U.S. Military Shifts Israel to CENTCOM Responsibility

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  • 07:29 PM, January 18, 2021
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U.S. Military Shifts Israel to CENTCOM Responsibility

The Pentagon has changed the combatant command responsible for operations involving Israel from U.S. European Command to U.S. Central Command.

"The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East," DoD officials said in a written release. "Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our U.S. Central Command partners while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies.”

When the Reagan administration set up Centcom in 1983, officials left Israel as part of Eucom. Arab nations, except Egypt, did not recognize the Jewish state. U.S. military coordination in the region — including multilateral exercises and operations — would have been complicated.

But as a result, Israel — though surrounded by nations that were in Centcom's area of operations — worked through the Eucom's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

On August 13, 2020, the Israel-U.A.E. Peace Agreement or the Abraham Accord was agreed to by the two countries. U.A.E. became the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994). It will also be the first Persian Gulf country to sign an accord with Israel. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have also recognized Israel and opened full, diplomatic relations with the nation.

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