17 April 2020

Congress Hears Options—And Concerns—for Using Smartphone Data to Fight Coronavirus

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Other countries have been using various forms of location- and proximity-tracing to slow the spread of the disease, with widely varying levels of privacy protections.

Americans are being told to stay at home and keep their distance from others in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. But for populations that can’t or won’t abide by social-distancing protocols, government officials are considering using smartphone location data to track individuals and how they might be spreading the disease.

During a paper hearing held Thursday—Congress’ social-distancing method, in which written testimony was submitted to legislators, who then asked questions of the witnesses in writing and gave them 96 days to respond—the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation heard from big data and privacy experts about the potential uses for location data in staving off a pandemic, as well as the potential damage such systems can do to society as a whole if left unchecked.

In his open remarks, committee Chair Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., cited reports of mobile advertising companies using consumer location data to track the spread of the disease.

Beijing Covered up COVID-19 Once. It Could Happen Again.

By Sarah Cook

Ai Fen, a doctor from Wuhan, who has disappeared after speaking to Chinese media about the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in the city.Credit: Renwu

China appears to have gained the upper hand in its struggle against COVID-19. The epicenter in Wuhan is cautiously emerging from a months-long lockdown. But with the disease sweeping through the rest of the world, a second wave of infections in the country remains a very real possibility, and there are lingering doubts over the accuracy of official data.

In fact, new information about the initial weeks of the contagion and recent actions by Chinese officials — including hundreds of detentions and the disappearance of an outspoken doctor — point to a more extensive campaign of deception and disinformation than was previously recognized.

Taking China to Court Over COVID-19?

By Mercy A. Kuo

Trans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Ivana Stradner, J.S.D. – Jeane Kirkpatrick Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and former visiting scholar at Harvard University – is the 232nd in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”

Explain if China can be sued for COVID-19 deaths and damages within the framework of international law.

After COVID-19 emerged in November, China failed to report the outbreak for nearly two months. This facilitated the virus’ spread, causing a global economic and political crisis of unforeseen proportions. Theoretically, the United States could hold China legally accountable for negligence and the committing of an internationally wrongful act. The International Health Regulations (IHR) adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) require states to notify the WHO of events that may constitute “a public health emergency of international concern.” China similarly broke its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which stipulates a right to “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” Also, China’s behavior is a threat to global security and constitutes a violation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which authorizes the UN Security Council to take action to “maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Is there a legal case for China to pay reparations for COVID-19’s impact on the global economy? Explain. 

Why Solving Crime in Coronavirus-Tainted America Just Became More Dangerous

by Maggie Ybarra

When the sun disappeared, Baltimore disappeared. Its skyline and buildings still existed but the city was gone. Its stores were closed. Its lights were out. Its residents went missing. Only the most wayward of souls wandered around in the dark in search of the more-affordable-than-usual sins of the night. At the city’s crime scenes, the tempo and tone of the evidence recovery process had also changed. Police had begun wearing N95 masks to protect themselves from a deadly virus that had killed more than one hundred thousand people across the globe, from a disease that could easily be hiding on a gunshot victim’s unwashed hands, on his assailant’s discarded face mask, or inside the city’s citizens. Even the detectives donned masks as they followed a blood trail and searched for evidence and the crime lab technicians wore masks while taking pictures, collectively creating a hauntingly surreal environment. This dystopian sight paired together with the new restrictions surrounding the coronavirus, which limited travel after daylight, had transformed Baltimore into a veritable Pripyat—the Ukrainian city that was evacuated on April 27, 1986, following a nuclear energy disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The New Metrics for Building Geopolitical Power in a New World

by Emily de La Bruyere

Beijing has announced a roadmap for its China Standards 2035 industrial plan. China Standards is the successor to, and the strategic force behind, Made in China 2025. It emerges from the National Standards Strategy launched upon Beijing’s accession to the WTO in 2001. And it stems from Beijing’s recognition, one overlooked in the United States, that modern technological developments have transformed state competition—not just its tools, but rather its nature.

