The United States remains committed to the security of the State of Israel, which it considers as its “most important strategic partners in the Middle East.”
In opening remarks his opening remarks during the visit of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to the Pentagon, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “Across that long history, though, the defense relationship between the United States and Israel has never been stronger. And we intend to keep it that way.”
The top American defense official added that he also wanted “to say upfront for everyone that a cornerstone of our defense relationship is preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) in the region. The United States is committed to that, and the Department of Defense is committed to that imperative. And we will continue to support the long-standing U.S. priority to maintain Israel’s QME.”
Talks between the two defense leaders centered on shared concerns over the Middle East, most prominent of which is the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies. The discussion on the U.S. commitment to Israel’s QME comes as the Trump Administration is reportedly in advanced stages of negotiations with the United Arab Emirates to sell 5th-generation F-35 Stealth fighter-aircraft, which would significantly diminish Israel’s military superiority in the region. The ‘open channel of communications’ between Washington and Jerusalem Is therefore critical to alleviate Israeli concerns.
“The Middle East is an unstable one – region. I think the only stable place within it is the State of Israel, or one of the most stable places in the Middle East,” commented Israeli Defense Minister Gantz, while underscoring, “And, as I always say, we have no other United States – nor, do you have any other Israel.”