The recent easing of tensions between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors has prompted the U.S. to shift responsibility for military operations in Israel to the Middle East-focused U.S. Central Command rather than U.S. European Command.
Department of Defense officials said the new geopolitical situation in the Middle East subsequent to the Abraham Accords has “provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats.”
The president of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) applauded the decision to transfer Israel to U.S. Central Command. It is a move the group has been advocating for several months.
“It will strengthen strategic planning, defense cooperation and deterrence against Iran by America and its regional allies,” JINSA President Michael Makovsky said.
The Department of Defense said it reviews the Unified Command Plan (UCP) every two years and reassess boundaries and relationships against the operational environment. Israel had fallen under U.S. European Command in the past out of deference to Arab countries that didn’t recognize the Jewish state.
“We structure boundaries to best mitigate risk and protect U.S. interests and partners,” Pentagon officials said.
JINSA officials said the move could smooth the way to use Israel in a greater capacity for regional operations, including prepositioning precision-guided munitions (PGMs) and other weapons for U.S., Israeli and possibly Arab countries.
“PGM’s are critical to Israel‘s continued ability to defend U.S. interests by rolling back the military footprint of Iran and its proxies,” Mr. Makovsky said.