The twin trends of globalization and information technology were supposed to breed a new era of cooperation. Instead, they have created a new form of international competition. The game is no longer to seize the upper hand in conflict and deterrence or to have the most resources; it is to capture the systems of exchange: networks, standards, and platforms.

More than any other state, China is competing for those. In the process, Beijing is establishing unprecedented global power. China’s networks grant information-fueled control over military, economic, and narrative domains. They shape governments, companies, and even individuals. They proliferate subversively, parasitically, by co-opting rather than replacing existing systems—piggy-backing off of others’ infrastructures to project Chinese power across the world. The kicker: this approach ends up operating at a profit, fueled by the very systems that it subverts.

US Navy Reports First COVID-19 Death of USS Theodore Roosevelt Crew Member

By Franz-Stefan Gady

A sailor assigned to the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of COVID-related complications on April 13, the U.S. Navy announced in a statement on Monday. The sailor is the first active duty fatality from COVID-19 in the U.S. armed forces.

The sailor, whose name and other identifying information were not publicly released pending notification of relatives, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam on April 9.

The sailor tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30 and was removed from the carrier and placed in an isolation house on Naval Base Guam along with four other USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members.

According to the service, he received medical checks twice daily from Navy medical teams.

“At approximately 8:30 a.m., April 9 (local date), the Sailor was found unresponsive during a daily medical check,” the Navy said in a statement. “While Naval Base Guam emergency responders were notified, CPR was administered by fellow Sailors and onsite medical team in the house. The Sailor was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam where the Sailor was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The Sailor was declared deceased April 13.”

How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

by Axelle Devaux

The practice of disinformation, the deliberate spreading of false information to deceive, has been rife since before the outbreak of COVID-19. However, as a researcher who has examined this phenomenon recently in depth, disinformation about the virus should not 'infect' me—and yet, it has, at least for a few seconds.

The headline of an article Bonne nouvelle: le Champagne immunise contre le Coronavirus (Good news: Champagne immunises against Coronavirus) caught my attention and I could barely resist the urge to share it with friends. Then I wondered why. All the warning signs for disinformation were there: a picture of a magazine or journal article which was not possible to verify (neither the author nor the magazine it was published in), and the message was forwarded to me using WhatsApp, without the context that one can have on social platforms, such as Facebook. But it came from a doctor, who received it from another doctor. It mentioned 'authority organisations.'

Did I really believe that it was true? To be honest I did not even ask that question. I found it amusing. And it was exactly what I wanted to hear right after more bad news about the virus. I knew it would distract my friends for a couple of seconds from their concern and worry.

Moderate Democrats Break Ranks Over Coronavirus Aid To Iran

by Matthew Petti

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has found herself on the opposite side as Democratic foreign policy leaders Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) as the moderate wing of the Democratic Party splits over the Trump administration’s policies towards Iran. 

A growing number of moderate Democrats have joined their progressive colleagues in calling for broad economic relief to Iran as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the country. But some moderate Democrats are siding with the Trump administration, doubling down on an economic pressure campaign they say is necessary to counter the Iranian government’s misdeeds. 

Menendez and Engel, the top Democrats on the Senate and House foreign affairs committees, said in a joint April 3 statement that the Trump administration should “clarify that U.S. law does not penalize medical or humanitarian transactions meant to fight the [novel coronavirus disease] pandemic and publicly promote ways that financial institutions and governments around the world can help fight the pandemic in Iran.” 

South Korea’s Experiment in Pandemic Surveillance

By Eun A Jo

South Korea deployed extensive digital surveillance technologies in fighting coronavirus and it worked: the country has contact-traced thousands of potential patients to test and isolate them before they could unwittingly infect others. The combination of aggressive tracking and early testing allowed the country to flatten the curve and curtail the fatality rate to a third of the global equivalent. Its success shows that countries with comparable capacities can and should adopt apposite surveillance strategies for infectious disease outbreaks, with an eye to minimizing potential privacy costs.

