Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Israel’s Iron Dome fires interception missiles at rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Iran’s assault on Israel last Saturday night was marked by its immense magnitude: the Iranians and their proxies around the Middle East fired more than 120 ballistic missiles, 30 cruise missiles, and between 170 and 250 drones. Israel intercepted the majority of the ballistic missiles using its Arrow air-defense systems, and US destroyers intercepted between four and six missiles, including one missile that was neutralized by a US-made Patriot air-defense battery.

The Pentagon claims that US fighter planes shot down most of the Iranian drones, and the rest were downed by Israeli, British, and French fighters. This is a crucial piece of information, because systems like Israel’s mainstay air defense system, the Iron Dome, is very good at shooting down missiles, but may become “confused” by a swarm of dozens of drones.


The Wall Street Journal cites defense analysts who say Israel could find itself challenged if subjected to multiple waves of Iranian drone attacks, similar to the prolonged onslaught endured by Ukraine throughout its ongoing conflict with Russia over the past two years. The strain on Israel’s defenses will grow significantly should Iran be allowed to repeat its barrages of drones, alongside is long-range missiles.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed his growing frustration over the declining Western support against Russian missiles and explosive drones. Over the past two years, Ukraine has depended heavily on equipment supplied by its Western allies to intercept more than 2,000 ballistic, cruise, and other types of missiles, alongside approximately 5,500 Iranian-made Shahed drones. But Kiev’s ability to intercept has been declining due to its dwindling missile reserves.

Israel may be looking at a similar scenario. The Russian strategy at this stage in the fighting has been to exhaust the Ukrainian stock of air defense weapons. Russia regularly fires long-range missiles and swarms of drones at Ukraine’s civilian centers, forcing the Ukrainian army to use up its munitions.

Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) last week argued that the US cannot possibly fulfill Ukraine’s growing need for supplies:

Take the Patriot missile system – our premier air defense weapon. It’s of such importance in this war that Ukraine’s foreign minister has specifically demanded them. That’s because in March alone, Russia reportedly launched over 3,000 guided aerial bombs, 600 drones, and 400 missiles at Ukraine. To fend off these attacks, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and others have indicated they need thousands of Patriot interceptors per year.

The problem is this: The United States only manufactures 550 per year.

If we pass the supplemental aid package currently being considered in Congress, we could potentially increase annual production to 650, but that’s still less than a third of what Ukraine requires. … In fact, the United States has promised to send Taiwan nearly $900 million worth of Patriot missiles, but delivery of those weapons and other essential resources has been severely delayed, partly because of shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.

Whether Senator Vance votes for or against supplemental aid for Ukraine, it won’t matter. Russia will continue grinding down Ukraine’s defenses, and there simply won’t be enough manufacturing resources in the West to replenish Ukraine’s defenses.

The IDF was not designed to fight prolonged wars. Its best wars began with a surprise and ended before the enemy even realized it had lost. The dual campaign it is waging against Hamas and Hezbollah cannot possibly be won through a war of attrition. Victory can only be delivered through a decisive, massive, cruel attack on both enemies.

Adding to the mix a war of attrition in the air against Iran is a recipe for defeat. The IDF must not pay attention to the voices in the West that are counseling it to retaliate proportionately. A proportionate response is an Iranian win.

Iran must be defeated with an all-out attack that would paralyze its civic life, its industry, and its oil economy. There is no other way.


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