gets discussed in all but name: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/american-taking-israel

balitwilight said...

Internationally and domestically, the most powerful arms of the United States Government (military, policing, national "security" state) are nothing but a money-laundering operation for converting public resources into private wealth.
Internationally, what is called US "foreign aid" always works this way: Millions or billions of taxpayer dollars are "given" to Country X - but always with fine print that 90% of that "aid" must be spent on private U.S. contractors - you know, all that "arming" and "training".
The result: War and conflict spreads like wildfire; American pensions, schools, cities and rural areas are cratered; private shareholders of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Blackwater, Booz Allen become as wealthy as gods.
This is the very definition of neo-liberalism: using the broad powers of government to funnel all public common wealth into private hands, and to convert all private risk to public's obligation. When Jonathan Swift spoke about government programs to "eat Irish babies" as a solution to poverty, he was metaphorically describing the American neo-liberal nightmare that we live in today.
- And while American children are being metaphorically eaten, the greatest trick of all has been the ability to Pavlov-dog 80% or more of Americans (right AND "left") into baying like brainwashed beagles with each transparently bogus manufactured "crisis": What, oh what will "we" do about ISIS? (hint: it will involve someone getting paid).

Black Sci-Fi said...

Clearly the US military budget isn't big enough to figure out how to make the F-35 work. Israel is all set to take delivery of this worthless fighter. Maybe they can get it to work....at US taxpayers expense.

chauncey devega said...

Again, I always learn something new from the smart folks here at WARN.

And along along I thought 4th gen warfare only referred to information technology and networking and space systems. Is there another use of the phrase?

chauncey devega said...

And that is the con right? Make something broken then come up with the indispensable fix.

Buddy said...


Health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory. All Israeli citizens are entitled to basic health care as a fundamental right. Based on legislation passed in the 1990s, citizens join one of four health care funds for basic treatment but can increase medical coverage by purchasing supplementary health care. In a survey of 48 countries in 2013, Israel's health system was ranked fourth in the world in terms of efficiency.

Buddy said...


Since the 1970s, Israel has received military aid from the United States, as well as economic assistance in the form of loan guarantees, which now account for roughly half of Israel's external debt. Israel has one of the lowest external debts in the developed world, and is a net lender in terms of net external debt (the total value of assets vs. liabilities in debt instruments owed abroad), which in June 2012 stood at a surplus of US$60 billion.

James Scaminaci III, PhD said...

The heart of 4GW is the adversarial contest between a state actor and a non-state actor. The central objective of the non-state actor is to undermine the legitimacy of the central state. For a 4GW non-state actor, psychological operations, information warfare, and the use of mass and social media, are more important than the use of physical weapons. Part of 4GW

SW said...

I heard an interesting tidbit this morning regarding the political nature of the budgets currently being passed around Washington and how it relates to the extreme right.

The main question was why isn't investing in America's "commonwealth" infrastructure a thing anymore?

The guest being interviewed stated that investing in the infrastructure makes sense if you think the country will endure. If America will be around 80 years from now. But if you think we are in the end times (i.e. Christian Right factions), then what's the point in investing in new infrastructure?

What I find interesting about this point, which has been made in other policy discussions, is that we seem to fall into the trap that everyone more or less has the same goal. The Christian Right wants their version of a better America, while Progressives want their version of a better America. However the actual endgames may be quite different. One faction may actually be aiming towards a vision of Armageddon. Sounds extreme, but there seems to be a thread of this line of thinking flowing through a lot of policy positions that when taken in the context of "improving" America, makes absolutely no sense.

chauncey devega said...

Only the best that the American tax payer can buy.

chauncey devega said...

Wow. When it is right in front of you it all makes sense. Do you have a good list of ten or so books or articles that we should reading on this topic?

James Scaminaci III, PhD said...

Check your email.

Spuddie said...

We like the idea of supporting the only stable democracy in a region where such things are either hard to find or nowadays an endangered species.

Spuddie said...

"Most things are as they were intended to be."

And those intentions tend to be far more malevolent than we think.

Spuddie said...

To be honest BDS is mostly useless. Pretty much everyone outside of the Far left considers it the Sein Fein of Israel's enemies. A political wing to put a happy face on support of violence. Of course one way to denude the BDS is to grant statehood to the West Bank under PA.

Hamas already has de facto statehood. But recently they pissed off their sugar daddy Iran (who is a bit pre-occupied). Once Iran's money runs out, they are left with 2 options which are depressing for them:

1. Look for another benefactor by joining I-S and have in addition to the usual problems with Israel, NATO, Egyptian and Jordanian forces pounding them to rubble

2. Play nice with Israel because their economy can only exist at that stage with cooperation.

chauncey devega said...

Interesting claim.

1. Is Israel actually a democracy? Or is it a settler white colonialist herrenvolk Apartheid society?

2. America supports democracies? Historically this has very much not been the case. But, it is a very common belief inculcated by the lowest common denominator media and "American Exceptionalism"...another lie.

Spuddie said...

1. Yes. I don't consider the west bank an apartheid state but an occupied one since its not integrated into Israel proper. They are a separate people who deserve their own state as they wanted 18 years ago. Settlement free.

2. Yes but there are so damn few of them. Dictatorship is unfortunately the norm for most of the world. What democratic nations don't we support?

India could use a stronger treaty relationship with the US than what it had.

chauncey devega said...

I will assume you are naive and not just playing around.

1. Pure semantics and silliness.

2. Ask the people in countries such as Iran, the Congo, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, etc. etc. etc. etc. that democratically elected leaders U.S. elites thought were against their corporatist interests what happened...

Spuddie said...

I am making the same assumptions about you as well.
1. Use of the term "Apartheid" to describe the situation in Palestinian territories is naive, reductive and a given in circles likely not to bother with the politics, nuances and history in the region.

Of course it would be wonderful if there was a Palestinian Nelson Mandela or Gerry Adams. Someone committed to peaceful resolution who can rein in those are not. Right now you have ISIS-lite in Gaza and the Corleones in the West Bank.

In Israel if the left wing and the arab parties were capable of getting along and didn't split the vote, Netanyahu would have been gone by now. His reelection was by a pubic hair's length. [You talk about power in terms of votes, not who can grab power, its a democracy]

2. You are about 30 years too late for that argument to be relevant anymore. We stopped doing that sort of thing (or it became far too impractical) over a generation ago. The Cold War left far more casualties than many are willing to admit. I still can't think of a democratic country we DON'T support. Present tense.

chauncey devega said...

Laughs. I will leave others to engage your sophistry--especially point 2.