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House Passes Proposal to Integrate US National Ballistic Missile Dedense with Israel
Will it honestly make any difference whether the next US president is a Democrat or a Republican?
Copyright 2007 States News Service
December 12, 2007 Wednesday
HOUSE PASSES KIRK PROPOSAL TO INTEGRATE U.S. NATIONAL BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE WITH ISRAEL
States News Service
The following information was released by the office of Illinois Rep. Mark Steven Kirk:
The U.S. House of Representative today overwhelmingly passed a proposal engineered by U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to fully integrate Israel into the U.S. National Ballistic Missile Defense System.
The proposal, contained in the final conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act, requires the Secretary of Defense to report back to Congress within 180 days with a plan to improve the coordination, interoperability, and integration of the U.S. National Ballistic Missile Defense System with Israel' missile defense architecture.
Democracies are strongest when they stick together, Congressman Kirk said. President Ahmadinejad calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and talks of the Jewish people' annihilation. Today America sends a message to the Iranian dictator Israel will have the full weight of America' national missile defense system to defend herself.
The United Nations Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Government of Iran itself have highlighted Iran' rapidly expanding ballistic missile program.
The U.N. Security Council, the IAEA and the Government of Iran all tell us that Iran is building ballistic missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, said Kirk, who also serves as Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer. Israel will be the first and only country to fully integrate with the American missile defense architecture. It is a symbol of our shared values and a safer 21st century.
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December 13, 2007
Bill includes U.S.-Israel missile coordination
Congress is set to approve a plan to integrate the U.S. and Israeli missile defense systems.
The proposal, authored by U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), is part of the Defense Authorization Act passed late Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives and due to be considered by the Senate before Christmas break. Under the proposal, the secretary of defense must within six months present a plan to Congress a plan "to improve the coordination, interoperability, and integration of the U.S. National Ballistic Missile Defense System with Israel’s missile defense architecture," a statement from Kirk's office said.
Such a plan will help defend Israel against reported plans by Iran to build missiles that can reach Israel, Kirk said. "Israel will be the first and only country to fully integrate with the American missile defense architecture," the statement said. "It is a symbol of our shared values and a safer 21st century."
Bush Urged To Place Rules On $20B Saudi Arms Sale
By ELI LAKE
Staff Reporter of the Sun
November 15, 2007
WASHINGTON — Pressure is mounting from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress for President Bush to guarantee that a proposed $20 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia will not arm Riyadh with weapons it could turn on American soldiers or Israel.
Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican of Illinois, and Rep. Christopher Carney, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, are circulating a letter calling on the White House to "guarantee to Congress' satisfaction that selling JDAMs to Saudi Arabia will not harm U.S. forces or our democratic ally Israel."
Joint Direct Attack Munitions are the global positioning systems and steering technology an air force can place on unguided bombs to improve their accuracy.
The letter from Congress, set to be sent to Mr. Bush on Friday, comes during a week in which the State Department formally notified Congress of the weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. Some House members, led by Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat of New York, have already announced that they will oppose the $20 billion sale.
The lawmakers who signed on to the letter from Messrs. Carney and Kirk do not go that far. They do say, however, that if they are not assured the weapons cannot be turned on America or Israel, "we will oppose the sale."
The opposition from Congress has the potential to scuttle a key component of Mr. Bush's new strategy to counter a rising Iran. The arms sale, along with the upcoming Arab-Israeli peace conference scheduled for later this month in Annapolis, Md., is meant to create and an American-Sunni Arab alliance against Iran, whose regime Mr. Bush has accused of killing American soldiers in Iraq, destabilizing Lebanon, and building a nuclear bomb.
Mr. Kirk said yesterday that he was concerned that Mr. Bush could be making the same mistake with Saudi Arabia that President Carter made when he sold F–14 Tomcat Fighter Jets to the shah of Iran in 1977 and 1978. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, those fighters were aimed at the U.S. Navy.
"Over the long haul, unless you see a stable democracy, you have got to contemplate the prospect of a government changing. You want to make sure any advanced weapons you provide cannot represent a danger to Americans in uniform," he said.
Mr. Kirk declined to detail the technical guarantees that he and his colleagues are asking of the Bush administration. Other sources close to Congress, however, said changes could be made to the JDAM guidance system and global positioning system that would make it impossible to turn the munitions toward Israel.
A former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Morris Amitay, said, "In the past, the administration has tried to ease Israeli concerns by modifications to the equipment sold so as not to pose a new threat to Israel."
Such a modification was made in the 1970s, when America sold Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Jordan that were set in concrete, rendering the missile system immobile so that it could not be moved to the Jordan River Valley.
Aipac did not endorse a letter from Mr. Weiner in August opposing the Saudi arms sale, but it offered support yesterday for the letter from Reps. Carney and Kirk. The group "supports the Kirk-Carney letter and efforts by Congress to seek assurances from the administration that ironclad measures will be included in the final arms package to ensure the safety of American troops and our allies in the region," a press secretary for Aipac, Jennifer Cannata, said.
hmmm... shouldn't it be our "ally" and not "allies" in the region?? After all its all about Israel.. Israel.. Israel..
Israeli leaders have expressed support for the arms package, which is part of a larger deal whereby Israel is promised $30 billion in American defense assistance over the next 10 years. Last month, Israel and America signed a new memorandum of understanding reaffirming that Washington was committed to Jerusalem's qualitative military advantage over the Arab states.