US Greenlights Deal to Provide Israel with 4 Aircraft That Will Likely be Used to Attack Iran
On September 1, 2022, the United States Defense Department came to a contractual agreement with Boeing to provide Israel with four KC-46 refueling planes. According to Dave DeCamp of Antiwar.com, these planes are likely needed for a potential Israeli airstrike against Iran. Interestingly, these aircraft won’t be sent to Israel until 2025 at the earliest.
The deal is estimated to be around $927 million and Israel is buying aircraft from Boeing using the money from the $3.8 billion in military aid that the US government doles out to it on an annual basis.
DeCamp observed that Israel receives $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that provides foreign governments with monetary grants to purchase US-manufactured military equipment.
On top of that, Israel can order four additional KC-46s in the future. This deal has been hammered out for some time, and Israel has previously requested that the US accelerate the delivery of the planes.
However, the US has rejected the Israeli requests for an expedited delivery.
The funny part is that as DeCamp noted, the US military would have to “give up its spot in line to receive KC-46s in order for Israel to receive the planes earlier.”
Currently, Israel has to use aging tankers for refueling mid-air. These tankers don’t have the capacity of facilitating an attack against Iran.
Per the Times of Israel, Israeli aircraft would have to travel roughly 1,200 miles to hit targets in Iran. Under these circumstances, Israel is compelled to use KC-46s or make a pit-stop in a Gulf Arab country to refuel. The latter would only escalate further tensions in the Middle East and potentially lead to a broader Iran vs. Gulf Arab/Israeli conflict.
DeCamp provided some context to the latest news of Israel ramping up tensions with Iran:
Over the past year, Israel’s military has been focused on making preparations to bomb Iran. Israeli warplanes recently simulated launching large-scale attacks on Iran over the Mediterranean Sea.
The Antiwar.com writer added further context to this latest military aid deployment:
The signing of the contract comes as the US and Iran are engaged in EU-mediated negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel is strongly against. Israeli officials have stepped up their efforts to sabotage the agreement and are calling for the US to prepare a military option.
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has taken a hostile stance towards Israel and the US. In the latter case, Iran views the US as an intrusive nuclear power that intervenes excessively in Iranian domestic affairs.
In the case of Israel, Iran views it as a US puppet that illegitimately occupies holy lands.
Indeed, Iran and Israel are engaged in a shadow war of sorts. However, this does not concern the US. Iran poses no existential threat to the US and any hostility Iran has with the US is due to the US government’s broader meddling in the Middle East.
Israel is a developed nation that’s capable of defending itself, especially now that it has forged new relations with Gulf Arab states. As a result, the US does no longer need to commit itself in such a volatile region.
Blindly supporting Israel at every turn is not America First and in fact puts the US on the path of entering a disastrous military quagmire that advances no pressing national interest.
The genuine America First approach here would be one of realism and restraint.