South Korea’s tracking strategy relies heavily on its digital infrastructure. Authorities access a wide range of data — smartphone location history, credit card transactions, immigration records, and CCTV footage — of confirmed patients to compile meticulous logs of their travels and contacts. Certain conditions make this possible: the country ranks among the top in the rate of cashless transactions, mobile phone ownership, and CCTV coverage. In late March, South Korea also launched a centralized data collection platform — devised by the ministries of health, infrastructure, and science and technology — that would diminish the tracking time to under 10 minutes per patient.

Why America Needs to Conclude Alliance Cost Talks With South Korea Now

by Dr. Clint Work

In an April 6 tweet, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper wrote that he appreciated South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo taking his call to discuss “the importance of equitable burned sharing across the alliance.” After all, he noted, “It is critical that we get a fair, balanced, and comprehensive agreement signed quickly.” Esper closed with the hashtag #KatchiKapshida, a romanization of the Korean phrase, “Let’s go Together.” It’s a catch phrase common among U.S.-ROK alliance managers and, under current circumstances, pure banality.

At the moment, the allies are neither together nor is it clear where they are going. Despite COVID-19, North Korea continues to build up its conventional—and we have to assume WMD—programs as well. This is why finding a resolution to the cost-sharing issue and restoring confidence in the alliance should not be put on a back burner. It should be prioritized. 

But that is likely wishful thinking. From the outset, President Trump’s approach toward allies has consisted of calculated obtuseness. As a senior White House official with direct access to the president told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg: “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.” Another senior national-security official distilled the same message, if in slightly less sophomoric terms: “Permanent destabilization creates American advantage…They’ll see over time that it doesn’t pay to argue with us.” He was talking about allies and U.S. administration officials have followed suit. 

Critical Care Surge Response Strategies for the 2020 COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States

by Mahshid Abir

This is a pre-publication version of the report. It has completed RAND's research quality assurance process but was not thoroughly copyedited or proofread in the interest of rapid dissemination. The final online version is forthcoming.

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented stresses on hospital and health care systems. In this report, the authors present a list of strategies for creating critical care surge capacity and estimate the number of patients accommodated, given the number of available critical care doctors and nurses, respiratory therapists, ventilators, and hospital beds. They also document the development of a user-friendly, Microsoft Excel–based tool that allows decisionmakers at all levels — hospitals, health care systems, states, regions — to estimate current critical care capacity and rapidly explore strategies for increasing it.

The Coronavirus Will Not Stop Globalization

By Raphael S. Cohen 

Editor’s Note: Defenders of globalization were on the defensive even before the coronavirus swept the world. Indeed, some observers believe that the free movement of peoples and goods across borders will suffer a permanent blow from this crisis. RAND's Raphael Cohen takes on this claim, dissecting its logic and arguing that globalization is here to stay despite the coronavirus and other challenges.

As country after country closed its borders amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, a flurry of commentators from across the political spectrum predicted that the outbreak would upend how we think about the flow of people and goods across borders and leave a markedly different world in its wake. Publications ranging from the right-leaning PJ Media to the left-leaning Nation have run pieces predicting that the coronavirus will spell the imminent end of globalization. While globalization may be down, however, it is still too early to count it out. The coronavirus pandemic is certainly a serious blow to the international system. That said, the logic for why the virus will destroy globalization rests on three sets of arguments, none of which stands up to scrutiny. And so, while the pandemic will change the mechanics of globalization, it will likely not spell globalization’s death knell.

Russia Is Losing the Oil War—and the Middle East


For the past few years, the foreign-policy community has collectively come to believe that a new era in international politics is emerging. The defining features of this post-post-Cold War order are great-power competition and the realignment of America’s relationships around the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Middle East, where U.S. allies are developing diplomatic, commercial, and military relationships with the very powers with which Washington is supposed to be competing—China and Russia—and precisely at a time when so many U.S. experts, analysts, officials, and politicians are expressing a desire to retrench from the Middle East. That has led many of the same folks to conclude that the new regional order will be forged in either Beijing or Moscow.

