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James Stavridis and Michael Makovsky

How the U.S. Should Wish Israel a Happy 70th Birthday

To counter Iran, Washington should raise the Jewish state’s intelligence clearance and speed up promised military aid.

Happy birthday.

Happy birthday.

Photographer: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

Israel is commemorating its 70th anniversary next week, and the U.S. Embassy is moving to Jerusalem to coincide with the independence celebrations. It's a strong symbolic gesture — but there are several more concrete steps Washington should take right now to help ensure Israel’s security and protect its own interests in the Middle East.

Over the long term, Israel’s very existence is threatened by Iran’s nuclear program, which continues in the form of expanded atomic research and ballistic missile development, which are unfortunately permitted by the 2015 nuclear deal. The intelligence trove revealed by Israel last week confirms Tehran’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons capability — not a surprise certainly, but a clear warning of potential danger ahead.