A few weeks ago, a couple of articles appeared in two Israeli newspapers -- Israel Hayom and Maariv -- criticizing U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. At first glance, there was nothing terribly significant about the articles. After all, one can hardly open a newspaper in any language these days without reading a criticism of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. I have written several myself in these pages.
But what stood out about these two articles is that they were written by people working for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As such, they represented a departure from a historical norm on both sides to avoid airing public criticism of the other’s military operations and strategy.
One of the cornerstones of the U.S. relationship with Israel has been the close relationship between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the U.S. military. This close relationship, however, is likely to come under increasing strain due to real differences in threat perception and operational preferences as well as long-term structural changes in both the IDF and the U.S. military.