Pentagon Moves Israel to CENTCOM – Central Command
Israel was previously included in the American European command.
Israel has been moved by the Pentagon from its U.S. European Command EUCOM to U.S. Central Command CENTCOM, reports Air Force Magazine. It is not clear as of yet, however, what practical affect this will have on Israel’s military relationship with the United States.
The Pentagon says that it has made this move because of the recent Abraham accords signed between Israel and multiple Persian Gulf states. The new peace agreements are expected to lead to closer defense coordination between the member states. And this will make it easier for the United States to coordinate its military activities in the region. This may be why the change was made; CENTCOM deals with the Middle East and from now on Israel will be part of America’s strategic initiatives in that region, especially when it comes to Iran.
Iran was the common enemy which helped to lead the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain into making peace with Israel.
“The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East,” the Pentagon said. “Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our U.S. Central Command partners while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies.”
EUCOM has also been shrinking over the years. Its geographic area of responsibility has been reduced since 2007. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, this command took the lead in defending West Europe during the cold war and today it is involved in protecting NATO’s eastern most members from Russian aggression. Israel is not really tied to these activities, nor does it wish to be involved with any confrontation with Russia for obvious diplomatic reasons.
The Jewish Institute for the National Security of America supports the move, seeing it as beneficial to Israel’s defense. It issued a statement saying that the moves send a, “strong deterrent message of unity and continued U.S. commitment to regional leadership. More concretely, it could smooth the way for the Pentagon to utilize Israel more for regional operations, most directly by updating the prepositioned U.S. stockpile there.”
The Institute also said that it will now be easier for the IDF, U.S. forces in the Middle East and Arab militaries there to coordinate all manner of military operations like missile defense, exercises, strategic planning and intelligence sharing.