by C. Hart
For 30 years now, Israel's peace treaty with Egypt has afforded the IDF (Israel's Defense Forces) the ability to build-up its forces, with little consideration of developments on its southwest border. Since the "cold peace" between both countries was established in 1979, Egypt's ability to confront Israel, militarily, has been neutralized. The IDF has not had to divert major resources to Israel's southern front, nor focus much attention on the de-militarized zone in the Sinai.
Israel's defense budget has been based on how many fighter jets, tanks, armored personnel and IDF reservists are needed to contend with threats coming from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza, as well as internally, from the Palestinians. The IDF's current resources are not built-up enough for it to deal with the possibility of Egypt as a new "live" front. Israel will have to increase its defense spending, considerably, to defend the home front in the future. To make matters worse, this comes at a time when American foreign aid to Israel and other countries is being re-evaluated by the new U.S. Congress. It could mean an eventual decrease in U.S. military aid to Israel.
C. Hart is a news analyst reporting on political, diplomatic, and military issues as they relate to Israel, the Middle East and the international community.
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