Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

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The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) is a US-based organization, "committed to explaining the need for a prudent national security policy for the United States, addressing the security requirements of both the United States and the State of Israel, and strengthening the strategic cooperation relationship between these two great democracies." It has a significant number of retired U.S. military officers as advisors, and, based on lessons from the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, presents the role Israel can play for American interests as well as securing Israel's interests. [1]

In a controversial paper on "realist" foreign policy, JINSA is described as part of the Israel Lobby, whose overall policies push Israeli interests that may be a strategic burden to the United States. [2]

JINSA, however, differentiates itself from the classic lobbying organizations such as American Israel Public Affairs Committee, concentrating, instead, on military and industrial ties. "During the 1973 war, a number of us began meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss getting supplies to Israel," said Herbert Fierst, a founding member of JINSA and a leading Washington attorney. "We did it as individuals, not members of a particular group. At that time, JINSA only existed as an idea, not as a functioning effort." [3]

The US-Israel military relationship has evolved since the Cold War, when Israel was indeed an extremely important source of intelligence on Soviet weapons used by Arab clients. Now, Russia will sell these directly to the US. Unquestionably, there is still extensive intelligence cooperation between the US and Israel, but the interests are not always the same. There are cooperative military development programs, such as the Arrow (missile), but there has also been US concern about leakage of US military technology through Israeli foreign military sales.

Its first executive director was Michael Ledeen.


  1. About, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  2. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (23 March 2006), "The Israel Lobby", London Review of Books
  3. Mark H. Milstein (October 1991), "Special Report: Strategic Ties or Tentacles? Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs", Washington Report on Middle East Affairs