The United States has opened its first ever permanent military facility in Israel. The new facility has been called a “base within a base.”
Israel and the US are staunch allies. Israel plays a key role in America’s overall policy in the Middle East. Israel was the largest annual recipient of American aid from 1976 to 2004. It receives $3 billion in grants every year from the US through Foreign Military Financing (FMF).
Israel also looks to US to support it during many conflicts that arise in the region. The US Congress have always prioritized Israel in its agenda. The US has used its position as a member of the UN Security Council to veto 42 resolutions that may have affected Israel. The two nations have also traditionally shared intelligence with one another. Israel remains a major purchaser of US military equipment.
The two nations also regularly engage in joint military exercises and jointly develop military technology.
In the initial reports, Israel announced that US had officially opened its first official permanent military base in the nation. However, the Israeli website has now amended the initial language and has noted that it is a facility. Further clarity is not yet available. Some have called it a “base within a base.”
US has routinely stationed its forces in Israel in the past.
Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich, head of the Aerial Defense Division in Israel said, “Due to the close cooperation between us and the American forces in the field of air defense, as well as the extensive experience accumulated by the Aerial Defense Division, it was decided that the first permanent base of the American army would be established at the School of Air Defense. Haimovich hailed this as a “historic and exciting” move during the inauguration added, “This is the first time that we have an American flag flying in an IDF base.”
Meghan Henderson, deputy director of EUCOM’s Media Operations Division said this was a natural progression of US’ commitment to Israel. She said, “As part of the United States’ continued commitment to Israel, on September 18, senior leaders from the US military participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony… to commemorate the opening of a new building on an Israeli Air Force base. The new buildings located on the Israeli installation are not a US military base. The buildings are facilities on the existing Israeli Air Force Base to support our US service personnel who are working there.”
Details are unavailable on whether the stationed US forces would engage in military combat if necessary. AP reported that this base’s function was largely.
Our assessment is that the new facility is a signal directed at Iran. Both Israel and US have voiced their concerns over Iran’s influence in the Middle East. The countries are putting up a show of united strength.