TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel is seeking a hefty surge in annual security assistance from Washington and has begun preliminary talks with the US administration on a long-term package that would provide up to $45 billion in grant aid through 2028.
In recent months, working-level bilateral groups have begun to assess Israel’s projected security needs in the context of a new 10-year foreign military financing (FMF) deal that will kick in once the current agreement expires in 2017.
Under the existing, $30 billion agreement signed in 2007, annual FMF grant aid to Israel grew from $2.4 billion to $3.1 billion minus, in recent years, rescissions of some $155 million due to a government mandated sequester.
Under the follow-on package, endorsed in principle by US President Barack Obama during a March 2013 visit to Tel Aviv, Israel wants “$4.2 billion to $4.5 billion” in annual FMF aid, a security source here said.
That’s on top of steadily increasing amounts of US war stocks prepositioned here and available for Israel’s emergency use, and nearly $500 million in annual funding for cooperative anti-rocket and missile defense programs in recent years.
US materiel prepositioned in Israel is valued at $1.2 billion. And just last week, the House Appropriations’ Defense subcommittee’s draft of the 2016 defense appropriations bill included $487.5 million in funding for various US-Israel active defense programs.