Key Points

The Jan. 8 attack should demonstrate for Americans the value of missile defense and the fact that the U.S. currently does not have enough.

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Now is not the time for a victory lap. Nor is it time for threats of another troop withdrawal. Now is the time for new thinking about an old problem. Trump started the process with a surprisingly bold airstrike. He further defended American interests by firmly asserting America’s red line in the face of an Iranian response. But this is far from over. Under new leadership, the Quds Force will be getting back to business, sowing mayhem across the Middle East.

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Mark Dubowitz (@mdubowitz) is the CEO of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. 

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In other words, Israel is America’s new pillar in the Middle East. Truth be told, it’s the only pillar. To jeopardize such a strategic asset on the altar of a Palestinian conflict that has dragged on chronically for decades, with no resolution in sight and the issue’s relative geopolitical significance in steep decline, would be a huge unforced error. Many of Washington’s most important Arab partners are now moving systematically to deepen their security cooperation with Israel, refusing to allow their national interests to be subjugated to one of the world’s most intractable disputes any longer. It would be an odd time for the United States to start moving in the opposite direction, as several of the Democratic candidates suggest, and throw into question its own tremendously beneficial defense relationship with Israel. That’s precisely the kind of strategic indulgence that a superpower bent on retrenchment can ill afford.

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Given Iran’s dangerous missile use and expanding capabilities, policymakers should seek to sanction Iran’s domestic missile supply chain and foreign nodes for procurement. At the same time, the United States should expedite and deepen cooperation with key partners such as Israel to expeditiously field more effective cruise missile defense systems to protect both forward deployed American troops and the U.S. homeland.

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Events

EVENT: FDD Virtual Town Hall: The Iran Protests

December 10, 2019 | 2:00

Projects