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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iron Dome’

‘Massive Missile Attack from North will Defeat Iron Dome’

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Israelis cannot count on the Iron Dome anti-missile system to protect them if enemies across the northern border launch a massive missile attack, Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan warned Tuesday. He said people should face the fact that the Iron Dome system cannot cope with hundreds of incoming missiles.

The military will examine “how to better involve civilians” in military drills, which are being conducted nationwide this week.

Israel Calms War Fever, Re-Opens Northern Air Space

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The IDF has taken its fingers off the panic button and has lifted Sunday’s ban on civilian aircraft in the north following the weekend bombing attacks on missiles in Syria.

The closure grounded Arkia’s Haifa-Eilat flights as well as private planes, and it was supposed to stay in effect at least until Thursday.

An army spokeswoman told the French news agency AFP that the closure was expected to end later on Monday, while the IDF confirmed to the Jewish Press that the ban already has been lifted.

“Civilian aviation in northern Israel will resume regular operation following security assessments,” a statement said.

Headlines around the world are screaming that Syria, Lebanon and Israel are prepared for war, and that is correct to the extent that every normal country beefs up its defenses in the face of a perceived threat.

But a sure sign that everyone, particular Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad, are basically huffing and puffing is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took off for China Sunday night.

It is extremely unlikely that the Prime Minister of Israel would trek off the Far East to promote trade relations if political and military analysts expected war.

Just to make sure Syrian President Bashar Assad understands Israel’s intentions of self-defense by bombing in Syria of Iranian missiles that were about to be handed over to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel reportedly sent him a soothing  “don’t worry” message Monday.

Israel has no intention of trying to help the rebels and is not trying to intervene in the civil war, said the message, sent through diplomatic channels, according to the Hebrew language Yediot Acharonot newspaper.

Israel has rarely, if ever, intervened in another country’s political affairs, although critics charge that Israel’s political leaders’ love of American politics has proven the United States to be an exception.

Prime Minister Netanyahu knows full well that it will not relish whoever might replace Assad, termed a “butcher” this week by no less than his former short-lived fair weather friend Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Similarly, Israel uncharacteristically shut up during the Arab Spring rebellion against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The war rhetoric mainly is coming from the other side of the border, with Syrian television even calling on “Palestinians to act against Israel” from the Golan Heights.

However, there are virtually no “Palestinians” in the Golan, where most of those who are not Jewish are Druze.

If Syria meant that the tens of thousands of Palestinians in Syria would cross the Golan Heights border like tourists, of it meant that the Druze are going to fight for Assad, that only shows how much the Syrian regime is living in its own world.

Syria Aims Missiles at Israel; Local Flights Banned in North

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Syria and Israel stepped closer to getting ready for war Sunday, with Syrian missiles reportedly deployed and aimed at Israel, which has closed off air space in the north to civilian air traffic.

Arkia airlines told Channel 2 television that “due to IDF instructions on the closure of airspace in the North until May 9, Arkia is forced to announce the cancellation of interior flights from Haifa to Eilat.”

Following Israel double bombing attack on a shipment of “game-changer” Iranian missiles that were to be shipped to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the IDF stationed two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in the northern cities.

A Lebanese television station that is closely linked with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad reported that Syria has deployed missiles aimed at Israel.

Iron Domes Redeployed to North

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

In light of the recent IAF activities in Syria, Israel has repositioned two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries to the country’s north.

One has been placed near Tzfat (Sefad), the second near Haifa.

Netanyahu Meets with US House Foreign Affairs Committee Delegates

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with a delegation of senior members of the U.S.  House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA.)

“The last time I was here, we had a situation during the Second Lebanon War,” said Rep. Royce.

“I was in Haifa and I saw what things looked like, how bad things were at that moment. The Iron Dome, since then, has been a very remarkable development, one more example of the resilience and the creativity of the people of Israel.

“At the same time we have shared values between the United States and Israel, we are all here because we feel the importance of the depth of the relationship, but we also have shared threats. So, Mr. Prime Minister, we look forward to working with you.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “We’re engaged right now in an effort that we appreciate led by President Obama and Secretary Kerry to restart the peace negotiations between us and the Palestinians. We’re eager to do it; we have no preconditions and we think there shouldn’t be any preconditions to restart negotiations.

“We do think that to finish the negotiations, we need two basic pillars: one is that the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and second that Israel has solid security arrangements. We’re prepared to discuss many things, but I will never compromise on Israel’s security.”

