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Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

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The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) describes itself as a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, non-partisan think-tank focusing on the national security interests of the United States. JINSA's aim is three-fold: to ensure a strong and effective U.S. national security policy; to educate American leadership figures on the vital strategic relationship between the United States and Israel; and to strengthening U.S. cooperation with democratic allies, including Taiwan, Jordan, Hungary, Turkey, India, and NATO member nations, amongst others.


Contents

Policies and programs

JINSA's policy recommendations for the U.S. government includes: enhanced WMD counterproliferation programs, national ballistic missile defense systems, curbing of regional ballistic missile development and production worldwide, increased counter-terrorism training and funding, prior to September 11, 2001 Terrorist 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 and a rejection of any peace process with the Palestinians that is not prefaced by a full renunciation of terrorism and a full and effective Palestinian effort to combat terrorism in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas. Further, JINSA supports regime change in "rogue" nation-states known to provide support or knowingly harbor terrorist groups, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Libya, and supports a re-evaluation of the U.S. defense relationships with Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


Flag and General Officer's trip

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 and Jordan. The General and Flag Officer's program, as it is known, allows participants to see with their own eyes, the problems facing the Middle East, in meetings with Israeli and Jordanian political and military leaders. More than 200 retired Admirals and Generals, including Shock and awe author Adm. Leon "Bud" Edney, USN, Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, USA, Maj. Gen. David 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 (http://www.jinsa.org/articles/view.html?documentid=1071) in the Palestinian-controlled territories that appeared in the New York Times in October 2000.

Law Enforcement Exchange 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, sherrifs, 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 two trips, nearly 30 police chiefs and sheriffs from departments in major American metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, California; Orlando, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) of New York and New Jersey, already lead to massive changes in local law enforcement counter-terrorism tactics and training.

In addition, the Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) has Israeli police and counter-terror officials to the United States for a series of intensive two-day seminars that have trained more than 1,500 law enforcement officers and officials around the U.S. LEEP 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.


Other programs

JINSA also acts as a liaison between the U.S. military, concerned U.S. citizens and America's leaders in Washington, facilitating base visits, symposia and publications that highlight future trends, growing threats and areas of concern, within the realm of U.S. national security.

In addition, JINSA officials have served as official and unofficial representatives of the United States on visits to more than 30 nations, including roles as election observers in many former Soviet-bloc republics.

JINSA publishes a collection of U.S. policy-related publications: The Journal of International Security Affairs, Security Affairs - a quarterly newsletter, Islamic Extremism Newswatch, and recently published a reference book: Profiles In Terror: A Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organizations (http://www.profilesinterror.com/) by Aaron Mannes.

Each fall, JINSA presents an annual Distinguished Service Award (http://www.jinsa.org/articles/view.html?documentid=2173), named in honor of the late-Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson to U.S. government leaders (generally 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: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (2002), Senator Joe Lieberman (1997), Senator Max Cleland (2000), then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney (1991), all three Secretaries of the U.S. Armed Services (2001), Congresswoman Jane Harman and Congressman Jim Saxton (2003) and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (2004).

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.


Organizational history

Founded in 1976, JINSA began as the only U.S. think tank that put "the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship first," citing a concern that U.S. leaders were mistakenly neglecting the relationship between the United States and the only democracy in the Middle East. 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 U.S. defense and foreign policy, in general, with missions and meetings with national leaders and military officials from countries as diverse as 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, to name a few.

JINSA, a nationally-recognized USC 501(c)(3) organization, maintains a staunchly non-partisan stance in its official policies and statements, but according to critics, it is closely associated with the neoconservative movement; these alleged links, however, appear mostly tenuous at best.

Criticism

Critics, including as Jason Vest, writing for The Nation (see article (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20020902&s=vest)), have alleged that JINSA, along with Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, is an asset of the Israeli war faction, and its neoconservative allies in the U.S., to influence governmental affairs in Washington.

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