Israel Interested In Boosted Defense Sales To Europe Amid Ukraine Crisis

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has gained global attention and as the war progresses the foreign policy tools employed by many states have changed in response. This Monday, Israel has joined the list of countries to enact a policy change. In the wake of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, Israel’s defense minister expressed interest in increasing military sales to Europe but declined to comment on the potential of a German purchase of Israeli missile interceptors. 

General Eberhard Zorn, Germany’s Chief of Defense, said last month that the country was considering buying interceptors from either Israel or the U.S. to protect against threats such as Russian Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. Defense Minster Benny Gantz reported to Israeli Journalist Tal Schneider that “Such deals are not announced over the media,” when asked about the report. Gantz did, however, mention Germany’s increased defense investment since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”The State of Israel has a great deal of defense industry capability. There is a great deal of know-how, a great deal of experience. And we would be happy – not without review – to participate everywhere we can to improve our export production.” Furthermore, Israel’s defense exports reached a new high of $3.3 billion last year, according to Gantz, and the country plans to break that record this year. 

The globe is bracing itself for a fresh wave of rapid defense spending as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues. This form of conflict, on the other hand, can have an impact on more than just military budgets; it can also trigger changes in procurement priorities. The Russia-Ukraine conflict will also disrupt the defense procurement landscape, and defense officials must be prepared, as we have been seeing recently. As lessons learned, whether political, economic, or technological, are reviewed, conflicts frequently produce irreversible changes in the demand-supply balance for military gear and related solutions. As new procurement experiences emerge as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, this is happening.

A profound impact of the global response to increased military and defense spending is the lack of simultaneous support offered to Ukraine as Russia, led by Vladimir Putin, continues to advance its political and economic agenda. Furthermore, as stated by the United Nations, the extraordinary transfer of armaments to Ukraine, as well as increased military spending by European states to shore up their defenses, threatens to jeopardize development aid to the world’s poorest countries. A report from The New York Times explained how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is reshaping spending priorities across Europe and the United Kingdom, forcing governments to prepare for threats previously thought to be long-buried, from a flood of European refugees to the possible use of chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons by a Russian leader who may feel cornered. The Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to have served as a stronger indication for independent nations to protect their states, borders, and citizens rather than helping aid Ukraine in their defense as well as the lack of prioritization of development aid and strategy. 

Military spending is based on the notion that threats of violence can ensure a state’s security. It’s a bet on war and armed conflict. When governments go to war, civilians frequently pay the heaviest price, often with their lives, livelihoods, and rights, while governments employ the rhetoric of security and protection to justify their enormous investment in military hardware and manpower. Given the various crises that the world is facing—economic, environmental, food, water, health, and energy, it is critical to redirect funds previously spent on excessive military spending to human needs and rights. This document opposes militarism by demanding that countries stop devoting excessive financial, technological, and human resources to militaries and instead invest in peace.

Weapons are, above all, means of violence and repression for those who use them, as well as tools of profit for those who manufacture and sell them. The international armaments trade is booming, and the international structures designed to maintain international law and protect human rights have been sacrificed to governments’ and businesses’ economic and political interests. While many states claim to be advocates for international peace, justice, and security and claim to promote international disarmament, these same states are frequently leaders in the international arms trade, which contributes to conflict, human rights violations, and the disruption of peace processes.

While military spending continues to be excessive, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and development spending lag far behind. Militarization has grown in response to a more unstable globe forcing the world even further into tension and war. Armed conflict, as well as the perpetual threat of war or terrorism, has become both a cause and a response to the rise of militarism. War and the possibility of war wreak havoc on people’s lives, infrastructure, and well-being, instilling fear, violence, and instability in the process. This obstructs growth by disrupting social programs, education, transportation, business, and tourism, resulting in a lack of economic stability, mental well-being, and long-term livelihoods. Weapons production and use also obstruct long-term ecological development and preservation, resulting in unequal access to resources and further hampering poverty reduction efforts.

An important notion to remember is that the world is not safer because of the ongoing investment in militarism. Weapons are ineffective in combating the major problems that people around the world face today, such as natural disasters, rising food prices, and a lack of proper health care, education, and a clean environment. Despite this, arms competition and weapon development are intensifying as a result of these threats. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has caused a global response of increased defense spending creating a fundamental priority shift that fails to promote and recognize the importance of peace and stability globally. 

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This Month In Ukraine: More Reasons For Peaceful Negotiation

Rather than provide an exhaustive history of the decade long conflict between the West and Russia in Ukraine, this report serves to orient the reader as to why this conflagration no longer serves the purposes of democracy, human rights or freedom if it ever did. The greatest interests served by the continuing tragedy in Ukraine are the interests of the defense industries, investment firms and US hegemony. Ironically, as the United States becomes more entangled in Ukraine, governance under President Zelensky becomes increasingly less democratic and the United States becomes less and less powerful as a global hegemon. 

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