GOP Backing $680M for Iron Dome (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/21/12)
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US lawmakers are considering an aid allotment of $680 million to
strengthen Israel´s Iron Dome short-range rocket shield.
The move by Republican lawmakers comes in the face of previous
attempts by the Obama administration to prune defense aid to Israel.
Senior Republicans Howard McKeon (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-
FL) criticized Obama for his lack of support of a “vital defense
The Obama administration earlier announced that an “appropriate”
level of funding will be provided for this program, but did not
request any specific sum for 2012.
The refusal to specify a funding commitment for Iron Dome – Israel’s
bleeding-edge of advancement anti-rocket system – has effectively
stopped Congress from allotting the funds at all.
According to IDF officials Iron Dome intercepted over 80 per cent of
some 300 targets in March. Presently, Israel has three Iron Dome
systems, which must be constantly redeployed based on regular threat
Defense officials want to have at least nine Iron Dome units in
operation by 2013, while the IDF says it needs at least 15 to
properly protect Israel´s populous urban centers.
The US spent over $200 million aiding in Iron Dome deployment in
2011. However, while the US has approved $235 million to finance the
lesser-known Israeli anti-missile systems “Arrow” and “Magic Wand”
for 2012, the Iron Dome allotment remains undefined.
US military aid to Israel is set to be delivered as part of a $30
billion 10-year military-aid package signed by President George W.
Bush administration in 2007.
From 2009 till 2018 the US is expected to grant Israel some $3
billion per year. Israel may spend 26 percent on locally-manufactured
systems while the remaining 74 percent must be spent on US-
The Obama administration says, like its predecesors, that it
considers Israel to be "the protector of peace in the Middle East,"
whose "strength and superiority in the region is critical to regional
"We don´t just support Israel because of a long standing bond; we
support Israel because it is in our national interests to do so," US
assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs Andrew J.
Shapiro said last November. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/21/12)
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