There are plenty of reasons to doubt that—some of which have become clearer in recent weeks. Most acute is the ongoing oil price war between Moscow and Riyadh, which has demonstrated how Russia has overplayed its hand in the region.

Trump's 2020 Opponent Isn't Joe Biden or the Democrats, It's Coronavirus

by W. James Antle III

With the suspension of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, he has now vanquished the entirety of the biggest Democratic presidential field in memory. He leads President Donald Trump by nearly 6 points nationally and is ahead in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and even Florida (all according to the RealClearPolitics polling averages). An early April CNN poll has Biden above 50 percent of the vote nationwide.

It appears that the third time may be a charm, 32 years after Biden’s first bid for the Democratic nomination. The former vice president will soon have the blessing of the man who kept him from dying a senator—or, as Trump prefers to put it, “took him off the trash heap"—ex-President Barack Obama.

The question is whether this is the beginning of a sustained Biden bounce or something closer to its peak. These are somewhat ideal conditions for the 77-year-old candidate. The nation is in the midst of a pandemic that has become more serious despite Trump’s early assurances it would soon disappear. Widespread business closures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have aborted the economic boom, triggered millions of new jobless claims and show no sign of ending anytime soon. The public’s confidence in Trump’s handling of the crisis, always lower than enjoyed by many other Western leaders and U.S. governors, is slipping.

Almost Secret: China’s Extensive Belt and Road Initiative, Nearly 30 Chinatowns in South Korea – East Asia Research Center

When discussing China’s Belt and Road Initiative, often, nothing is shown on the map for South Korea in major press reporting; however, China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects are active and wide-spread in South Korea. South Korea developed extensive infrastructure decades before China, thus China is not building roads and bridges in an infrastructure-poor country. Instead, China is building enclaves, some of them massive, in South Korea.

Suspend Emerging and Developing Economies’ Debt Payments


CAMBRIDGE – As the COVID-19 virus spreads globally, economic paralysis and unemployment follow in its wake. But the economic fallout of the pandemic in most emerging and developing economies is likely to be far worse than anything we have seen in China, Europe, or the United States. This is no time to expect them to meet their debt payments, either to private or official creditors.

With inadequate health-care systems, limited capacity to deliver fiscal or monetary stimulus, and underdeveloped (or nonexistent) social-safety nets, the emerging and developing world is on the cusp not only of a humanitarian crisis, but also of the most serious financial crisis since at least the 1930s. Capital has been stampeding out of most of these economies over the past few weeks, and a wave of new sovereign defaults appears inevitable.

We have been consistently arguing the urgent need for a temporary moratorium on all debt repayment by any but the most creditworthy developing or emerging sovereign debtors. The case for a moratorium for distressed sovereign borrowers has many similarities to that for households, small businesses, and municipalities.

National Defense University Press

Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ), 97 (2nd Quarter, April 2020 )

The Imperative for the U.S. Military to Develop a Counter-UAS Strategy 

The Challenge of Dis-Integrating A2/AD Zone: How Emerging Technologies Are Shifting the Balance Back to the Defense 

Proliferated Commercial Satellite Constellations: Implications for National Security 

Electronic Warfare in the Suwalki Gap: Facing the Russian “Accompli Attack” 

Strategic Leader Research: Answering the Call 

Expanding Atrocity Prevention Education for Rising U.S. National Security Leaders 

The Missing Element in Crafting National Strategy: A Theory of Success 

The Joint Force Needs a Global Engagement Cycle 

Detention Operations as a Strategic Consideration 

Transforming DOD for Agile Multidomain Command and Control 

Disciplined Lethality: Expanding Competition with Iran in an Age of Nation-State Rivalries 
Countering A2/AD in the Indo-Pacific: A Potential Change for the Army and Joint Force
Learning the Art of Joint Operations: Ulysses S. Grant and the U.S. Navy 

Airbase Defense Falls Between the Cracks 

Putting the “FIL” into “DIME”: Growing Joint Understanding of the Instruments of Power 

Creating a Separate Space Force

by Michael Spirtas

Key Questions

What activities within the Department of Defense should be transferred to the Space Force, given the goals of effectiveness, efficiency, independence, and sense of identity for the new service?

