What’s $348 million between friends? That’s how much Israel would like Congress to add to the president’s 2015 budget request for aid to assorted Israeli missile defense programs, according to documents provided to Breaking Defense by Rep. Doug Lamborn, co-chairman of both the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the Missile Defense Caucus.

“I have communicated with officials from Israeli missile defense forces,” Lamborn said today at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, asking permission to enter the documents into the official record. “They say that Israel would much better able to meet its security needs if that part of the Obama budget were increased by $350 million.” (He’s rounding up slightly).

“I’d like to have more money in my budget too,” replied Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a rare moment of directness. (The notoriously vague Hagel got so non-specific in his answers that, at one point, HASC’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith, interrupted the Secretary and asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, “General, why don’t you take a crack?”)

“I probably speak as much with the defense minster of Israel, Gen. [Moshe] Yaalon, as [with] any one defense minister,” Hagel said. “The commitments we’ve made to the missile defense systems in Israel remain very clear. They’re in the budget.”

The added funding would more than double the $273 million the administration has requested for 2015. There is a precedent for such increases: Last year, Congress added $190 million for Israeli missile defenses to the Obama budget. But Lamborn says the Jewish state needs 83 percent more than that for 2015.

Apparently, the Israelis have learned the old Pentagon trick of presenting Congress with “unfunded requirements” not in the president’s budget — complete with pointed mentions of specific contractors and states that would benefit from a plus-up.

A crucial caveat: While Lamborn said he received the documents from the Israel Missile Defense Organization, the papers his staff provided do not bear the logo of any organization or the signature of any individual, Israeli or otherwise. We’re trying to confirm their authenticity with the Israeli embassy and will update this story when we get word. [Update: It turns out the Israeli Foreign Ministry is on strike, so the Embassy could only advise us to call the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv tomorrow.]
At this point, we can’t say whether these documents represent an official Israeli government position or a strategic leak by some faction of the Israeli defense establishment.

Whatever their exact origin and official status, however, under the heading of “requested action,” the documents ask for

  • “a Plus Up of $22.1 M[illion] for Arrow-3 Upper Tier Interceptor Program,” an anti-ballistic missile system intended to counter future Iranian threats that is being co-developed by Boeing and Israeli Aerospace Industries — and “Other subcontractors include numerous US companies located over 25 states,” the Israeli memo helpfully adds;
  • “$45.5 M for the acceleration of the Arrow System Improvement Program,” an upgrade to existing versions of the Arrow;
  • $105.4 million for David’s Sling, aka “Stunner,” to shoot down lower-altitude missiles, which is a Raytheon-Rafael joint effort — although “Numerous US companies were selected as subcontractors like: ATK [ATK Tech Aliant] (WV), NG [presumably Northrop Grumman] (CA), SDC [probably San Diego Composites] (CA), PKI [we're not sure about this one] (MA), etc.”; and
  • “$175 million for the procurement of ‘Iron Dome’ interceptors,” the much-touted system already in service and shooting down relatively crude Hamas rockets.

That would almost exactly double the president’s 2015 request for Iron Dome, which stands at $176 million. The president’s request for Arrow and David’s Sling together, which is a different line item, is $96.8 million, and the Israelis are asking for a total of $173 million more for those programs, which would not quite triple them.

Comments

  • bridgebuilder78

    You can tell the Israelis to take all the Necons home and kiss my ass.

    • Don Bacon

      That’s anti-semitic according to the US.
      The new anti-Semitism
      US State Department, Mar 13, 2008

      The distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that—whether intentionally or unintentionally—has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis, and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character.

      I disagree, but I thought I would point it out.

      • bridgebuilder78

        And the State Department can kiss my hairy Jewish ass.

        • Don Bacon

          That’s eighteen thousand people — say when.

          • bridgebuilder78

            Anytime they wish to start. My donkey can’t wait.

    • squidgod

      No coincidence that AIPAC just wrapped up.

  • squidgod

    The notoriously vague Hagel got so non-specific in his answers that, at one point, HASC’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith, interrupted the Secretary and asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey, “General, why don’t you take a crack?”

    That was, hands down, my favorite part. Seemed like all the secdef wanted to do was spout platitudes, talking points and mention places he’d traveled recently. Really just made it seem like he didn’t know what was going on (or at least didn’t have any meaningful answers in his head).

  • squidgod

    PKI [we're not sure about this one] (MA)

    Best guess: PerkinElmer (http://www.perkinelmer.com/) Their NYSE ticker symbol is PKI and they’re based in Massachusetts. They’re primarily a biotech company, however, and nothing about them screams missile defense.

  • Don Bacon

    The only “security needs” Israel has for missile defense is the Israel perception that it needs a counter to any Iran response to an Israel first strike on Iran, which Israel (and the US, by the way) continues to threaten to do.

    Missile defense is an accepted ploy for a first-strike offensive policy. Everybody knows that, so Israel’s war-making policy is entirely transparent to most people except , apparently, the Republican representative from Colorado Springs who should register as a foreign agent as a result of his “I have communicated with officials from Israeli missile defense forces.”

    • Tyler Sawyer

      Your apparently mistaken Israel can’t attack Iran without our approval. If they do attack we would condemn there actions and pull funding. They need the anti – ballistic funding to stop the nuclear missile Iran will soon have because the Obama administration won’t stand up and destroy there nuclear facilities.

      • Mike

        When Israeli intelligence sees that Iran has crossed that “line in the sand”, they will destroy those sites and permanently irradiate those underground facilities, of that you can be sure….. And we will have their back….. There is always the very outside possibility that Iran will listen to the UN and cease and desist…. Very remote, in my opinion……

        • James Hedman

          If Israel bombs Iran the Persians will turn the Gulf into a smoking blaze of burning supertankers and sunk American warships. Nothing will stop mass volleys of Russian built missiles from hitting their targets.

          • Mike

            You might not to wait very long to see whether your opinion is right or wrong…. It all depends on whether Iran is listening or not… If not, Israel will know and they will come calling and they will be effective of that I am sure…. Hopefully, our intelligence services will be as effective as Israel’s and the fleet will be somewhere out of range of any shore to ship weapons that Iran may or may not possess…

          • Don Bacon

            The presence of US ships in the Gulf is actually a sign that the US won’t attack Iran, because they are sitting ducks on a pond. So the withdrawal of ships would be ominous, except for the fact that the US has 40,000 troops and some families at various basis around the Gulf, and they are even more vulnerable.

            The US military, including the commander-in-chief, knows all this even if US politicians are too stupid to understand, so the “all options on the table” is BS fodder for the corporate media meant to impress people too lazy to think about it.

      • Don Bacon

        No, the US has promised to support Israel no matter what Israel does. The days of disagreeing with Israel on matters that Israel say affects its security are over, if they ever existed. There is no possibility of not supporting an Israel under attack.

        Israel believes that US support for its anti-missile defense, an accepted component of a first-strike strategy, endorses the Israeli first-strike strategy. This of course would result in the destruction of Israel if it is implemented, but the fanatics in Tel Aviv aren’t much different from those in Washington when it comes to self-destructive behavior.

  • herkey

    SEND THE MONEY ASAP!

  • Ineluctable

    Give the money to Israel. The Palestinians always take the cowardly way and shoot at the innocents.