Israeli Children Returned to School, Hence the Rockets

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The terrorists who are building up men and material resources in the chaos of today’s Egyptian Sinai struck again this morning. Two GRAD rockets were fired into – and struck – the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Memo to those lacking historical, geographic or political background: Eilat is not and never has been claimed by Palestinian Arab terror apologists as “occupied territory”… other than by the many extremists who see all of Israel as the territory that is occupied. The readers of the Lebanese Al Manar news website for instance, are seeing a report at this moment headlined “Rockets Hit Occupied Town of Eilat“; Al Manar is a mouthpiece of Hezbollah. The semi-respectable Palestinian Maan News Agency has called Eilat occupied too, though never in the English language.

Times of Israel is reporting that one of the two missiles crashed into a residential neighborhood; the other in an open area on Eilat’s outskirts. Reuters says both hit open areas. Ynet says there were three rockets, and two landed in residential areas. Israel’s Army Radio, which is broadcast throughout the country, is quoted saying that a rocket “had also hit the nearby Jordanian city of Aqaba, but a spokesman for the Jordanian Civil Defense denied the suggestion.”

Fortunately, and this is a matter of divine intervention and human failure, no injuries are reported, at least  not so far. Damage is said to be light.

The IDF’s assessment, hardly surprising and certainly not for the first time, is that the attack on Eilat was made from the nearby Sinai Peninsula. The situation there is chaotic and dangerous, and growing steadily worse; we have written numerous times about Sinai’s spiral downwards into terrorist-driven anarchy [hereherehere and hereamong numerous other posts]. As a matter of consistent policy, the Egyptian authorities always respond to media inquiries with firm denials that rockets were fired from Egyptian territory; this morning they did the same again.

Israel’s security authorities saw today’s attack coming. An Iron Dome anti-missile defense battery has been stationed near Eilat for the past two weeks; there are ongoing intelligence assessments that warned of an act of terrorism like this morning’s. The system however was not utilized today, presumably because the Iron Dome controller knows to compute the expected damage in real time and to avoid firing if it is reasonable to do that.

The IDF created the Eilat Regional Brigade this past December to provide military protection, to the extent such a thing is doable against a jihadist enemy operating under the cover of a neighboring country’s government. The most recent rocket attack on Eilat’s civilian population (the only kind that it has) was an especially worrying one in August 2012; those which came before it are detailed in this Wikipedia entry.

Visit This Ongoing War.

NY Times: Iron Dome Not Nearly as Effective as Claimed

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s attempt at resurrecting a modicum of friendship between his administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been that $300 million gift – America’s investment in the super smart anti-missile system, Iron Dome.

While the rockets were flying into Israel, we were told that, save for one time in which a Kiryat Malachi family was killed by a direct hit, the clever rockets, costing $35 to $50 thousand each (a Qassam rocket is estimated to costs about $800) took down around 90 percent of their incoming targets.

The way the Iron Dome works, we were told, is it analyzes the trajectory of the Arab missiles, picks out only those that appear to be headed at an Israeli civilian population, and takes them out. No muss, no fuss, it’s amazing what them science folks is coming up with these days.

Well, not so fast, Mrs. Lincoln, the show has a second act. For one thing, according to a NY Times story this morning (Weapons Experts Raise Doubts About Israel’s Antimissle System), the Israelis have lowered the success rate of the system to 84 percent, as opposed to 90 percent.

“No military system is 90 percent effective,” Philip E. Coyle III, who once ran the Pentagon’s weapons-testing program and recently left a White House security post (file under “disgruntled employee?”) told the Times.

Weapons expert Richard M. Lloyd told the Times his own analyses shows a success rate of only between 30 and 40 percent. “For the remaining targets, he judges that the interceptor was either badly aligned or too far away, at best leaving the rockets wounded or thrown off course…”

According to the critics, those explosions in the sky we’ve watched on You Tube, hailed as evidence of success, were, in most cases, just “interceptor warheads blowing up.”

A senior Israeli official denied that explanation, insisting that Iron Dome system was the best we have, and Israel’s Defense Ministry issued a statement deploring “baseless claims” that relied on “amateur YouTube videos.”

They said they were “more than content with the system’s impressive results.”

Sure, at $300 million and $50 thousand a pop, they’d better be.

The American Iron Dome backers told the Times it wasn’t so much that the Iron Dome was such a mega-futuristic technological success, but because the Dome’s targets are relatively slow, small and unsophisticated.

“They have no guidance system,” explained Riki Ellison, chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, “They’re not as accurate as missiles, so Israel doesn’t have to hit them all.”

That’s a lackluster endorsement if I’ve ever read one.

Immediately after the last Gaza war, in November, 2012, I wrote that the Iron Dome system was morally despicable, because “we are in the business of containing the terrorists and absorbing their attacks. We are definitely not in the business of killing the terrorists and freeing both our own people and the civilians suffering under the terrorist yoke across the border.”

