A recent Associated Press story in the Packet reported that the U.S. House of Representatives approved $680 million in foreign aid to Israel. This money is a direct cash payment for Israel to manufacture its Iron Dome missile defense system. Several years ago, we gave Israel $250 million to design and manufacture this same system.
I am not opposed to foreign aid to Israel or others; I am opposed to giving cash as foreign aid. The better approach would have been to give the Israelis a U.S.-designed and manufactured system. As an example, Northrop Grumman Corp. offered to manufacture a laser-beam defense system, with each discharge costing about $1,000.
The Iron Dome system is effective in destroying Palestinian Qassam rockets but has limited range. Each Israeli rocket in the Iron Dome system costs $50,000. In comparison, Palestinian Qassam rockets cost about $800 to manufacture.
It should be obvious to all of us that the U.S. is struggling to get the economy moving ahead at a faster pace. There is still excessive unemployment, federal and state budgets are cut, and the war in Afghanistan is draining our resources, with little hope of a successful outcome. Foreign aid should be in the form of U.S.-built or U.S.-designed and manufactured products.
Philip W. Wolfe