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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Republicans call for $680 million in funding for Iron Dome; Obama refused to give a number

With the Obama administration refusing to specify a level at which it will fund Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system - making its pledge to do so meaningless - Republicans in Congress have proposed setting aside $680 million to fund the system in 2012.
Presently, Israel has three Iron Dome systems, which must be constantly redeployed based on regular threat assessments.

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-manufactured systems.

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 stability."
Iron Dome is locally manufactured, and $680 million would eat up the entire budget for that - except that the Republican proposal is outside the normal framework.

This administration has our back alright. With the blade of a knife.

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