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Israel Receives More Than Half of US Global Military Aid

  • Chris Hannas

FILE - A missile is launched by an "Iron Dome" battery in Ashdod, Israel, July 11, 2014. Israel is looking to boost the amount of money the United States sends it every year for military aid to as much as $5 billion.

FILE - A missile is launched by an "Iron Dome" battery in Ashdod, Israel, July 11, 2014. Israel is looking to boost the amount of money the United States sends it every year for military aid to as much as $5 billion.

Israel is looking to boost the amount of money the U.S. State Department sends it every year for military aid to as much as $5 billion, a number that would give it not only the largest chunk of U.S. defense aid money, but also more than triple the amount any other country receives in total aid from the U.S.

For the past two years, the U.S. has given Israel $3.1 billion in what it calls "foreign military financing."

Together with Egypt, which has received about $1.5 billion each year, the two countries make up nearly 80 percent of the more than $5.5 billion in global U.S. military aid, according to VOA analysis of government data.

By comparison, Pakistan, in third place, received $280 million in 2015.

US foreign aid

A new fiscal year started last month with the U.S. planning to spend $33.7 billion in total foreign aid, with about one-third of the money dedicated to global efforts instead of one single country.

Israel's cut remains the same – all of it for the military – with Afghanistan getting $1.5 billion and Egypt dropping just under that amount.

FILE - An Israeli soldier walks past tanks near the Israel and Gaza border, July 10, 2014. Israel is looking to boost the amount of money the United States sends it every year for military aid to as much as $5 billion.

FILE - An Israeli soldier walks past tanks near the Israel and Gaza border, July 10, 2014. Israel is looking to boost the amount of money the United States sends it every year for military aid to as much as $5 billion.

If Israel's military funding were $5 billion in 2016, that would equal 14 percent of every dollar the U.S. sends around the globe.

The 2016 spending is broken up into eight broad categories, led by $8.8 billion in health aid and $8.7 billion for peace and security, which includes the military financing and things like counter-narcotics and transnational crime.

Another $5.6 billion is slated for humanitarian assistance.

World conflicts

Beyond Israel and Egypt, the top recipients of security aid highlight the world's ongoing conflicts.

Jordan, which is carrying out airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition; Pakistan, whose military is battling militants along the Afghan border; Iraq, where Islamic State militants still hold key cities; Afghanistan and its continuing struggle with the Taliban; Somalia still fighting its al-Shabab militancy; and Syria with its rebels four years into civil war; each is set to get more than $100 million this year.

The top overall aid recipients that are not among those leading in security money are in Africa and have their dollars devoted to HIV/Aids programs.

Those initiatives make up two-thirds of overall aid to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and more than half of the money being sent to Nigeria this year.

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