US Vows to Ensure Israel Retains Military Advantage In All Future Arms Deals

Pompeo: US has legal requirement to give Israel 'qualitative military edge.'

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that the US will ensure Israel has a “qualitative military edge” in the region in all US arms sales across the Middle East. Pompeo says the US has a legal requirement to do so.

The NDAA of 2016 is the latest of several US commitments, both in law and treaty, to ensure Israel retains an edge over any hypothetical enemy in the region. This tends to be used both to get Israel more military aid and to withhold sales to certain regional powers in case it angers Israel.

This has become an issue this month with a peace deal between Israel and the UAE. The UAE was meant to understand this would allow them to buy F-35 jets, but Israeli officials have since told the US they object to such sales on qualitative advantage grounds. The US is still “considering” the sales.

At issue here is Israel reached a peace deal with the UAE and on top of that a “normalization” of relationship, which hardly makes them a likely antagonist in a future war that they need military superiority over.

In the past, such a deal over objections of Israel has sometimes been resolved by the US giving Israel some extra arms or money to argue that there is no extra advantage given to the customer with respect to Israel.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of