“QME” is short-hand for the “qualitative military edge,” or America’s posture of making sure that Israel’s weaponry remains more advanced than that which it sells to the Gulf States and especially Saudi Arabia. Note especially that “Israel does not expect that all QME decisions will breaks in its favor”: why not? Is Chaim Saban having cigarette breaks when the Pentagon and Obama are discussing which weapons systems they’re going to ship to Saudi Arabia in return for the oil profits Saudi Arabia reaps from  jacked-up oil prices, a constant regressive tax on the American working class?

On QME, ASD Vershbow asked for Israel’s assessment of recent discussions, and across the board, Israeli officials expressed gratitude for U.S. efforts on this front and voiced optimism on the steps moving forward. Amos Gilad acknowledged the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel’s security focus is so narrow that its QME concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region.
Israeli officials acknowledged the impressive nature of the QME dialogue mechanisms recently established, but stated that the results of the process are what truly matter. MG Benny Gantz defined successful QME relations as “the effective process plus the right mitigations.” While not explicitly saying it, Gantz seemed to acknowledge that Israel does not expect that all QME decisions will break in its favor, but that Israel only expects a fair and equitable process that incorporates “intimate dialogue.”

What’s also important here is that they believe their own non-sense–something that incidentally makes doing diplomatic history or political analysis a little harder than simply reading the words of leaders and pasting them into a coherent narrative. The F-35, for example, must be in the background of these conversations. Often missed in discussions of the F-35 “bribe” is this: The F-35 is junk and can barely fly.
But the role of US and Israeli generals and officials is not to point out that the latest boondoggle from Lockheed Martin is next-to-worthless. The role of Israeli officials is to express gratitude for the US gift of a gewgaw to Israel for the IDF to fiddle around with, gratefully accept more weapons with which to keep the Middle East mired in chaos, and thus to continue to play their part in shoveling money into Lockheed Martin’s corporate coffers (Is it worth pointing out that Lockheed Martin’s stock price has more than doubled in the past decade while the Dow and the S&P 500 have been basically stagnant?).
Technorati Tags: Chaim SabanIsraelIsrael LobbyPalestineWikileaksZionism
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