US-Israel Relationship

Senators Are Calling For A US-Israel Working Group, And It Could Save Lives


Eyeing the growing military technology challenge from great power competitors, four members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter Feb. 24 to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, urging him to stand up a U.S.-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group, or OTWG. The working group authorized in the annual defense bill is necessary to ensure U.S. troops have the most advanced capabilities and can outmatch any potential adversary.

The good news is that Austin appears to recognize the problem with business as usual. During his Senate confirmation process, he expressed a belief that the Pentagon needs to be “more agile and more responsive” in fielding cutting-edge technology to deployed forces.

He is not alone in that belief. In the letter, Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Jacky Rosen D-Nev., and Mike Rounds R-S.D., noted that the “speed and severity of the technology competition with China and Russia requires the department to do better when it comes to getting necessary capabilities to our troops quickly.” The senators believe doing so will require the United States to “cooperate more systematically and effectively with tech-savvy democratic allies.”

While that improved cooperation can and should include a number of America’s allies, the senators said an OTWG with Israel offers some unique advantages. “Israel punches well above its weight in many of the technologies vital to U.S. military modernization efforts,” the senators wrote. “Moreover, Jerusalem consistently demonstrates an agility in fielding vital military capabilities that can benefit our warfighters.”

Read More: Defense News