Can the Space Force sustain the necessary career fields?
What other challenges will the Space Force face as it stands up and grows into its role?

With the passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. government will launch a Space Force. Prior to this legislation being enacted, the U.S. Space Force Planning Task Force asked the RAND Corporation to analyze several challenges involved in transitioning to the new service. RAND researchers examined questions about what activities should transfer to the Space Force, whether it can sustain the necessary career fields, and what challenges it will face.

Transferring Activities to the Space Force

Detecting Malign or Subversive Information Efforts over Social Media

by William Marcellino, Krystyna Marcinek, Stephanie Pezard, Miriam Matthews

What evidence currently exists regarding malign or subversive information campaigns on social media?

What analytic methods can be used to detect such campaigns on social media?

How could such methods be of use to the U.S. government, other researchers, and social media companies in the future?

The United States has a capability gap in detecting malign or subversive information campaigns before these campaigns substantially influence the attitudes and behaviors of large audiences. Although there is ongoing research into detecting parts of such campaigns (e.g., compromised accounts and "fake news" stories), this report addresses a novel method to detect whole efforts. The authors adapted an existing social media analysis method, combining network analysis and text analysis to map, visualize, and understand the communities interacting on social media. As a case study, they examined whether Russia and its agents might have used Russia's hosting of the 2018 World Cup as a launching point for malign and subversive information efforts. The authors analyzed approximately 69 million tweets, in three languages, about the World Cup in the month before and the month after the event, and they identified what appear to be two distinct Russian information efforts, one aimed at Russian-speaking and one at French-speaking audiences. Notably, the latter specifically targeted the populist gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement; detecting this effort months before it made headlines illustrates the value of this method. To help others use and develop the method, the authors detail the specifics of their analysis and share lessons learned. Outside entities should be able to replicate the analysis in new contexts with new data sets. Given the importance of detecting malign information efforts on social media, it is hoped that the U.S. government can efficiently and quickly implement this or a similar method.

Quantum Computers Will Break the Internet, but Only If We Let Them

You log into your account, assuming that only you and your bank can access your financial information. Your password is strong. You're using two-factor authentication. And you take comfort in knowing that the bank has solid security measures of its own. You're confident that no one else can see or change these sensitive data.

This is the invisible handshake between users and institutions that fuels today's daily flurry of online banking—and so many other digital transactions. But what happens tomorrow?

Let's say that, in 10 or 20 years, “Future You” logs into your account, only to see that it's been zeroed out. Your life savings have been transferred elsewhere. How could this be? What happened to your password, your 2FA, and the security measures that used to help lock down your account?

A hacker used something called a quantum computer to speed past all those safeguards, right to your money.

Tomorrow's quantum computers are expected to be millions of times faster than the device you're using right now. Whenever these powerful computers take hold, it will be like going from a Ford Model T to the Starship Enterprise.

How to Cover Your Tracks Every Time You Go Online

VENTURE ONLINE NOWADAYS and your presence is immediately logged and tracked in all manner of ways. Sometimes this can be helpful—like when you want to see new movies similar to ones you've watched in the past—but very often it feels invasive and difficult to control.

Here we're going to show you how to cover some of those tracks, or not to leave any in the first place. This isn't quite the same as going completely invisible online or encrypting every single thing you do. But it should help you sweep up most records of your online activity that you'd rather disappear.
Go Incognito (or Private)

How the U.S. Coast Guard Can Leverage Social Media and Enhanced Cell Phone Data to Improve Emergency Response

by Douglas Yeung
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A growing proportion of maritime distress calls to the Coast Guard comes indirectly through social media, 911, or cell phones, but these mechanisms can lack the location data that the Coast Guard needs to quickly determine a mariner’s position and render emergency assistance.

The Coast Guard lacks the organizational capacity to collect and analyze the volume of social media data that could provide location information or other context when it is responding to emergencies.

