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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Precedent: North Korean Actions Spell Big Iranian Trouble For Israel (Analysis)

The North Koreans Don’t Appear All That Deterred

cheonan

The bow of the South Korean Warship Cheonan, split in half by a blatant North Korean act of war - Killing 46 Sailors.

Iranian apologists and those actively pushing for engagement at all costs have tabled the notion that accepting and deterring a nuclear Iran is a viable, workable option. This philosophy however is not embraced in Israel, and looking at recent events on the Korean Peninsula it is easy enough to see why.

Emboldened

One of the primary fears in Israel, beyond trying to live with an Islamic Fundamentalist Iranian regime possessing nuclear weapons that can nuke the Jewish State is balance of power & deterrence. The fear is that Iran backed by nuclear weapons will be emboldened, and that Israel’s ability to deal with Iranian terrorist proxies will be vastly diminished if not eliminated all together.

Those that speak of deterring Iran say that the Iranians are not crazy enough to unleash nuclear weapons, as doing so would bring Iranian destruction. Thus claiming “Iran is deterred” along the soviet MAD model, mission accomplished. However, the recent blatant act of aggression & war by North Korea sinking a South Korean warship & killing 46 sailors raises another all too deadly specter for Israel. The notion that rogue regimes & their proxies backed by nuclear weapons can initiate consequence free actions of a conventional nature, while the responsible democracy at the receiving end is powerless to respond or defend itself fearing a possible nuclear escalation.

Terrorists Run Amok

What is to stop Hezbollah, or Hamas backed by Iranian nuclear arms from initiating aggressive murderous action against Israel? How many rockets should Israel absorb launched at its civilian populace before responding? Further how much force can be used to respond if there is a possibility of escalation to all out war, and subsequently a possibility of nuclear exchange? The counter argument is that rogue elements like Iran will behave rationally. But was it rational for North Korea to risk nuclear war by suddenly for no reason sinking a South Korean warship? Equally, no actions by Islamist terrorist groups have historically been all that rational in the first place.

What of deterrence?

The only party that seems deterred is South Korea which is now relatively powerless to respond to this blatant act of war. This type of scenario repeated in Israel would make life in Israel nearly unlivable. Israel depends on the ability to react, strike & deter in self defense from criminal / terrorist actors on our borders. If this ability is compromised, our own deterrence evaporates, along with our ability to defend the State of Israel.

We could see never ending rocket or terrorist actions threatening every part of the country destroying commerce, and threatening civilian life; While our ability to react is severely compromised for fear of massive escalation, bringing in rogue nation states armed with lethal WMD & nuclear options.

Testing the limits

Hezbollah has already digested the North Korean action and seen the West nearly powerless to respond save for some harsh language. As a result, they are clearly not deterred but emboldened announcing they too in the future will seek to strike ships entering Israeli coastal water, irrespective of flag or civilian nature. This announcement comes before being backed by nuclear weapons like their friends in North Korea. That does not bode well for reading their possible future behavior backed by a nuclear armed Iran.

The only people seemingly deterred when rogue regimes and terrorist elements possess nuclear weapons will be the responsible democracies of the West, Israel included. Those that argue to the contrary & preach accommodation and engagement with irrational rogue actors need only look at the ‘rational North Koreans’ sinking warships out of the blue with nary a concern for consequence, for hints as to what the future may hold.

For Israel as well as Arab & Gulf states surrounded by terrorists & aggressive rogue neighbors, that modeled on curent reality possible future is wholly unacceptable.

Fast Track: Arrow 3 Raising The Bar on Missile Defense (Video)

Israeli program & needs dictate faster, higher capabilities

Arrow3

Boeing CGI of the jointly in development IAI Arrow 3 ABM interceptor

Last year, the USA radically altered its ballistic missile defense plans by scrapping its long range ICBM defense plan based in Europe in favor of shorter medium range defense systems. The main component of the new plans would be the SM-3 interceptor, currently in use on American AEGIS ABM Cruisers.

A major focus of the plan was to upgrade the SM3  interceptors themselves in capability, making them adaptable to launches from the ground as opposed to only at sea, amongst other capability upgrades in newer block variants of the missile.

Joint Effort

During testimony to the Armed Services Committee as a result of the scrapping of the ICBM program, we learned more about the Israeli Arrow - the next generation Israeli interceptor as well as the future of the SM-3. The new Israeli interceptor incorporates some intense new enhancements, and if deployed as planned will represent a significant jump forward for Israeli missile defense. If successful the program due to its advanced technology will likely also be employed by the USA, as it is slated to surpass the SM3 interceptors in capability and do so in the near term.

