For every military ally of the US, America strives to help.

The US continues to work with nations that either provide direct collaboration with the American military or that work to ensure safety in their region, which in turn, promotes overall global security and American security. In any ally partnership, the US must take into consideration the factors of supporting another nation, which include direct military costs, costs of wars waged against these allies, and potential risks involved for the safety of the American people.

America, a long-time ally of Israel, values Israel as a liberal democracy in the Middle East and supports the Israel Defense Forces against terror. Recently, the US military extended appreciation to the Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot for his contributions to the US military.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford presents IDF Chief of Staff Gadi. Source: Times of Israel
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford presents IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. Source: Times of Israel

IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkot was awarded the second-highest degree of the Legion of Merit award by American Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford. The American military’s Legion of Merit is one of the highest awards given to foreign citizens and was presented to IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkot in particular for his work to strengthen the strategic cooperation between America and Israel.

Since the day he entered his role, Chief of Staff Eisenkot has been working tirelessly to further prepare the IDF for the dangers of ISIS and all other threats. Accounting for lessons learned in past operations Cast Lead (2008), Pillar of Defense (2012), and Protective Edge (2014), Eisenkot has implemented the Gideon Plan, a multi-year plan to optimize the IDF’s budget as well as capabilities, this past year.

Influenced by the organization of the American military, the Gideon Plan restructures the IDF Special Forces units, which were formerly separated among multiple Ground Forces brigades, into one commando brigade.

In addition to preparing for the spread of ISIS, the plan is aimed to prepare for the threat of Iran’s nuclear developments. According to an analysis by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy written shortly after the Gideon Plan was presented to the public, expert Michael Herzog suggested that the plan would potentially serve as a basis for U.S.-Israel security dialogue on the Iran nuclear deal.

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mahmood Hosseini/TIMA
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mahmood Hosseini/TIMA

Unfortunately, the threat of Iran’s nuclear weapons still looms. President Obama claimed just last week that the Iran nuclear deal is working and even suggested that Israel agrees. However, as an ally of America, Israel’s Defense Ministry immediately disagreed and warned that Iran truly remains a threat despite negotiation efforts. While the use of nuclear weapons is an existential threat to Israel, Iran’s growing power and nuclear capabilities is of great concern to Americans. A recent article in Business Insider claims the threat of Iran’s nuclear weapons even exceeds the dangers of ISIS and Al-Qaeda for the US.

Source: Israel Today
Source: Israel Today

Negotiating with Iran is a tricky business. However, regardless of the progress of the Iran deal and the challenge of enforcing it, the Israel Defense Forces continue to prepare for the worst. While negotiations are critical for stabilizing security, IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkot and the American military continue to collaborate in order to strategize against threats to Israel and America.

Contributed by CAMERA Intern Penina Simkovitz

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