Cooking up the recipe for the World’s 1st multi level integrated Missile Defense System
Israel has been working hard to get a comprehensive ballistic missile defense shield in place..
The Arrow 2 is deployed against long range Scud / Shihab type missiles from Syria & Iran, currently in 2-3 batteries across Israel. It targets weapons which usually have ranges between 400 to 1200+ KM.
The successor Arrow 3 is itself under high speed joint Israeli US development to counter Iran’s continuous missile advances. It is currently slated according to both US & Israeli officials to be the most advanced medium ballistic missile interceptor around, and is being fast-tracked for development into the new US missile shield announced by the Pentagon last year.
David’s Sling or Magic Wand as it is also called is a medium interception system nearing deployment, it’s goal is to protect against missiles supplied by Iran to both Syria & Hezbollah with ranges of approx 100-200 KM. The Zelzal type weapons that were flattened by the Israeli airforce in the opening hours of the 2nd Lebanon war that can reach Tel Aviv.
Iron Dome, which is also in final testing & production for deployment this year is a short range Qassam & Katyusha rocket defense. Targeting those weapons with 1-30 KM ranges that dropped by the 1000s on Sderot from Gaza.
ABM Shield: You don’t have one of these in Iran do you?
Now word reaches from YNET that Israel has begun testing and simulations on protocols & doctrine for coordinating the various systems into a comprehensive ABM shield, the 1st of its kind in the world..
The security establishment conducted a first-of-its-kind trial run, meant to test the joint operation of several anti missile and rocket defense systems. The aim of the test was to gage the systems’ performance during a missile attack on Israel.
Israeli Air Defense Network Commander Brigadier-General Doron Gavish said it was the first test of its kind conducted in the world. The experiment evaluated the command and control units of each system in order to engineer the ultimate “recipe” for optimal performance when the need arises. “It is a significant test that will give us the knowledge and tools to intercept different threats,” said the head of the Air Force’s defense branch, Lieutenant-Colonel Avi Cohen.
The trial was another step forward for the security establishment and its goal of launching a graded anti-ballistic defense system. [...]
Of course, ABM is not foolproof. Threats can get through and do significant damage, but such an ABM shield can vastly lessen the blow for both critical military installations & the civilian population centers. It can also serve as a heavy duty deterrent, since certain terror entities & countries do not have such a shield in place by any stretch of the imagination and are fully vulnerable to counter missile attack.
The US Israel Alliance
It is also worth noting for those that often question the benefits of the US Israel alliance, the jointly developed Arrow 2 and these other components have provided the basis for America’s own missile defense platforms over the years, and the Arrow 2/3 will be integrated into America’s own ballistic missile shield as well going forward we have learned from the Pentagon.
With Israel leading the way on a multi tiered system, the 1st of its kind, our friends in the USA will also benefit greatly as whatever we develop & learn in our pioneering efforts will end up being integrated and implemented in American ABM systems down the road, protecting both American civilians & forces in the future from missile attack. That’s good news for all of us, and bad news for our common enemies.
We Must Pursue a New Strategic Reality
It is now clear that the President of the United States is intent on appeasing the enemies of both America & Israel. It is also clear he intends to do so at our expense in Israel. Whatever his strategy, (beyond sheer malice) the following is evident. Obama is moving to impose a solution on Israel that will not deliver the prime ingredient, PEACE.
The President has broken a number of agreements with us, despite his assurances his word is meaningless. He broke agreements with us regarding Jerusalem, we painfully froze settlements in the West Bank excluding Jerusalem and months later our concessions have been digested, and he is only pushing for more. This means our concessions have no currency, they are like devalued dollars in an inflationary spiral. Forget guarantees, our concessions don’t even generate goodwill! Neither with America nor the Palestinians.
