ISRAEL: Staunch Friends At Arms Length

In the past seven years Washington has supported Israel with a staggering $6.9 billion worth of weapons, and this year, depending on the Congress, the total could rise by as much as $1.5 billion. In return for this largesse, Israel has provided U.S. military chiefs and arms makers with a unique opportunity: a battlefield laboratory, as it were, where advanced weapons and electronic systems have been tested in four Middle East wars. "We have learned more from the Israelis about Soviet equipment," admits a ranking U.S. Air Force general, "than we learned in Viet Nam."

This unique relationship has suddenly...

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