Reps. Boyle and Graves Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen US-Israel Cooperation on High-tech Weapons
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA-13) and Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) introduced H.R. 4707, the Procure PGMS for Israel Act, which would authorize the Department of Defense to add precision-guided munitions into the United States’ War Reserve Stockpile in Israel, enabling it to transfer the high-tech weaponry to Israel in the event of a conflict.
“Israelis live each day under the threat of attack by rockets, missiles and armed drones. Israel is our steadfast ally and the only strong democracy in the Middle East,” said Congressman Boyle, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We must be exceedingly vigilant about the constant threat it faces from bad actors in the region such as Hezbollah and Hamas. That means improving access to our most advanced weaponry for Israel’s military in the event of a deadly conflict. This bill would ensure that the U.S. stockpile in Israel includes precision-guided munitions that are constantly at the ready and within reach for Israeli forces, significantly improving their security capabilities and safeguarding millions of lives.”
“The United States and Israel share an unbreakable bond, which Congress is committed to guarding and strengthening,” said Congressman Graves. “By ensuring Israel has access to precision-guided munitions, we’re improving security for Israelis, discouraging conflict in the region and reaffirming our sacred relationship with Israel.”
The United States maintains a War Reserve Stockpile in Israel, authorized by Congress in 1989, which it can draw upon to augment Israeli weaponry in the event of war. Precision-guided munitions (PGMs) are not currently explicitly a part of that stockpile. PGMs are guided projectiles that can reach precise targets with significant accuracy and decreases collateral damage to save civilian lives. During the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, the United States granted Israel access to the stockpile. Additionally, in July 2014, during Israeli military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Defense Department permitted Israel to draw from the stockpile.
The legislation introduced today requires a joint U.S.-Israel study on PGM procurement to outline the quantity and type of precision guided munitions that are necessary for Israel to combat Hezbollah in the event of a sustained armed confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah. The bill explicitly authorizes PGM’s inclusion in the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel and allows for transfer of PGMs to Israel from the Stockpile in the event of conflict. Finally, the legislation amends the Department of Defense’s acquisition procedures to speed up production of precision-guided munitions.