The opposite, they are perceived as weakness by a tyrant intent on pummeling us further. Such a man cannot be entrusted, he has broken faith not only with our government, but the people of Israel. This new reality touches on a wide range of issues;
- American assurances regarding Iran’s nuclear drive
- American assurances in any peace making efforts
- American assurances regarding defense, and or ballistic missile attack
- American assurances regarding a nuclear umbrella
If Obama intends to impose a mideast solution, he will try to force concessions from us that do not deliver peace. Worse, this imposed settlement will require Israel to place its security in the hands of others, either NATO or the US in the deluded notion that they will protect Israeli interests. Clearly, they will not. We have seen how this has failed previously, UN forces on the Suez, UN forces in Lebanon. Not once have they ever secured security for Israel. They have only sought to tie Israel’s hands from ensuring its own security. This is the model Obama will seek when he pushes to impose a solution on any number of fronts.
The same can be said of Iran. We are being told not to strike and being given instead only American assurances. Such assurances are clearly worthless under this President. I am not being dramatic, polling shows Israelis do not trust the President, it is as simple as that. It may have been the case previously that Israelis would entertain allowing US forces or NATO forces to create a buffer between us & our enemies. Under this President who cannot be trusted this is no longer acceptable.
Whether it be Mid East peace, or more aptly titled Mid East concessions on land for no Peace.. Or the Iran threat, Obama has blown his own credibility with the people of Israel. His advisers whine about Netanyahu’s credibility as a peace maker, this is noise. They do so after we called for a two state solution, after we froze settlements, after we openly maintained since day one we are prepared for DIRECT talks with the Palestinians. The Administration seeks to cover not only its own evident failures by blaming others, but those of the Arab world and the Palestinians as well – It’s rather pitiful.
In reality it is their credibility which is now strained, not ours. We must act accordingly, we must now dig in for massive White House pressure on an imposed solution, up domestic support for Netanyahu, preserve the Labor / Likud coalition and prepare to strike Iran militarily. It is also likely Palestinian obstinacy will cause violent flare ups regionally, Hamas has already been emboldened by Obama’s appeasement, Hezbollah will not be far behind.
Obama may believe he seeks peace, in reality all his failed ideologies and strategies will lead to war. The more he pressures Americas allies while giving a free pass to her enemies, the higher the likelihood of violence. When it explodes, we will know whom to blame.
UPDATE: March 29th
Haaretz today adds the muscle to the analysis above, as Jerusalem sources confirm the belief that Obama now seeks to impose a mediated settlement, and has broken American commitments with Israel. The article also touches on the credibility gap I wrote about above.
Below, a commenter expresses his frustration over the Obama tactics of bait & switch regarding Jerusalem, something felt strongly here in Israel as well.
Guerrilla War: IDF Should Prepare For Hundreds of Heavily Armed Hezbollah Raiders Storming Israel (Massive Update)
Yaakov Katz at JPOST has an interesting piece about the 2006 Lebanon war up today. It’s a report on an IDF research article and it comes to some ugly conclusions..
- Israel failed to execute the last war as well as Hezbollah
- Israel needs to prepare for hundreds of 5 man Guerrilla teams infiltrating Israel in coming conflicts
- Hezbollah is armed to the teeth with advanced weapons
- Israel needs to prepare for a possible scenario where it has “No US Ally or Support”
We’ve already seen a waning of our US alliance under Obama, and a crimp on weapons from the US.
What is of particular interest is the guerrilla raiding teams aspect.
One notes that the catalyst for the last war itself was in fact two or three such teams carrying out a similar attack across the northern border against an IDF patrol, with the goal of killing & capturing IDF soldiers. Using the rocketing of Israeli civilians as a diversion, two such teams ambushed IDF humvees on patrol with RPGs and weapons fire, killing at least three soldiers & abducting Goldwasser & Regev – Who themselves were probably either dead or mortally wounded in the ambush.
Other raiding teams were lying in ambush within Lebanon itself, waiting for the IDF Tank response to cross the border in hot pursuit – Directly toward the intricate Hezbollah bunker & mine networks leading to further IDF losses. The result was the full outbreak of war, where Israel faced village after village stocked with these small teams armed up with advanced RPGs & anti-tank weaponry, complete with advanced armor piercing shaped warhead charges.
