The United States and Israel are expected to hold a delayed, joint military exercise sometime around October or November, after postponing it earlier this year, the top US military officer said on Friday.
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Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he wasn't sure what the final decision was on timing after high-level talks in Israel this week.
"We rescheduled it for October-November time frame," Dempsey said. "I really don't know what the final decision was, but it is our expectation that that's when the event will occur."
The air-defense drill, named "Austere Challenge 12," was scheduled for the spring and had been expected to be the largest exercise between the two allies, who regularly hold joint military maneuvers.
In January the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Israel asked to put off the exercise because of defense budget cuts.
Yahoo News, quoting US defense officials, said the postponement request came directly from Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
"Minister Barak called Secretary (Leon) Panetta and asked if we could take the exercise off the calendar. The Israelis were concerned that they did not have the resources in place to carry it out effectively," a US official was quoted as saying by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic.
Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the report