An Iron Dome battery near Sderot
— by Jacob Miller
President Barack Obama has requested that American aid to Israel remain untouched for Fiscal Year 2014 despite budgetary belt tightening in other areas. Under the President’s proposed budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year, Israel would receive a total of $3.4 billion in military aid, including $220 million for the Iron Dome missile defense system. The Times of Israel noted:
For the first time, funding for the joint US-Israel missile defense system Iron Dome appears in the presidential budget request, which still must be approved by Congress. A senior source in a pro-Israel organization in Washington familiar with the issue called the earmark “significant.”
More after the jump.
Israel Hayom summarized the budget:
Israel would receive $3.4 billion in total military aid under the 2014 U.S. budget proposal sent to Congress by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, virtually unchanged from its current level of military aid from the U.S.
Obama’s proposal includes $3.1 billion in general military aid for Israel, similar to 2013, plus a separate request for $220 million to finance the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system….
Obama’s 2014 proposal also allocates $96 million for joint U.S.-Israel research and development projects, including the David’s Sling and Arrow missile defense systems.
The overall budget proposal that Obama submitted to Congress on Wednesday totalled $3.8 trillion.
A recent Bloomberg article outlined more specific terms of the missile defense funding for Israel:
The money, if approved during the annual defense budget process, would be on top of $486 million the White House and Congress have requested or added for the system in recent years after formal budgets were submitted. This includes $211 million added in the defense appropriations bill for this year, which President Barack Obama signed into law last month.
The $220 million request for fiscal 2014 “is new money, and it is the first time funding specifically for Iron Dome procurement has been requested in our budget submission,” Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner said in an e-mail.
The article from Bloomberg also outlined how the American Missile Defense Agency requested funds to continue collaborative programs the United States works on with Israel, specifically the David’s Sling and Arrow programs. David’s sling is a shorter range system, and Arrow is intended to intercept long and medium range ballistic missiles.