In 2000, another similar ambush occurred. That time however Hezbollah were wearing UNIFIL / UN uniforms and driving UN vehicles as their diversion & cover. They attacked a smaller IDF patrol destroying their vehicle, and hauled off three IDF soldiers who again were most likely either dead or mortally wounded.
Large scale raids
The prospect of Hezbollah scaling up this strategy is clearly a serious threat, dozens of such teams or even hundreds as mentioned in the article could create havoc in Northern Israel – Even a mini insurgency going on for some time, in a frightening hide & go seek manner relying on local ‘Arab Israeli infrastructure’ & villages for shelter or supplies, while seeking to kill untold numbers of Israeli civilians.
Unlike traditional threats, Israel could not rely on choppers, heavy weaponry or tanks to counter this terrorist rush. They’d have to be engaged by elite combat forces in close quarters. It should also be noted that these teams would not be Hezbollah regulars, but Iranian trained Revolutionary Guards serving Hezbollah as proxy fighters, these are the most heavily armed & best trained fighters terrorism can currently buy.
Hezbollah is in reality an army with the full Iranian weapons arsenal that employs terrorist tactics, this differentiates them somewhat from traditional guerrilla threats like those faced by the US in Iraq or Afghanistan, and represents a serious challenge. Hezbollah’s heavier weapons & longer range rockets require full logistics & abilities beyond any terror group to maintain & launch, light years beyond what any normal insurgency can muster. How do you engage with an army that does not follow any rules of war on any level? Worse, one who’s main goal is the killing of civilians and causing civilian damage / casualties as opposed to engaging in normal warfare.
The Syria Factor
Also of note, comments by Syrian President Bashar Assad to the effect that this is the manner Syria intends to fight Israel going forward. In 2006, Assad & Syrian Ministers hinted that Syria could resort to ‘Armed Resistance’ & Guerrilla Warfare to retrieve the Golan Heights.
Unable to defeat Israel with their conventional forces the Arabs & Iranians have now fully also invested themselves in terrorism & missiles that target civilians, instead of just tanks or planes to fight. It’s not very honorable, but it sure can kill a lot of innocent people.
Let’s hope IDF reforms past, present & future are gearing up to counter these realities. Its no small challenge as Israel needs to counter traditional warfare threats from tanks & planes. Missile & rocket threats from tens of thousands of short medium range weapons on multiple fronts. Missile threats from large long range ballistic weapons probably armed with WMD. A full terrorist threat comprising of gunmen & suicide bombers, and now a combination Guerrilla / Terrorist threat armed with conventional advanced army weapons.
SoccerDad provides a stunner of a Link update:
Using his rather impressive encyclopedic knowledge, SD points out to me that he has read something similar to the report being referenced here on Hezbollah previously! - In fact reading the link he sent my mouth kinda opened a bit. Written a decade ago, Israel’s current Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz warned of a nearly identical threat from Israel’s seam line with Judea & Samaria in reference to the Oslo accords, and the arming of PA security forces by Israel.
Reprinted from Commentary Magazine, December, 1999:
WHEN THE PALESTINIAN ARMY INVADES THE HEART OF ISRAEL
Yuval outlines in very specific terms the dangers to critical infrastructure, civilians, the military and the entire state that small groups of Palestinian guerrillas in a mass assault could inflict. It’s a prophetic & sobering analysis, one which has left me with an entirely new facet of respect for Mr. Steinitz, while equally leaving me scratching my head somewhat as well.
Where were the IDF big thinkers?
Spanning all that time until now? How come these issues have not been addressed seemingly on multiple borders, and why have we seen in many ways now more than a decade of mediocre IDF strategic thinking, culminating in the painful 2006 Lebanon war? Is it merely complacency or something far more troubling.
