In an exclusive article published yesterday, TimeWorld reported (Exclusive: U.S. Scales-Back Military Exercise with Israel, Affecting Potential Iran Strike) that the U.S. government has been attempting to quietly cut support of Israel militarily, providing the excuse of “budget restrictions.” What budget? This excuse is laughable and is nothing more than an excuse. And spending restrictions? When has the Obama administration ever “restricted” its spending? President Obama is going to start to cut spending now by doing so with Israel? The entire article is a must-read. [Hat Tip to Kevin Anderson for sending over the Fort Bliss article] Excerpts:
Seven months ago, Israel and the United States postponed a massive joint military exercise that was originally set to go forward just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The exercise was rescheduled for late October, and appears likely to go forward on the cusp of the U.S. presidential election. But it won’t be nearly the same exercise. Well-placed sources in both countries have told TIME that Washington has greatly reduced the scale of U.S. participation, slashing by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise.
“Basically what the Americans are saying is, ‘We don’t trust you,’” a senior Israeli military official tells TIME.
The reductions are striking. Instead of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops originally trumpeted for Austere Challenge 12, as the annual exercise is called, the Pentagon will send only 1,500 service members, and perhaps as few as 1,200. Patriot anti-missile systems will arrive in Israel as planned, but the crews to operate them will not. Instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships being dispatched to Israeli waters, the new plan is to send one, though even the remaining vessel is listed as a “maybe,” according to officials in both militaries.
In the current political context, the U.S. logic is transparent, says Israeli analyst Efraim Inbar. “I think they don’t want to insinuate that they are preparing something together with the Israelis against Iran – that’s the message,” says Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University. “Trust? We don’t trust them. They don’t trust us. All these liberal notions! Even a liberal president like Obama knows better.”
Mr. Obama’s support from active duty military service members and veterans alike has fallen substantially over the last year amid constant reports of intentionally leaking of classified intelligence including well placed assets, methods of operation, numbers of special operations personnel involved in missions, etc. His support for re-election continues to slide among those in the military. Could it be because our active duty service members have been well aware of Mr. Obama’s weakening partnership with one of America’s strongest allies? Consider as evidence the speech he gave yesterday at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Several articles reported the event with all of them mentioning the lackluster reception received by their commander in chief. One article (Obama speech to soldiers met with silence) by The Daily Caller provided a point by point account of the speech that fell flat throughout:
President Barack Obama was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence as he offered profuse praise to soldiers and their families during an Aug. 31 speech in Fort Bliss, Texas.
His praise for the soldiers — and for his own national-security policies — won cheers from only a small proportion of the soldiers and families in the cavernous aircraft-hanger.
The audience remains quiet even when the commander-in-chief thanked the soldiers’ families, and cited the 198 deaths of their comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The audience’s reaction was so flat that the president tried twice to elicit a reaction from the crowd.
“Hey, I hear you,” he said amid silence. (more…)