AIPAC Commends Congress for Enhancing U.S.-Israel Strategic
AIPAC commends Congress for strongly bolstering U.S.-Israel defense cooperation by authorizing a total of $600.7 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These funds will help Israel defend its citizens against rocket and missile threats, and will further America’s own missile defense programs.
Provisions in the legislation specifically authorize:
- $268.7 million in research and development funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative missile and rocket defense programs;
- $62 million for procurement of the Iron Dome rocket defense system;
- $150 million for procurement of the David’s Sling missile defense system; and
- $120 million for procurement of the Arrow-3 missile defense system.
Beyond missile defense funding, provisions in the measure provide for a broad range of U.S.-Israel cooperation and demonstrate Congress’ strong interest in addressing Iran’s malign behavior. Pro-Israel provisions include:
- Authorizing $10 million in additional funds for U.S.-Israel anti-tunnel cooperation;
- Requiring a report on the potential for the United States and Israel to collaborate on directed energy technologies to defeat rockets and missiles;
- Authorizing the Secretary of Defense to cooperate with allies such as Israel in the area of water resources management;
- Requiring a quarterly report describing any confirmed ballistic missile launches by Iran, along with efforts to impose sanctions in response; and
- Requiring information on Iran’s cyber capabilities to be incorporated in the annual report on Iran’s military power, mandated under existing law.
AIPAC applauds the leadership of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), along with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), who ensured these critical programs were included in the legislation.
As Israel faces increased security challenges, AIPAC urges Congress to provide full funding for the programs authorized in this bill.