Jonathan Lord, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told The Algemeiner that this shift was probably the most significant development in US-Israel military relations under Milley and helped enable the largest ever US-Israel military exercises to be held earlier this year.
“These are … exercises that are both multi-domain and joint,” Lord said. “So multiple services from both the IDF and the US military, operating combined, involving air, space, sea, land, and cyber assets. There are probably a handful of countries in the world with militaries themselves sophisticated enough to perform those operations independently. But it’s really something to behold that the US military and the Israeli military are sophisticated enough and developed enough in terms of their cooperation to be able to do those things jointly.”
CNAS’s Lord added that one of the things enabling Iran and its proxies to believe that they can get away with provocations in the region is the political and military crisis surrounding Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, with thousands of IDF reservists not reporting for duty out of protest.
“The head of Israel’s defense intelligence Amit Saar was briefing the [Israeli Parliament’s] foreign and defense committee that there were real concerns about the perceptions of Israel’s deterrence capability and posture among Iran and Hezbollah,” Lord said. “So I think part of this is absolutely that there is an impact if these troops stop showing up to train, but also the perception is reality if in fact Israel’s adversaries see weakness and then seek to take advantage of this with aggression.”
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