Yesterday, following President’s remarks about Israel, the administration issued a national security memo that emphasizes the importance of obtaining written assurances from countries that receive weapons from the US. This move aims to ensure that these weapons are used in accordance with the law of War. While the need for such assurances has been acknowledged in the past, the administration has now decided to formalize the request for them in writing.
The National Security memorandum, released yesterday, outlines the existing standards that countries must adhere to when receiving military aid from the US. It is important to note that there are no new standards introduced in this memo. Instead, it serves as a means to clearly spell out the already established standards set by international law, including the law of armed conflict.
Additionally, as part of the administration’s commitment to transparency, a new annual report to Congress will be created. This report will provide updates on the adherence to the established standards by countries receiving US weapons. The creation of this report is a response to the requests made by members of Congress.
Implications for Israel
Israel, being one of the countries receiving military aid from the US, has been briefed on the contents of the national security memo. Israeli officials have expressed their willingness to provide the necessary assurances regarding the use of these weapons. While no specific mention of consequences for non-compliance is mentioned in the memo, ongoing discussions with Israel indicate their cooperation in meeting the requirements outlined.
It is important to understand that the memo does not set a rigid deadline for countries to sign off on the written assurances. The focus is on engaging in meaningful conversations and ensuring a mutual understanding of the importance of utilizing US weapons in accordance with international law. The administration is working alongside Congressional members to facilitate this process and maintain transparency.
The release of the National Security memorandum highlights the administration’s commitment to ensuring that US weapons are used responsibly by countries receiving military aid. While no new standards are introduced, the memo serves as a means to clearly communicate the existing standards outlined by international law. The creation of an annual report to Congress further emphasizes the administration’s dedication to transparency and accountability.