For the first time ever, the United States has established a permanent military base in the nation of Israel, a small air defense base set up inside Israel’s Mashabim Air Base, in the nation’s Negev Desert.
Israeli Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch, the head of Israel’s Aerial Defense Command, said it was an historic move, and proves America’s “strategic commitment” to support Israel. He added it would allow for an improvement in interception operations.
The US, of course, has already made deep commitments to supporting Israel militarily into the future, irrespective of the costs. The establishment of the base, however, makes America’s commitment even more overt, and likely more long-lasting.
Though Brig. Gen. Haimovich declined to say if this meant US forces would participate in Israeli combat operations in the future, he said it was “much more significant than that” simply to have a presence of US soldiers in the country. Exact sizes aren’t clear, but estimates are that several dozen US soldiers will remain at the base.