Earlier, in a piece titled “The Morally Reprehensible ‘Iron Dome’ – Hamas’s Best Friend,” I wrote: “Israel has invented a magnificent tool that allows those truly horrible people to continue firing lengthy cylinders full of explosives at civilian men, women and children, without having to confront too often the fact that those are horrible criminals who should be either dead or in prison. We call it the Iron Dome.”

I concluded: “To be perfectly frank, Israel would have been much better off if the Iron Dome had proven to be a flop, like the U.S. made Patriot system, which is notorious for causing as much damage as it attempts to prevent.”

Now you understand why the Israelis and the Americans will be denying the Times’ scathing report to anyone who would listen. Because if the emperor is in dire need of a wardrobe, and the miraculous Iron Dome is kind of average – we’ll have to do something about Hamas.

And who wants that?

Reagan’s Missile Defense Vision Derailed

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

If you went strictly by the mainstream media reporting on the Defense Department’s recent announcement about missile defense, the thought in your head would be “we’re deploying more interceptor missiles because of North Korea.”

What’s probably not in your head is the auxiliary details.  DOD has requested that funding for the additional deployments begin in fiscal year 2014.  The actual deployments won’t start until after that.  Assuming DOD gets the funding, it will take until 2017 for the interceptors to be in place.  And the deployment, if it happens, will do no more than provide the ground-based interceptor baseline that was originally planned by the Bush II administration (44 interceptors), a baseline the Obama administration cut back to its current level (30 interceptors) in April 2009.

To put the last point another way: if the Obama DOD hadn’t cancelled the remaining ground-based interceptor (GBI) deployments in 2009, the 14 additional interceptors would already be deployed.

That said, the utility of deploying the additional GBIs – which would raise the deployed total from 30 to 44 – can justifiably be questioned, if former Secretary Bob Gates was right in 2009, when he said the 30 GBIs in Alaska and California were enough:

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told senators that 30 ground-based interceptors “provide a strong defense” against “the level of [missile] capability that North Korea has now and is likely to have for some years to come.” The system is designed to defend the United States against intermediate- and long-range missiles in the middle range of flight.

The North Korean satellite launch in December 2012 didn’t change the profile of the North Korean threat; it merely validated the predicted type of threat against which the GBIs were originally deployed.  Frankly, the 30 GBIs we already have in their silos probably are enough.

They are if the threat we’re worried about is North Korea, at any rate.  What if it’s not?  Suppose the threat we’re really concerned about is China?  It’s an interesting point, given the lack of precision or clearly-stated strategic purpose behind, basically, any move the Obama administration makes on missile defense.

Cancelling the Atlantic-side Missile defense

Consider the decision announced by DOD at the same time as the GBI augmentation: that the U.S. will cancel the fourth and final phase of Obama’s missile defense plan for Europe.  The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) is the new plan Obama ordered up in 2009 when he cancelled George W. Bush’s plan to deploy GBIs to Europe.

GBIs in Poland would have provided missile defense for North America as well as for Europe against threats coming westward from Asia.  In Bush’s original plan, the GBIs would have started going into Poland in 2013.  (The GBIs in Alaska and California defend North America against threats coming eastward from Asia, or – to some extent – against missiles from East Asia coming over the North Pole).

Obama’s replacement plan for the cancelled Bush deployments was to develop a new, ground-based mobile interceptor out of the Navy’s shorter-range SM-3 missile, and eventually to deploy a follow-on interceptor, called the SM-3 IIB, which would have “some capability” against ICBMs.  The projected time frame for this deployment was to be 2020-22, some 7-9 years after the GBI deployment in Poland was to have begun.

A key weakness of this approach, however, has been that, for the purposes of defending North America, the geometry isn’t workable for using a new-generation SM-3 interceptor in Europe against an intercontinental ballistic missile from South Asia or the Middle East.  In September 2012, the National Research Council published an assessment of the prospects for defending North America using the EPAA deployment concept, and concluded that the prospects aren’t good.  Obtaining the NRC report costs $62, but fortunately, Defense Industry Daily has summarized its findings as follows (scroll down at the link):

[The NRC assessment] states that EPAA Phase IV is not likely to be an effective way to defend the United States, and recommends that the USA make changes to its own GMD system and radar set. They’re not advocating the dismantling of EPAA, just saying that the USA should have a system in which EPAA is about Europe’s defense, and the USA has a system that doesn’t depend on it.

More on that in a moment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/reagans-missile-defense-vision-derailed/2013/03/19/

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