I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…” This is the oath of enlistment that every American military service member or federal employee takes upon entry into government service (with slight variation for commissioned officers).
With the largest joint U.S.-Israeli air defense exercise ever conducted having recently concluded, which involved over 2,500 American service personnel, and in the midst of heightened Israeli involvement in the Syrian war, we find ourselves asking…
Are US troops ready to fight and to die for America’s Israel’s defense? …We think not, but there are US generals out there enthusiastically promoting the idea.
Earlier this month, in the midst of the 9th annual 12-day massive joint exercise named “Juniper Cobra” which was hailed in Israeli media as the largest of its kind, simulating a “battle on three fronts” (namely, Syria-Lebanon-Gaza Strip) US Third Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Richard Clark spelled out just such a scenario wherein US troops could be asked to fight and to die for defense of America Israel – even to the point of being placed under Israeli commanders responsible for battlefield decision making.
While major joint military exercises involving significant troop deployments are nothing new for the US and its allies (Juniper Cobra itself has been conducted annually for nearly a decade), Lt. Gen. Clark’s words to Israeli media are truly precedent setting and shocking, especially as he is among the highest ranking military officers in the US armed forces.
It is well worth reading the alarming scenario Gen. Clark laid out while speaking to the Jerusalem Post in its entirety:
“The United States and Israel enjoy a strong and enduring military-to-military partnership built on a trust that has been developed over decades of cooperation,” said USAF Third Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Richard Clark, who also serves as the commander for the deploying Joint Task Force – Israel.
“The Juniper Cobra exercises continue to strengthen this relationship, providing us with the opportunity to bolster interoperability and develop seamless integration with our Israeli partners.”
According to Clark, the US and Israeli troops will work side-by-side under each other’s relevant chain of command.