Israel’s own Lebanon War Winograd Report blasted the IDF for their lack of out of the box strategic thought, compounded by having a Labor Union chief playing Defense Minister & a negligent Prime Minister. We’re going to need a better effort from our political echelon, regional commands & our upper mid level commanders. Hopefully, the mere fact that we are finally seeing the IDF internalizing, thinking & discussing, while simultaneously reporting & researching means the IDF has come to the same conclusion.
Ehud Barak’s sad Lebanese legacy
Equally, I would like very much to point out that the current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, while serving as the Prime Minister around the time Steinitz penned his own analysis above compounded this situation badly. Barak opened up this second northern front by precipitously & delusionally withdrawing from the Lebanon security corridor in the middle of the night. A move which was stunning in its lack of strategic planning or thought on so many levels it left me in tears when I watched it unfold on the news a decade ago.
He did so with no political deal whatsoever to fill the void left by the dismantling of the Phalange (Israel’s Christian Lebanese Militia allies) and withdrawal of IDF forces from Lebanon, let alone a secured peace deal. Without a doubt the single biggest strategic bungle of the last decade by far. We already know the results of that poor strategic thought on the part of Barak – It’s known as South Lebanon, now a mini self enclosed Iranian terror state which manifested itself in less than 5 years. One imagines he took something away from this & other stunning failures like Camp David II, which resulted in the most brutal terror assault Israel has ever seen.
I’m going to stop now, I’m feeling disillusioned & I have so much more to say I could go on forever. You could write a book about the issues in this post but I promised my readers I would hold post lengths and I’ve already doubled this post’s word count.
It’s not my fault, Gerstman found Pandora’s Box!
American Policy Still ‘Stuck On Stupid’
In Lebanon Hezbollah is set to return to full status-quo, and will soon be given control of at least 1/3rd of Lebanon’s government. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the US Administration to tout the glories of Obama’s Cairo speech in achieving this ‘amazing’ result however, as it is too early to celebrate because Hezbollah figures it can get even MORE!
In Syria, a flurry of diplomatic American concessions have resulted in no hope and even less change. In Israel massive pressure has failed to move the Israeli government or public toward Obama’s initiatives, if anything relations have soured. Upcoming settlement deals leave out Jerusalem entirely and look very similar from what we can see so far.. to the deal negotiated with Former President Bush, the one that Clinton & Obama claimed never existed.
There’s some success here somewhere, we just have to dig & find it
On the Palestinian side, positions thanks to Obama have hardened. The Palestinians have delusionally decided to wait for the US President to deliver Israel to them.. Good luck with that. In latin America the US has thrown a former small ally Honduras to the curb, while propping up the commie strongman Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. In Asia the North Koreans have tested a nuclear weapon, missiles, and have only just begun to test the new American president himself.
In Europe, there has been no additional support for the Afghan mission whatsoever. The Czechs & Polish are feeling slighted over Obama’s appeasement of Russia in relation to missile defense, and in return for the American appeasement the Russians have delivered zilch. Despite the bow seen round the world, the Saudis sent Mr. Obama packing and rejected Obama’s peace process reset out of hand. They followed that up by doing so on TV for all to see, at the White House yet!
The War on Terror has been erased from the American lexicon. It is now known as “overseas contingency operations”, lest someone who is Muslim be offended by the fact that 99.95% of all terrorism is carried out by.. fellow Muslims.
As for Iran? They have pulled their nuclear program off the table of any negotiation past present or future. Instead they have offered to have televised debates between President Obama & Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one imagines in order to milk America for even more legitimacy than Obama has already bestowed on the rogue regime. Woohoo!
President or Avon Lady?
When one considers all this foreign policy success, the words train wreck come to mind. It may be time to Reset the Reset, as Obama’s operating system is now failing to boot completely. Jackson Diehl writes in the WP..
[...] In fact, one of the emerging lessons of the Obama administration’s foreign policy might be summed up as follows: The idea that presidential “direct diplomacy” with actors such as Chávez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il or Fidel Castro is feasible or likely to produce results is, well, naive.
