As 2022 begins, Israel is the most critical partner of the United States in sustaining its edge over China, Russia, Europe and Japan in the development and manufacture of game-changing commercial and military technologies.

In 2022, with merely 0.11 percent of the global population, Israel will remain second only to—and closely collaborating with—the United States with regard to the development of ground-breaking high-tech innovations. Moreover, Israel’s brain power has attracted 20 percent of the global investment in cyber technologies, while Israel’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) startups account for some 20 percent of the global total.

In 2022, Israel will be second only to the United States in the development and manufacturing of commercial, military and dual-use intelligence technologies and systems (e.g., remote-control jammers, counter-IED and booby-trap measures, remote-control explosives neutralization and electronic warfare). In fact, around 60 percent of Israeli-developed intelligence and counter-terrorism systems have reached the United States, through joint ventures with leading U.S. manufacturers, U.S.-owned research and development centers in Israel and U.S. acquisitions from Israeli manufacturers.

For example, the hacking of the San Bernardino Islamic terrorist’s iPhone (he murdered 14 people at a Christmas celebration in December 2015) was facilitated by an Israeli mobile forensic technology used by the FBI. Also, the 2006 killing of the top al-Qaeda terrorist in Iraq, al-Zarqawi, was facilitated by the Israeli-developed and manufactured (“Rafael Armament Development Authority”) Litening infrared targeting and navigation pod, installed on a U.S. Air Force F-16.

In 2022, the United States (mostly) and Israel will remain the global co-leaders in the development and manufacturing of miniature, small and medium-size satellites, as well as surveillance and strike-role unmanned aerial vehicles.

In 2022, the United States and Israel will continue to expand air, naval and ground forces joint maneuvers, training and visitations, leveraging Israel’s unique battlefield experience in combatting terrorism and facing Russian and Iranian military systems (e.g., battle tactics formulation; acquaintance with Soviet/Russian battle tactics and military systems such as radar, surface-to-air missiles, combat aircraft and tanks). For instance, unprecedented air-defense cooperation has evolved between the U.S. and Israeli air forces in response to rising mutual threats, such as Iran, in general, and Iran’s attack drones and ballistic missiles in particular.

In 2022, the United States will persist in leveraging Israel’s vast experience in securing the safety of commercial airports and airline passengers.

In 2022, Israel will remain the only stable, reliable, effective, technologically-advanced, democratic and unconditional ally of the United States in the Middle East. Israel will continue serving as the most effective platform for the pre-positioning of U.S. military systems, medical supplies and ammunition in a critical region.

In 2022, Israel will persist being the most effective battle-tested laboratory (and a mega-billion-dollar bonanza) for the U.S. defense industries and armed forces, and a second-to-none source of military intelligence for the United States, foiling anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism and enhancing the performance of the U.S. national security agencies.

In 2022, some 250 U.S. high-tech giants will continue to maintain—and expand—their research and development centers in Israel, leveraging Israel’s brain power. It has enhanced the competitiveness of the U.S. industry in the global market, saving billions of dollars in research and development, while increasing U.S. exports and expanding U.S. employment.

The realization that Israel is a unique force-multiplier for the United States was expressed as early as Dec. 11, 1978, in a letter sent to President Carter by over 170 retired U.S. admirals and generals:

“If not for the proven capability of the Israel Defense Force, we would be forced to station a significant number of men and substantial material in the Middle East…. The ability of the US to protect its security interests in the Middle East is closely linked, if not dependent on, the maintenance of a potent Israeli military capability…. In the event of a non-nuclear superpower conflict in the Middle East, Israel, by itself, might deter Soviet combat forces intervention or prevent the completion of such deployment.”

In 2022, the steady reduction of the U.S. military posture in the stormy Middle East will create a strategic void in a global epicenter of anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism, ballistic technology proliferation and drug trafficking. The aforementioned information about Israel’s unique contributions to the United States makes the Jewish state the most qualified strategic ally to fill in this void, safeguarding U.S. national security and economic interests.

In 2022, as in previous years, Israel will not be a beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid, but rather an annual U.S. investment, one that yields the American taxpayer a return of several hundred percent.

Yoram Ettinger is a former ambassador and head of Second Thought: A U.S.-Israel Initiative.

This article was first published by The Ettinger Report.

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