Jewish Institute for National Security of America
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|Motto||"Securing America, Strengthening Israel"|
|Type||National security think tank|
|Headquarters||1101 14th Street, NW|
|David P. Steinmann|
(FYE December 2014)
The Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) is a Washington, D.C.-based pro-Israel non-profit think-tank. It was founded in 1976 focusing on issues of national security.
JINSA's stated aim is to:
Provide leadership and affect policy on crucial issues of national security and foreign policy; to promote American security cooperation with like-minded allies including, but not limited to, Israel; to engage the American defense community about the role Israel can and does play in securing Western, democratic interests in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions; and to improve awareness in the general public, as well as in the Jewish community of the importance of a strong American defense capability.
JINSA's advisory board includes former United States Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN), General James T. Conway, and Chief William J. McSweeney of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, while Vice President Dick Cheney, former National Security Advisor and former U.S. Representative to the United Nations John Bolton, and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith were all on JINSA's Board of Advisors before they entered the Bush administration. JINSA is a non-partisan organization welcoming advisors from both major political parties. It includes Democrats such as former Congressman Dave McCurdy and former Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
Foreign policy positions
The Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy
JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy is JINSA's policy center. Opened in 2013, the Gemunder Center performs research and advocacy on U.S. defense, strategic and general national security issues. The center's policy groups include:
- The Iran Strategy Council - An organization of former senior military officials and defense analysts with the mission of educating audiences on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and how it will make the United States and its allies less safe and war with Iran and its proxies more likely. The Co-Chairs of this Council are General James T. Conway, USMC (Ret.) and General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.).
- The Iran Task Force - To examine the diplomatic, economic, and military options available to the United States and its allies to prevent a nuclear-capable Iran.
- The EMP Task Force - Convenes former high-ranking government and military officials, directors of national laboratories, nuclear engineers and other experts to raise awareness and develop actionable recommendations to enhance U.S. strategic deterrence, critical infrastructure and societal resiliency against the spectrum of electromagnetic threats. Co-Chairs of this Task Force include Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and Dr. Bryan Gabbard, Executive Vice President, Defense Group Inc.
Other policy recommendations
JINSA's policy recommendations for the U.S. government have included:
- Enhanced WMD counterproliferation programs.
- National ballistic missile defense systems.
- Curbing of regional ballistic missile development and production worldwide.
- Increased counterterrorism training and funding, prior to September 11, 2001 attacks.
- Increased defense cooperation with Israel.
- Substantially improved quality-of-life for U.S. service personnel and their families.
- Support for joint U.S.-Israeli training and weapons development programs.
- Regime change in "rogue" nation-states known to provide support or knowingly harbor terrorist groups, including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Libya, and support a re-evaluation of the U.S. defense relationships with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf nations.
- Bilateral mutual defense treaty with Israel which is more narrowly defined than other such security pacts with fifty other U.S. partners.
Generals and Admirals Program to Israel
One of JINSA's most important programs is to invite, with the assistance of the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of State, retired U.S. senior military officers to Israel. The Generals and Admirals Program includes meetings with Israeli political and military leaders.
More than 200 retired admirals and generals, including Shock and Awe theorist Adm. Leon "Bud" Edney, USN, Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, USA, Maj. Gen. David L. Grange, USA, Maj. Gen. Jarvis Lynch, USMC, Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow, USA, Adm. Leighton "Snuffy" Smith, USN, Adm. Carlisle Trost, USN and Brig. Gen. Thomas E. White, USA, have participated in the trips over the last 21 years. Participation in the program makes no requirements of the invitees to make statements, form opinions or maintain any further relationship with JINSA, yet many trip alums have participated more than once, and 50 past participants co-authored a statement on violence in the Palestinian-controlled territories that appeared in the New York Times in October 2000.
The bulk of JINSA's modest annual budget is spent on taking a bevy of retired US generals and admirals to Israel, where JINSA facilitates meetings between Israeli officials and the still-influential US flag officers, who, upon their return to the States, happily write op-eds and sign letters and advertisements championing the Likudnik line.
Other retired flag grade U.S. military officers recruited by JINSA include: Lt. Gen. Anthony Burshnick (USAF), Gen. Crosbie Saint (USA), Maj. Gen. Lee Downer (USAF), Gen. John Foss (USA), Adm. David Jeremiah (USN), Adm. Jerome Johnson (USN), and Rear Adm. Sumner Shapiro (USN).