Leapfrogging current capability

The Israeli concept is to take the medium range interceptor Arrow 2s and make them more versatile in two ways. Exo Atmospheric, enabling them to intercept targets outside the atmosphere, combined with some radical advancements in self propulsion & sensors. In other words Israel wants the system to be able to self guide itself outside the atmosphere once the booster is released, allowing the actual interceptor warhead to track and seek targets solo. Instead of having multiple system designed for medium & longer range ICBMs Israel wants to combine it all into a medium system that can hit long range ICBMs in space, at least that’s my understanding of it all..

Lieutenant General Patrick J. O’Reilly, Director of the MDA:

“The design of Arrow 3 promises to be an extremely capable system, more advanced than what we have ever attempted in the U.S. with our programs” Gen. O’Reilly told the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee for strategic forces. “This has to do with the seekers that have greater flexibility and other aspects, such as propulsion systems- it will be an extremely capable system”.

The benefits of the new interceptor would include the ability to sense decoys, and re-route interception to another target. Equally, in multiple volleys with large numbers of incoming missiles the system could in theory allow Israel to send up multiple ABM missiles and the individual interceptors could re-target other warheads if their initial target were already destroyed or perhaps missed.

Science Fiction?

The Americans say.. Possibly. The reasoning lies not behind the radical Israeli technology which makes all this theoretically feasible, but the compressed time frames. General Oreilly (the father of US ABM currently) laid out how the US goes about fielding & testing US programs (Video), usually measured in years verging on a decade or more. Israel seeks to develop, field & test this radical jump in just a few scant years.

The Israel Air Force will hold its first test of the Arrow 3, under development by Israel Aerospace Industries, in early 2011, officials said on Wednesday.

Jointly developed by IAI and Boeing in the US, the Arrow 3 will serve as Israel’s top-tier missile defense system, adding another layer of defense to that provided by the Arrow 2, which is already operational and deployed throughout Israel.

The initial test of the Arrow 3 will not include the interception of a mock enemy missile. An interception test will likely take place in 2012.

“The Arrow system can effectively counter all of the missile threats that exist in the region,” said Inbal Kreiss, the Arrow 3 project manager at IAI. [...]

The much more cautious Americans are skeptical, firstly they generally spend a ton more money than Israel does in development and this translates on time frames as well. Israel does development leaner & meaner in this regard as a consequence of not having as much funding or time for that matter.

In written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee June 16, O’Reilly said the Arrow-3 program has “very high schedule and technical risk,” leading MDA to fund work on a land-based version of the SM-3 as a backup.

Integration

Some of the benefits of this US skepticism are integration, as a backup Israeli arrow launchers will be modified to house the American SM3 interceptors (who’s advancement as stated will be longer in the coming). Equally, the Arrow 3 if successful will be able to integrate to American sea based launchers. Overall, the radar & detection systems are also being integrated more globally in line with the American new plan for its own missile defenses, as evidenced already by the deployment of the US X-Band Radar in Israel by G. W. Bush.

Can we succeed?

They said the Arrow itself (Hetz) could not be done as well in the 80s when it was initially proposed. The Arrow 2 is now fully deployed and can intercept Scuds & basic Shahabs as we speak. I would not bet against Israel again moving the ball forward in ABM Missile Defense. As it is the rush is on because of Iran’s large leaps in fielding ICBMs and nuclear capable missiles. In the end we don’t have much choice BUT to succeed..

Turning Point 4: Israeli National Exercises Begin to Protect Civilians In Event of Missile, Chemical Attack

Week Long National Exercises Simulate Preparedness For Mass Casualty Events

The new reality in Israel is that we are all in range of missile attack. Threats originate from Gaza, From Hezbollah the Iranian terrorist proxy in Lebanon, and from large Shahab class Iranian ballistic missiles. With concerns mounting in Israel that Hezbollah is now in possession of Fateh-110 type, and Fajr-5 type large ballistic missiles and even Sscuds all capable of carrying biological or chemical agents, Turning Point 4, this year’s national drills are focusing on local governments and emergency response / preparedness to deal with these events.

Pin Point Warnings

Of note, the local cellular systems warning residents of an incoming missile attack in a localized area seems to be evolving, according to the IDF we may receive text messages as the in development system is tested. This system is a large leap ahead technologically from the days when a national siren or large segment of population were warned, now using cell tower and localization technologies in theory - those under an immediate threat or danger can be warned to take shelter from an incoming missile projected to impact their area. Commendable to say the least.

***  The Pikud Ha-Oref Website ***

Is a prime destination for information on both these tests, and what to do to both prepare for, as well as how to react in the event of a real missile emergency (English, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic).

In the event of missile attack

The National Home Front exercise is to begin tomorrow, Sunday, May 23rd 2010.

