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July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘mutually assured destruction’

A Solution to the Iran Threat

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

The piece below does not reflect the views of the JewishPress.com. Heck, it barely reflects my own views. But I do fear a nuclear Holocaust in the Middle East, and I believe in Divine guidance and Divine supervision. If some, or many, of my readers consider this to be naïve, I don’t blame you. But I also believe it is possible, with God’s help. Y.Y.

First, let’s agree on the fact that the last thing any of us wants is an Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear program, followed by a counter attack and so on. If ever there were two industrious, and inspired nations in the Middle east, they’re Iran and Israel. We may not always have the same interests, and since 1979 we certainly don’t like each other at all, but there are no inherent existential conflict between us.

And yet, here we are, two countries spending upwards of a trillion dollars over the years to thwart each other’s threats, until we’ve now reached the point where the Iranians, their tongue hanging out of their dry mouths with fatigue and poverty and frustration, are nevertheless going to get their atomic weapons which they could train at Israel, their mortal enemy.

I doubt very much that Israel can stop that from happening. And I doubt very much that Israel or the U.S. in their wildest dreams are planning to attack Iran. I also doubt very much that Iran’s rulers are unaware of the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction. They, too, are not likely to start a nuclear Holocaust, either. I’m not saying this with 100 percent certainty, but having followed Iran’s nasty actions since 1979, they prefer to work sneaky, not with a big bang.

It’s been suggested by the current U.S. Administration that if Israel capitulates to the Palestinians and uproots upwards of half a million Jews from their ancestral homeland, that would somehow quell the Iranians’ rage and they’d stop making bombs and sticking them at the end of their ICBMs.

That’s never happening. No one is uprooting the Jews, and no Iranians are stopping the production of atomic weapons.

What to do?

Years ago, the New Yorker ran a cartoon showing two men helplessly chained by their hands and legs to the middle a massive stone well, hundreds of feet deep. And one of them says, “I have an idea.”

I have an idea.

Or, more accurately, I have a man who could start moving the ball in a new and different direction. He needs to be a respected Israeli man of the cloth, with perfect credentials and a universal reputation for fairness and honesty.

I’m thinking about former Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

I’m thinking about him because he’s had extensive experience in dealing with Muslim leaders who are curious about Israel and about Jews. He’s met them and has done it with grace and honor. He left a good impression.

Rabbi Lau should use his good connection with moderate Muslims to solicit a secret meeting with a high ranking Iranian clergyman. I mean, really secret.

It must be kept secret because any Iranian clergy who would dare meet with rabbi Lau would be putting his life on the line.

The two of them should come to the meeting with at least the tacit blessings of their respective political leaders.

In the meeting, the two men would agree that both Jews and Muslims are children of the same God, and believe in charity and goodness and whatnot. Rabbi Lau would volunteer that while secular Zionism is in conflict with both Judaism and Islam, the vast majority of Israeli Jews keep their tradition, much as the vast majority of Iranians do. Those sister traditions, the two men would agree, demand that our two nations not strive to annihilate one another.

Rabbi Lau will tell the Iranian to convey to his superiors in Tehran the message that Israel would gladly commit to never attacking Iran. The two would agree to meet again, in secret, and this time bring mutual; assurances from the leaders of both countries.

There needn’t be any publicity for any of that. And Iran could continue to shout its slogans about the suffering Palestinians and their Zionist occupiers, while Israel could retort as it sees fit, but only with words. Meanwhile, in both Tehran and Jerusalem, there will have been planted the first seeds of a long and so needed rapprochement.

I see no other way.

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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