Welfare for war

Martin Indyk, executive vice president of the Brookings Institution, is deeply concerned about the fact that the U.S. President is confident in the IDF’s ability to defend Israel, especially in light of its US funding:

Trump: “We give Israel billions of dollars, they’ll be okay.” This cavalier attitude is deeply worrying. Ignores the role of US as force multiplier for Israeli deterrence. From here it’s a short step to Trump asking: why are we giving Israel so much money? 

Indeed. But isn’t that a question that Trump, and every American, should be asking? Why ARE Americans giving Israel so much money, Mr. Indyk? Is it tribute? Is it Danegeld? Is it an investment? Will you not be so kind as to explain it to everyone?

It’s not as if the smartest and most historically-aware Israelis don’t already recognize that their reliance on the US military and US money enervates their military forces. Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld has been pointing this out for years, if not decades. And sooner or later, the magic flow of money is going to stop, for any of a wide range of potential reasons.

Why do conservatives believe welfare is any better for the IDF than it has been for the black family, or, for that matter, the white American family? The inarguable strategic fact is that Israel would be considerably safer and militarily stronger if Trump would send them America’s Jews rather than America’s money. And so, for that matter, would America.

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