Organizations responding to disasters and other emergencies need to know rapidly how to locate affected areas and individuals and to allocate response resources accordingly. Given this, situational awareness is crucial for effective disaster response operations. In the modern communication environment, cell phones and social media can offer valuable information in emergency response operations, such as search and rescue and disaster relief.

Yet effectively using these media for situational awareness remains challenging. For the Coast Guard, using response teams to monitor social media feeds can be labor-intensive, and the sheer volume of social media posts hampers seeing all the relevant information. Furthermore, large amounts of data can be gathered from social media, which then must be organized, processed, and frequently integrated with data from other sources, such as environmental sensors or satellite data. Organizations in charge of disaster response might lack mechanisms to process and integrate large amounts of data effectively. In addition, calls from cell phones often lack location information that would help responders target rescue or other response efforts.


Last week, I wrote an article posted to this blog about the vulnerabilities of video teleconferencing darling — Zoom Video. Robert Lemos posted an April 13, 2020 article to the cyber security and technology blog — DarkReading.com — noting that cyber criminals are taking advantage in the explosion in the use of video teleconferencing and are having a field day. Mr. Lemos writes that “in one case, a cyber criminal posted a data base on the Dark Web, containing more than 2,300 usernames and passwords from Zoom Video,” accroding to the firm, InSights. InSights warned “the credentials could be used for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and pranks such as Zoom ‘bombing,’ as well as potentially for eavesdropping (microphone and camera) and social engineering,” said Etay Maor, Chief Security Officer for the global threat intelligence firm, Insights.

“If the attacker can identify the person whose account he has taken over — and that doesn’t take much time, just use Google and LinkedIn — then the attacker can potentially impersonate that person, and set up meetings with other company employees,” Maor warns. “This can be used for business email compromise (BEC) type of attacks, where the attacker can impersonate someone in the company, and ask to move money. It can also lead to asking people to share files and credentials over Zoom chat.”

Forget Apple And Google—Here’s The Real Challenge For COVID-19 Contact-Tracing

by Zak Doffman 
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The news on Friday (April 10) that Apple and Google are partnering to simplify coronavirus contact-tracing is a big deal. Just like that, read the headlines, more than 3 billion people globally might have an effective warning system if they come into contact with newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Putting aside how many devices actually carry the right Bluetooth technology, there are two critical factors that stand in the way of this being effective.

Bluetooth contact tracing uses a relative signal strength indicator to detect when one device is near another, and for how long. Your phone collects unique identifiers for those other phones you are near throughout your day, those other phones do the same for you. Your phone also downloads unique identifiers for those newly testing positive for COVID-19. If there’s a match, you receive a locally relevant alert—monitor for symptoms, get tested, self-isolate—without breaching your privacy.

Apple and Google have joined forces to remove the core technical issues associated with a bluetooth contact tracing app. This will provide an API initially, and core OS functionality beyond that, for national programs to build upon, making their apps as effective and user-friendly as possible, working in the background, preserving battery life, safeguarding data privacy

These Five Weapons Would Make Israel A True Superpower

by Robert Farley

Here's What You Need To Remember: Israel has most of what it needs from the United States; in several areas, the technical capabilities of the IDF exceed those of the U.S. military. But in some areas the Israelis could take more advantage of U.S. technology, especially if strategic necessity and financial reality came together in more productive ways.

With only a few notable exceptions, Israel can buy whatever it wants from the United States, generally on very generous terms associated with U.S. aid packages.

Notwithstanding the availability of weapons, however, Israel must still make careful decisions regarding how to spend money. Consequently, Israel can’t have quite everything that it would like, despite the continued good relationship with the United States and its arms industry. Here are a few US military systems that the Israelis could use:

Littoral Combat Ship: 

For a long time, the sea arm of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has examined the potential for warships somewhat larger than the corvettes that have historically dominated the force. As Israel’s maritime security interests increased (the necessity of maintaining the Gaza blockade, and of patrolling offshore energy deposits), this need has become more acute.