Saturday, August 26, 2006

Stopping Israel Buying US Weapons

Strangely, the State Department is working to minimize US leverage on Israel.

State is investigating Israel for using US-supplied weapons in combat:

The State Department is investigating whether Israel misused US-made cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon.

The United Nations said unexploded cluster bombs, which are anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area litter bombed-out homes, gardens and highways in south Lebanon.

"We are definitely looking into these allegations, and we'll see where they lead," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said Friday. The inquiry will determine whether the munitions were used, and if so how, Gallegos said.

Israel said it was forced to hit civilian targets in Lebanon because Hezbollah fighters were using villages as a base for rocket-launchers aimed toward Israel.


The State Department has adopted two nonsensical positions. The first is to ignore Hizbollah, which uses the Muslim tactic of concealing itself among civilians. Does State really expect users of US weapons to sit back under massive rocket attack?

The second is that the US routinely uses cluster bombs itself - in Kosovo and most recently in Afghanistan - so why is Israel special?

All weapons procurement agencies - including the DoD - are reluctant to use foreign suppliers because they might cut off supplies in the middle of a war - as Belgium did to the Brits in the Gulf War. They only use foreigners when they can't build the system locally and if the supplier is highly trusted.


Israel's Rafael is capable of building any modern munition, so Israel will now switch to domestic production.

So no more plane loads of weapons will be needed in the next war, and the US leverage on Israel will be zero. That's probably a good thing if Hillary is in the White House, but I doubt it's the result State wants.