The US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced yesterday that Israel is planning to buy six V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
“Israel will get six V-22s out of the next order to go on the assembly line, and they will be compatible with other [Israeli defense force] capabilities,” he said. “The Israeli and American defense relationship is stronger than ever.”
With Afghanistan -- the second of America’s two longest wars -- winding down, Hagel said, “we continue to face a complicated and volatile world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Middle East, where the United States and our allies are facing an unprecedented set of complex challenges.”
For Israel, the secretary noted, progress with one neighbor tends to bring new threats from other directions. “There are no margins for Israel,” he said.
One challenge that threatens U.S. and Israeli security interests is preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, Hagel said.
“Iran is a state sponsor of terror, responsible for spreading hatred and extremism throughout the region,” he added. “But foreign policy is not a zero-sum game. If we can find ways to resolve disputes peacefully, we are wise to explore them.”