Why Israel Has The Most Technologically Advanced Military On Earth – An Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system, right, and a U.S. Patriot missile defense system are shown during a joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise on March 8, 2018. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)
The United States is now engaged in an intense military technology competition with the Chinese Communist Party. The ability of US troops to defeat and defeat great power authoritarian adversaries hangs in the balance. To win this contest, Washington must step up its military cooperative research and development efforts with technological democratic allies. At the top of that list should be Israel.
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Two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee understand this well. Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced S 3775, the “United States-Israel Military Capability Act of 2020,” on Wednesday. This bipartisan legislation would require the establishment of a US-Israel operational technology working group. As the senators wrote in a February letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the task force would help ensure that US “warfighters never again encounter a technologically advanced enemy.”
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Many Americans may be surprised to learn that they no longer take US military technological superiority for granted. In his new book, “The Kill Chain,” former Senate Armed Services Committee staff director Chris Brose notes that over the past decade, the United States has lost war games against China “almost every time.”
To stop this trend, the Pentagon needs to shift its ongoing modernization efforts into high gear. Early cooperative R&D with the “Startup Nation” can help in this regard. Israel is one of America’s closest and most technologically advanced allies. The country has an “innovative and agile defense technology sector” that is a “global leader in many of the technologies important to the modernization efforts of the Ministry of Defense,” as the legislation states.
Some may find the working group unnecessary, citing the deep and broad cooperation that already exists between the United States and Israel. But, as the legislation explains, “dangerous US military capability gaps continue to emerge that could have prevented a more systematic and institutionalized US-Israel early cooperative research and development program.”
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Consider, for example, the fact that the Pentagon only last year bought active protection systems for US tanks from Israel, which had been operational there since 2011. As a result, US soldiers have been operating in tanks and tanks around the world for years, without the cutting edge. Protection against missiles and rockets could provide Washington. That put US soldiers at unnecessary risk.
Such examples place the burden of proof on those who may be tempted to reflexively defend the status quo as good enough.
Given the breakneck speed of our military technology race with the Chinese Communist Party, it is clear that continuing decade-long delays in adopting crucial technology is no longer something we can afford.
One of the reasons for these delays and failure to engage with Israeli partners at the beginning of the process is that US and Israeli defense suppliers sometimes find it difficult to obtain the approval of Washington for combined efforts to research and produce world-class weapons. Some requests to start joint US-Israel R&D programs remain indefinitely in bureaucratic no-man’s land, without reaching a timely decision.
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Faced with deadly and immediate threats, Israel often has little choice but to proceed alone with unilateral R&D programs. If that happens, the Pentagon will miss Israel’s sense of urgency, which would have led to the faster delivery of weapons to US troops. And Israel misses the American innovation capability as well as the Pentagon’s economies of scale, which would reduce unit costs and help both countries further stretch their finite defense budgets.
Secretary Esper seems to grasp the opportunity. “If there are ways to improve that, we should pursue it,” he said on March 4, 2020, in response to a question about the US-Israel working group proposal. “The more we can work together as allies and partners to come up with common solutions, the better,” Esper said.
According to the legislation, the working group would serve as a permanent forum for the United States and Israel to “systematically share intelligence-informed military capability requirements,” with the goal of identifying the capabilities that both militaries need.
It would also provide a special mechanism for US and Israeli defense suppliers to “quickly obtain government approval to conduct joint science, technology, research, development, test, evaluation and production efforts.” The congressional reporting legislation would hold the task force accountable for prompt responses to U.
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That’s an advantage of the task force that will only become more important if the economic consequences of the coronavirus put additional, downward pressure on both defense budgets.
If opportunities for early cooperative US-Israel R&D are identified and approved, the working group would then facilitate the development of “combined US-Israel plans to research, develop, buy and receive field weapons. “.
In the military technology race with the Chinese Communist Party, the stakes are high and the outcome is far from certain. A US-Israel operational technology working group represents an essential step in ensuring that the US and its democratic allies are better equipped than their adversaries.
Bradley Bowman is the senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
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There is not much left of the high-tech car. In a warehouse about the size of an airplane hangar, his remains look small. There are no wheels, no chassis, just the angular body of the car. And it’s not in good shape at all. There is a gaping hole in its side with edges of shredded metal. “Rocket-propelled grenade,” says Yoav Hirsh, smiling. If a person had been inside, he probably would not have survived the explosion. But there was no one behind the wheel: the Guardium is a fully automated vehicle.
Pride radiates from Hirsh – who has a mix of gray and white hair, an athletic frame and a determined look on his face – when he talks about his cars. He is the CEO of G-Nius, one of the first companies in the world that can produce an army of robot fighters. The Guardium has been used in patrols along the border of the Gaza Strip since 2007. It can be guided by remote control or can steer itself along a pre-selected route as its cameras and sensors capture data about the surroundings.
“Guardium already has 60,000 hours of operation behind it,” says Hirsh. “And it saved a lot of lives.” He says the goal is to “complete missions without risk to the soldiers.” But in addition to saving lives, G-Nius vehicles can also destroy them, using the remote control weapon systems mounted on top of the unmanned vehicles. Hirsh notes that, although the weapon-equipped vehicles have not yet been used, they are deployable. In another warehouse is parked a standard Ford F350 pick-up truck, one equipped with its own weapons station. The cameras and sensors are real, but the machine gun is a dummy. “We are a civilian company, after all,” says Hirsh.
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G-Nius is a textbook example of the way technology is created in Israel. The company’s headquarters are located in the high-tech park development in the city of Yokneam in northeastern Israel, surrounded by many other technology companies. It is a joint venture of the space and electronics company Elbit Systems and the state-owned aerospace and defense company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). It also has excellent connections with the military.
Israel has been in a perpetual state of conflict with its neighbors since the country’s founding. It feels threatened from all sides; it is small and does not have a massive army. “Innovative military technologies, rather than a massive army, were seen as strategically crucial for Israel because of its relatively small size,” says Dan Peled, a business professor at the University of Haifa. Over the decades, this has led to a close connection of the armed forces with the civilian science, industrial and political sectors. And to a lucrative business
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