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Congress Approves Joint U.S.-Military Programs for FY2005

In a display of the importance of strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel, both the House and the Senate authorized more than $300 million for joint U.S.-Israeli military programs. The fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act approves $155.3 million for the Arrow missile defense program, $47.2 million for the Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser, which uses lasers to hit incoming rockets, $17.5 million for Bradley Reactive Armor Tiles — panels attached to military vehicles that explode outward on impact, protecting soldiers — as well as a number of other joint U.S.-Israeli programs. Additionally, Congress provided $60.2 million for the Counter-Terrorism Technical Support Working Group, which facilitates cooperation between the two nations in fighting terror. The bill now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it soon.

Near East Report