Israel's Unauthorized Retransfer of U.S. Technology Exposed

By Twing, Shawn L. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September 1995 | Go to article overview

Israel's Unauthorized Retransfer of U.S. Technology Exposed


Twing, Shawn L., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Israel's Unauthorized Retransfer of U.S. Technology Exposed

By Shawn L. Twing

Although allegations have been made on numerous occasions linking Israel to the illegal re-export of U.S.-origin defense and dual-use technology, there never has been an independently prepared, comprehensive and systematic analysis of the phenomenon available to the general public--until now.

"Israel's Unauthorized Arms Transfers," by Duncan Clarke, appearing in the summer issue of Foreign Policy quarterly, demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that some American defense technology received by Israel has been retransferred to other countries, some of which are potentially hostile to the United States, in direct contravention of U.S. law. Clarke, a professor of international relations at American University in Washington, DC, maintains that these retransfers "have threatened American commercial interests, compromised intelligence, upset regional stability, strained diplomatic relations, and confirmed the U.S. national security bureaucracy's long-standing distrust of Israeli technology transfer practices."

In order to understand the magnitude of Israel's retransfer of U.S. technology, it is important to consider four factors. First, Israel receives the largest sum of annual U.S. security assistance, $1.8 billion per year, and has access to much of the most sensitive U.S. technology. Second, Israeli defense firms which, according to Clarke, often re-export with the Israeli government's approval, retransfer U.S. technology to countries to which the United States will not sell (e.g., pre-Mandela South Africa) or who are potential adversaries of the United States (e.g., China). Third, Israel's defense industry produces nearly identical versions of U.S.-origin equipment which it then sells on the world market in direct competition with U.S. defense firms. Finally, the complaints made by U.S. officials responsible for safeguarding America's technological secrets fall on deaf ears in Congress, where domestic political maneuvering takes precedence over protecting American national security and commercial interests.

Israel's annual security assistance budget from the United States helps subsidize the Israeli defense industry, making it heavily dependent on the U.S. for its economic survival. The 1995 Foreign Assistance Act, for example, stipulates that Israel receive no less than $625 million in U.S. taxpayer grant money in 1995 to research, develop and procure "advanced weapons systems" and "defense articles" in the United States and in Israel. This subsidy, combined with Israel's willingness to re-export U.S. defense technology, gives Israeli defense companies a substantial edge over potential competitors, including defense companies in the United States. By heavily subsidizing the research side of the development process, providing what are effectively working prototypes from which the Israeli firms can build, and allowing Israel to retransfer sensitive technology, the United States government has increased Israel's ability to compete in the international market exponentially.

Perhaps the worst aspect of Israel's contravention of U.S. export law involves the end recipients of U.S. technology. South Africa and China, the "principal recipients of unauthorized Israeli re-exports of U.S.-origin defense technology," according to Clarke, have received substantial amounts of sensitive U.S. technology from Israel. South Africa has acquired anti-tank missiles, aircraft engines, armored personnel carriers and recoilless rifles. China has obtained thermal imaging tank sights, air-to-air missile technology, assistance with "new generation" fighter aircraft (based partly on the largely U.S.-funded Israeli Lavi fighter) and even Patriot missile technology. Not only is most of the evidence for these allegations based on information deemed "reliable" by "virtually all policy and intelligence officials who follow technology transfer issues," it was partially substantiated with physical evidence when, ironically, U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Israel's Unauthorized Retransfer of U.S. Technology Exposed
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.