The IDF Home Front Command, the National Emergency Authority, search and rescue forces, local Israeli authorities, government offices, security organizations, the education system as well as public and private organizations will participate in the exercise.

The exercise is aimed at improving national preparedness and responses of the home front to emergencies. The exercise will improve cooperation between the various organizations and institutions and prepare them for different scenarios.

The exercise, taking place for the fourth consecutive year, was scheduled and planned in advance as a part of the IDF’s 2010 training plan. This exercise is an additional measure taken by Israel to prepare the public and the local authorities for emergency periods.

A 1.5-minute-long siren will be heard throughout the country on Wednesday, May 26th 2010 at 11:00 AM. In addition, on Tuesday through Thursday, May 25th- 27th, 2010 field training exercises will take place simulating different scenarios during which additional sirens will be heard.

The education system will also take part in the exercise, during which the students and teachers will simulate entering the designated secured areas.

This year the exercise will focus on the preparedness of the local authorities during emergencies. The exercise will replicate emergency scenarios in more than 30 local authorities throughout Israel in cooperation with the Home-Front Command.

The IDF Spokesperson and the IDF Home Front Command ask that the Israeli public take part in the exercise and be aware of the instructions given by the Home Front Command which have proven to be effective and life-saving.

Following the siren, the public will practice entering the designated secured area and stay there for approximately ten minutes. In cases where entering the designated secured area is not possible, the public is asked to methodically carry out the necessary actions that are to be taken during an emergency and practice them as soon as possible.

The exercise will also examine warning systems on cellular phones and civilians in certain areas may therefore receive text messages that read “Have a nice day” signed by the IDF Home Front Command.

In addition, the IDF Home Front Command will practice distributing protective kits to the public during emergency periods. The distribution points will be opened for one day on May 26th in several locations; Safed, Yokneam, Tira, Tzur Hadassah, Rishon LeZion, Petah Tikva, Holon and the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv. Residents of these cities will receive invitations via post.

During the exercise, all essential services, including hospitals, public transportation, conventions and public events will continue to work as usual.

  • If you fail to hear the siren, please contact and inform the Home Front Command Information Center at #1207.
  • For information related to public and private shelters please contact municipal information centers.

For further information contact Home Front Command Information Center at #1207 or the internet website at WWW.OREF.ORG.IL

Training Video

The IDF has released some video of yesterday’s excercizes, showing emergency responders training in rescue & response efforts at simulated locations of collapsed buildings due to chemical missile attack, complete with Hazmat gear..

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Let’s hope it never comes to that, but if it does its best to be prepared. We can do so by actively participating in the excercizes and preparing our homes with the proper supplies and shelter as directed by the IDF Home Front Command.

Abrams Unplugged: Former Dep. National Security Adviser Talks Mid East Peace (Video)

Elliott Abrams

The former dep. national security adviser to G.W Bush and Middle East expert does an extensive video interview on his views of the current state of Middle East Peace (or lack thereof), and the missteps of the Obama administration regarding the US Israel relationship. (H/T Jen Rubin)



Missed Opportunities under W & Obama 

I am always on the lookout for Mr. Abrams articles and views, because he’s usually quite on the mark. Amongst other interesting points he touches on is one regarding his own personal differences of opinion with the Bush admin regarding the rushed Annapolis peace drive. My own views at the time chronicled here at the Hashmonean were that Condi Rice and the US State Department convinced the President to gamble all on Annapolis, to try and secure some foreign policy gains during the radical FP shifts of Bush’s 2nd term. That term came up short in all too many ways save for Iraq.

I still believe one of the last remaining opportunities to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons drive was lost at the tail end of that 2nd term, with Bush & Cheney still in office. Hopefully I’m wrong about that. At the time it was rumored that PM Olmert floated a request to strike, but President Bush was advised against getting on board while VP Cheney held a harder line. We all know what has developed subsequently under the new President Obama.. Iranian, Syrian and Palestinian appeasement have reached new untold heights at both Israeli & American expense.

Dear John: National Security Adviser Brennan Professes Love for Al Quds; Hezbollah (Video)

PR Job – Obama Admin Displays Its Effective Israel Outreach

Lots has been made of late of the massive PR job the Obama administration has been selling American voters & Jewry regarding Israel. Everything is just great, there never was a crisis, the whole thing was really just some ‘faulty messaging’.. In fact, we may have imagined the whole thing here in Israel *eyeroll*.

I do have a vivid imagination.. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a US Deputy National Security Adviser (tasked with advising the President on the war on terror no less) would lavish praise on the Hezbollah terrorist organization!? Then follow that outrageousness up by referring to the Capital of the State of Israel Jerusalem as Al Quds in an official statement, on official White House video no less!

John Brennan calls for the US to build up Hezbollah moderates!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit.

