The Israeli government has requested missile interceptors, precision-guided weapons, and artillery rounds from the Pentagon following recent deadly attacks by Hamas militants. This move comes as attacks on Israel continue and an Israeli offensive into Gaza is expected in the coming days.
To meet this urgent request, the Pentagon is collaborating with defense contractors to expedite the orders. While Israeli defense forces do not appear to be lacking in weapons, the ongoing attacks necessitate additional support to defend Israeli territories.
Support for Israel could potentially be combined with aid packages for other countries, including Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as funding for domestic natural disasters. The White House currently has approximately $100 million remaining in Presidential Drawdown Authority, which has traditionally been used to provide military aid to Ukraine, amounting to over $40 billion.
However, securing supplemental funding from Congress may prove challenging, as the House currently lacks a speaker following the recent ousting of Kevin McCarthy. The uncertainty surrounding this situation could impact the overall provision of aid and support to Israel.
Israel has specifically requested interceptors for the Iron Dome system, a jointly-built defense system with the United States. This system has been successfully employed over 2,500 times to intercept short-range missiles fired into Israel. By utilizing artificial intelligence, the Iron Dome system assesses the potential risk to people and buildings before recommending whether or not to fire interceptors.
In addition to missile interceptors, precision-guided weapons are also being requested. These weapons employ satellite or laser guidance systems to minimize harm to civilians and infrastructure. They encompass various types of ordnance, such as missiles, multiple-launched rockets, and bombs, which can be deployed from aircraft, ships, artillery, or rocket launchers. The precision-guided systems are capable of directing a weapon to within 10 feet of its target.
The Pentagon maintains stockpiles of ammunition in Israel for potential conflicts in the Middle East and Europe, including Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression. Israel, with permission from the United States, can access this arsenal if necessary to augment its defense capabilities.
In response to the recent attack by Hamas, the Pentagon has also deployed its newest aircraft carrier and a fleet of destroyers to the eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, additional warplane squadrons in the Middle East will be bolstered to reassure Israel and other allies, as well as to deter adversaries, particularly Iran, which has been supporting Hamas with weaponry.
What specific military support has Israel requested from the U.S.?
Israel has requested missile interceptors for the Iron Dome system, precision-guided weapons, and artillery rounds.
Why does Israel require additional military support?
Israel is facing ongoing attacks from Hamas militants, and it is anticipated that an Israeli offensive into Gaza will take place soon.
How is the Pentagon expediting Israel’s requests?
The Pentagon is collaborating with defense contractors to expedite the delivery of requested military equipment.
What other countries could potentially receive aid packages?
Apart from Israel, aid packages could be considered for Ukraine, Taiwan, and funding for domestic natural disasters.
What are precision-guided weapons?
Precision-guided weapons utilize satellite or laser guidance systems to direct explosives towards their targets with minimal harm to civilians and infrastructure. They include missiles, rockets, and bombs that can be fired from various platforms.
How does the Iron Dome system work?
The Iron Dome system, jointly developed by the U.S. and Israel, employs artificial intelligence to assess the potential threat posed by incoming projectiles. It recommends whether to fire interceptors based on the likelihood of endangering people or structures.