From the Editor

published in MER279

At a State Department ceremony on September 14 the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding promising $38 billion in military aid to Israel over the ten years from 2019 to 2028. As the White House was quick to point out, it is the largest single military aid package ever pledged by the US to any country, demonstrating President Barack Obama’s “unshakable commitment to Israeli security.”

Egypt's Military

by Joe Stork
published in MER107

Egypt’s armed forces number well over 300,000 men, the largest in the Arab world or in Africa. Some two thirds are in the army, and most of the rest in the air force. Since 1952, the top political leadership has been drawn from the armed forces. Since 1968, there has been a “demilitarization” of the top political structures. A recent study calculates that the proportion of cabinet posts held by military officers declined from 35 percent under Nasser to 15 percent under Sadat.

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Letter to Bernie

by The Editors | published February 11, 2016 - 2:49pm

Dear Sen. Sanders,

Congratulations on your strong showing in Iowa and your victory in New Hampshire.

It’s exciting to see Democratic primary voters—especially younger ones—choosing your program of social democracy over the unfettered liberal capitalism to which they’ve always been told there’s no alternative. They’re making that choice even though you call yourself a “socialist” and refuse to disavow the label amid the corporate media’s sneers. Imagine that—voters think they should decide who’s electable.

The Middle East Arms Race

by Eric Davis , James Paul
published in MER111

Andrew J. Pierre, The Global Politics of Arms Sales (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982).

Paul Jabber, Not By War Alone: Security and Arms Control in the Middle East (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981).

Steve Weissman and Herbert Krosney, The Islamic Bomb: The Nuclear Threat to Israel and the Middle East (New York: Times Books, 1981).

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The Era of Super-Violence

by Michael Klare
published in MER111

Ever since the end of World War II, the world has been sliding in and out of battles which have killed more than 10 million people. Even in the shadow of this bloody chronicle, 1982 represents something of a watershed: In addition to the two major international conflicts in the Falklands/Malvinas and in Lebanon, we witnessed the intensification or expansion of conflicts in Iran-Iraq, Afghanistan, Angola-South Africa, Ethiopia-Somalia and El Salvador. Territorial disputes and a certain level of destructiveness are nothing new to human history. Yet from this recent spate of conflicts we get a sense that some invisible restraint has been breached.

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AirLand Battle Doctrine

by Martha Wenger
published in MER111

The US Army has recently adopted an aggressive new warfighting doctrine called AirLand Battle. Its precepts now constitute the Army’s basic “how to fight” principles for a decade of “intense, deadly, and costly” battles. The Middle East is one of three major theaters—along with Europe and Korea—in which the Army intends to use its doctrine.

On the Beach

The Rapid Deployment Force and the Nuclear Arms Race

by Christopher Paine
published in MER111

There are two kinds of beaches in US defense planning. The first is the shoreline that US Marines typically storm in a real or rehearsed military intervention. The second belongs to the domain of the nuclear strategists. When their “limited” nuclear war games go astray, simulating escalation into all-out thermonuclear war, the strategists privately label this outcome a “beach,” after the title of Nevil Shute’s popular novel of nuclear apocalypse, On the Beach. In this era, when two military superpowers envelope the globe with the reach of their nuclear weapons, the question inevitably arises: Is it possible for the Rapid Deployment Force to storm the beaches of the Persian Gulf without leaving all of us on the beach of nuclear annihilation?

US Aid to Israel

The Censored GAO Report

by Joe Stork , Martha Wenger
published in MER117

The General Accounting Office (GAO), often referred to as “the congressional watchdog agency,” began a full-scale investigation of US aid to Israel in early 1982, without any public announcement or official congressional sponsor. The report was completed in early 1983 and circulated to the relevant government agencies for comment, as is customary. These included the State and Defense Departments, the Agency for International Development (AID) and the Central Intelligence Agency. The Israeli Embassy also had the opportunity to review the text, on the grounds that some information had been obtained from classified Israeli sources.

Israeli, American Military Confer on Combat Stress

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER119

On January 2-6, 1983, I attended the Third International Conference on Psychological Stress and Adjustment in Time of War and Peace, sponsored by Tel Aviv University. The first two conferences in the series, convened in 1975 and 1978, were also held in Tel Aviv. According to the organizers, the conferences were designed to 1) facilitate the exchange of knowledge within the international scientific and professional community on topics of war-related stress and adjustment, and 2) enable Israeli scientists and professionals to exchange ideas and insights about various programs initiated during and after the October war of 1973.

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Footing the Bill While Israel Thumbs Its Nose

by Chris Toensing | published April 8, 2015

It’s tax season again. How about a little accounting?

Every year, Washington sends $3.1 billion of taxpayers’ hard-earned money to Israel. It’s only fair to ask what Americans are getting in return.

That seems especially appropriate now.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is busy badmouthing the tentative nuclear deal with Iran, a major diplomatic achievement for the United States. And a few weeks ago, he declared his opposition to a Palestinian state, a long-standing US priority.