Military Academies Program
The JINSA Military Academies Program in Israel is a two-week program for cadets and midshipmen attending the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The program builds bridges for future associations between the U.S. Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). At each academy, participants are selected in a competitive process by supervising faculty and receive academic credit for the program.
During the course of the program, the cadets and midshipmen engage in activities and discussions with young Israeli military officers, highlighting the role of the military in democratic countries, and similarities and differences in officer development. In the process, they visit six IDF bases. The cadets and midshipmen also meet with experts from academia, think tanks, and the private sector to receive briefings covering a broad spectrum of subjects related to security, society, and contemporary life in Israel. They also learn about the Israel's history and current events in the Middle East.
The program also includes activities designed to introduce the cadets and midshipmen to the many cultures that make up Israeli society, and organize visits to historic and religious sites.
Homeland Security Program
In 2002 JINSA initiated a program aimed at exchanging counter-terrorism experience and tactics between U.S. law enforcement agencies and their counterparts in the Israeli National Police. The primary focus of the program is to bring U.S. law enforcement executives (chiefs, sheriffs, deputies, etc.) to Israel for an intensive two-week program aimed at educating U.S. law enforcement officials on the possible threats posed by the specter of domestic terrorism in the United States. Over the course of many trips, over 100 police chiefs and sheriffs from departments in major American metropolitan areas (including Los Angeles, California (LAPD); Orlando, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago, and the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) of New York and New Jersey) have participated. The program has already led to significant changes in local law enforcement counter-terrorism tactics and training.
In addition, the Homeland Security Program brings Israeli police and counter-terror officials to the United States for intensive two-day seminars that to date have trained law enforcement officers and officials around the U.S. Homeland Security Program has also played a life-saving role in training members of the U.S. Marine Corps in how to better protect civilians and soldiers, alike, against the threat of car and suicide bombers in Iraq.
JINSA publishes U.S. policy-related publications including the semi-annual political magazine Journal of International Security Affairs. From 2016 the magazine became a free publication. For 22 years, JINSA published Security Affairs - a monthly newsletter. Apart from magazines and newsletters, the institute also publishes conference proceedings and monographs. In 2004, JINSA published a reference book: Profiles in Terror: A Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organizations by Aaron Mannes.
Each fall, JINSA presents an annual Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson Distinguished Service Award, named in honor of the late-Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson to U.S. government leaders (generally a senior U.S. Government or Armed Forces official, a Senator or two Members of the United States House of Representatives) for their career dedication to U.S. national security. Past honorees have included:
In addition, beginning in 2003, JINSA has honored six enlisted representatives of the U.S. Armed Services and U.S. Special Operations Command, each selected by their respective services, with the "Grateful Nation Award" for duty that, while exemplary, might otherwise go unrecognized.
Founded in 1976 as a result of the lessons learned from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, JINSA communicates with the national security establishment and the general public to explain the role Israel can and does play in bolstering American interests, and the link between American defense policy and the security of Israel. JINSA's founding, according to Jason Vest, was prompted by "neoconservatives concerned that the United States might not be able to provide Israel with adequate military supplies in the event of another Arab-Israeli war."
In the late 1980s, JINSA underwent a profound repurposing of mission which, although retaining the interest in maintaining and strengthening the U.S.–Israeli defense relationship, widened its focus to general U.S. defense and foreign policy, with missions and meetings with national leaders and officials Ethiopia, Belgium, South Korea, India, Bulgaria, Italy, the Republic of China, Uzbekistan, Costa Rica, Spain, Eritrea, Jordan, the People's Republic of China, Hungary, United Kingdom and Germany.
JINSA, a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, maintains a staunchly non-partisan stance in its official policies and statements.
- American Israel Public Affairs Committee
- American Jewish Committee
- Foreign policy interest group
- Jewish Council for Public Affairs
- Military history of Jewish Americans
- Saban Center for Middle East Policy
- The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
- Washington Institute for Near East Policy
- "Jewish Institute for National Security of America" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- About JINSA
- JINSA Board of Advisors
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Harkov, Lahav. (6 December 2019). "Netanyahu, Pompeo push forward with US-Israel defense pact." Jerusalem Post website Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Jason Vest, , The Nation, September 2, 2002
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-02-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Subscription No Longer Required". Security Affairs. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- History of the Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson Distinguished Service Award; Jinsa website