Iron Dome 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
WASHINGTON – A senior State Department official on Friday delivered a special
address on US efforts to bolster Israel’s security, underscoring support for the
Iron Dome missile defense program shortly after a successful test of the
“The ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to
guarantee Israel’s security,” said Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state
for political military affairs, in an address at the Brookings
“Advances in rocket technology require new levels of
US Israel cooperation.”
Shapiro spoke about American commitment to funding
Israel’s Iron Dome and longer range Arrow missile-defense systems. Despite
earlier concerns from the administration about the programs, the US has this
year significantly increased its spending.
Shapiro, in a rare public
appearance devoted entirely to US military support for Israel, stressed that the
assistance secures America as well.
Helping to make Israel’s population
more secure from the short-range rocket and missile threat its border towns face
“is not only the right thing to do, but it is the type of strategic step that is
good for Israel’s security and for the United States’ interests in the region,”
Earlier this year, some had questioned whether the US had begun
to see Israel as a strategic liability rather than an asset, based on comments
from members of the administration, including President Barack Obama. Shapiro’s
remarks seemed aimed at pushing back against such a view.
declared, “As surely as the bond between the United States and Israel is
unbreakable, our commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge has never been
Some observers suggested that the speech was politically
motivated, a further attempt to ease concerns among Jewish voters about Obama’s
commitment to Israel.
At a State Department press briefing held later in
the day, a reporter referred to Shapiro’s address as the “Obama
loves Israel; please vote Democratic in November” speech.
however, framed the issue as one of urgency given the increasing threats
faces in the region, particularly from Iran and its terrorist proxies
In this environment, he said, “We’re preserving Israel’s QME
[qualitative military edge] through an unprecedented increase in US