“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet. “There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements,” Brennan said.

He did not spell out how Washington hoped to promote “moderate elements” given that the organization is branded a “foreign terrorist organization” by the United States. “We don’t deal with them,” he acknowledged.

Last month, the United States and Israel accused Syria of arming Hezbollah with increasingly powerful missiles and weapons technology. Brennan said he raised those concerns during his recent visit to the region.

This is the man advising the President on Counter Terrorism, and this is the administration that has a “rock solid commitment to Israel’s security”.

This terrorist organization is now viewed as legitimate because it has members in Lebanese parliament? Despite starting a war with Israel 3 years ago, bombarding Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets and now arming itself with tens of thousands more including long range weapons most normal countries do not even possess, let alone any other terrorist groups. They need to be ‘engaged’ like Iran & Syria to ‘promote their moderation’.

It’s total progressive insanity from the Muslim / Arabist outreach capitol of the World – The Obama White House! Hamas cannot be far behind.

Michael Rubin at AEI unleashes..

Reuters reports that the Obama administration wants to help shore up “moderates” within Hezbollah. In order to help the White House identify terrorist moderates, I offer this list:

  • Hezbollah: The moderates are the ones who make car bombs only out of midsize vehicles rather than SUVs or trucks.
  • Hamas: Moderates still believe in annihilating Israel, but they refrain from advocating throwing all the Jews into the sea because of environmental impact; they propose burying some instead.
  • Taliban: Ask Colin Powell. It’s been almost nine years since he spoke of moderate Taliban, so his definition might be ready by now. But, generally, moderate Taliban dilute the acid somewhat before they toss it into unveiled women’s faces.
  • Al Qaeda: The moderates are the ones who would have taken down only one World Trade Center tower, rather than both.
  • PLO: Moderates are pragmatists: They are willing to speak about tolerance and reform so long as the State Department keeps the subsidy flow coming. They accuse radicals of making the purchase of Western weaponry to funnel to terrorists that much more difficult.
  • Abu Sayyaf: Moderates refrain from using a blunt knife when beheading captive Western tourists.
  • IRGC: Moderates firmly believe that they should keep their nuclear bomb yields below 50 kilotons so that the radiation cloud from nuking Israel doesn’t blow back too far.

Pandering to Islam.. Obama Style.

If all this was not disturbing enough, here’s Brennan putting the cherry on top just in case you were buying the White House PR Job about Israel, Jerusalem or anything else.

Evolution!

I’m not the Prime Minister of Israel, just a citizen.. But I can’t imagine anyone here is going to be overly thrilled with the notion of ‘embracing the moderates’ in the terrorist organizations trying to kill us, or by the White House referring to our Capital as Al Quds!?

I seem to recall Hezbollah murdering US Marines, French soldiers, Americans (including CIA station chiefs) but I guess this was the phase when they were terrorists. Now that they only fire tens of thousands of missiles at Israelis, murder our boys ect they are militiamen come diplomats.. Isn’t  that just special?

Elvis U Ain’t: Never Has Been Costello Boycotts Israel

Elvis Costello has canceled his Israel concerts slated for June as ‘a matter of conscience’

Costello published a letter on his official website, in which he apologized to his fans and explained the reasons behind the cancellation. The Israeli production company organizing the event has yet to comment.

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat criticized Costello for calling off his concerts, saying that “an artist boycotting his fans in Israel is unworthy of performing here.” [...]

So sayeth Costello..

“I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth. I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this,” He concluded.

Costello’s wife, Jazz singer Diana Krall is also scheduled to perform in Israel in the near future. It is still unclear whether Costello’s decision will also have an effect on her visit to the Jewish state

Of course, Mr. Costello had no problem booking the shows and selling the tickets taking Israelis hard earned cash to fatten up his wallet before he was pressured by his Irish Israel hating pals into canceling his concerts as a ‘matter of conscience’, which makes him pitiful on top of nearly irrelevant musically as far as I’m concerned. The whole notion that Israel should be boycotted is itself too absurd to even broach, let alone on behalf of a people ruled by Hamas who routinely slit their own daughters’ throats for ‘embarrassing the family honor’ by showing off an ankle, or perhaps falling in love. These are the same folks who would seek to ban all music like the Taliban because it is ‘contrary to the will of the prophet muhammad’ and his religion of oppression.

Will his wife Diana Krall also cancel? After all Israel is only one of the most progressive countries on earth, with women in senior government & public positions, free elections, free judiciary, free press.. One could go on but we are too busy preparing for the massive Metallica shows which are about to rock our little country in 10 days.. Elvis who!?

Here’s an AISH video on Israel, to better understand the terrible evil country Costello feels the need to boycott..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGUxzISr9Us

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