Abraham Accords Caucus seeks defence cooperation
The Abraham Accords Caucus has introduced legislation for a joint military defence system with Israel and US Arab allies and partners in the Middle East.
The Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses (DEFEND) Act aims to organise allies in the Middle East to cooperate on missile defence largely to guard against Iranian attacks in the Gulf. The bill requires a report on the feasibility of the funding for cruise and ballistic missiles, manned and unmanned aerial systems, and rocket attacks.
"I have always said that the Abraham Accords would transform Middle Eastern security, at last, enabling responsible states to work together to keep each other safe from Iran's destabilizing and violent agenda. I am hopeful we are witnessing the beginning of a new era of peace and prosperity in the Middle East," said Congresswoman Ann Wagner, a Republican from Missouri, in a press release dated 9 June.
"To further these accomplishments and safeguard that peace and prosperity, I am proud to support the DEFEND Act, legislation that will ensure the United States leads our Middle Eastern allies and partners in the creation of an integrated air and missile defence capability to deter an aggressive and erratic Iran," she added.
This is the first legislative move for the bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus, which was founded in January with the aim of building on the 2020 normalisation agreement between Israel and several Arab states, which was led by former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The aims of the caucus include trying to expand the numbers of countries in the accords and encouraging investments in countries that are part of the accords.