It’s not that Obama hasn’t tried. According to reports in the Iranian media he has dispatched two letters to Iran’s supreme cleric, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has sent multiple high-level envoys to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Shortly after the administration took office, a new special representative for North Korea publicly offered bilateral negotiations to Pyongyang; former president Bill Clinton later met dictator Kim with the administration’s sanction. Obama graciously accepted Chávez’s gift of a stridently anti-American book and later dispatched a new ambassador to Caracas. He lifted some sanctions on Cuba. The problem is that none of this has brought any results.
Back in reality, Ralph Peters writes in the NY Post: Bam Vs Democracy
[...] if Obama thinks that handing over a “little” country he couldn’t find on a map is going to win him enduring applause and cooperative friends in Latin America, he’s crazy. What he’s actually doing is frightening our friends. If democratic governments south of the border can’t rely on US support, to whom can they turn?
The increasingly left-wing tone from the White House may be satisfying to ideological activists, but it’s doing tremendous damage to the cause of freedom in our hemisphere.
Not to worry though because the cheerleaders are still out in force despite the fact the home team is getting shellacked. The NY Times, the LA Times, the major networks, most of cable news – American media is still touting the great One! You rarely hear anything about these massive failures. Domestically these media outlets are too busy providing cover for the disastrous health-care, stimulus, and soaring deficits Obama has racked up.
American policy may be stuck on stupid, but not the American people. Obama’s polling has taken a leap off the side of Mt Rushmore. He’s falling faster in polling than any US President in history. How many more times will he be able to hit the reset button on the way down before the big splat is the big question now?
Update: I fixed the H in Jackson Diehl’s name, I keep putting it in the wrong place. This is at least the 4th time I’ve had to fix the guy’s name here in posts the last few months. Credit to him for writing good stuff worth linking. Sorry Jackson, I’d say it won’t happen again but heck it’s habit already ; )
Obama’s Open Hand to Nowhere Results in Predictable Syrian Slap to the Face
Bush’s Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams takes us there blow by blow, courtesy of the ever delish Weekly Standard..
The Obama administration has been trying out a new policy toward Syria since the day it came to office. The Bush cold shoulder was viewed as a primitive reaction, now to be replaced by sophisticated diplomacy. Outreach would substitute for isolation. Thus there have been six visits to Damascus by high-level administration officials, including two by George Mitchell. Moreover, the administration has signaled that its handling of export license applications for Syria will be more “flexible” than that of the Bush administration, which tried to deny every shipment it could.
Well, the returns are in. Within the past week, Iraq has withdrawn its ambassador from Damascus and accused Syria of involvement in terrorist incidents in Baghdad. Iraqi TV has also aired a confession by an accused al Qaeda terrorist, a Saudi who claimed he had been trained in Syria–by the Asad regime’s intelligence services. Nor is this all. Syria continues to support Hezbollah’s blocking of the formation of a government in Lebanon, backing Hezbollah in its demand for a “blocking third” that would prevent any decisions Hezbollah opposes in any new Cabinet. The Palestinian terrorist groups remain headquartered in Damascus, and under no visible restraints. And on August 19, President Bashar Asad paid a visit to President Ahmadinejad in Tehran, to showcase his support of the latter during the current Iranian political crisis. [...]
You can smell the generous dollop of sarcasm Abrams drops on us with his ‘sophisticated diplomacy’ shot above, as soon as I read that I knew I’d be blogging about this one. I love that! Critics will point out that Obama has in theory maintained the ‘US tough guy stance’ toward Syria by renewing American Congressional sanctions slapped on the regime by the Bush Administration, albeit minus the now granted gift of export licenses mentioned above for technical parts & other goodies. Further, the argument inevitably leads to critics saying the Bush strategy did not produce desired results, so ‘hope & change’ was needed.
To this criticism Abrams fires off an unexpected volley, the Bush strategy was too tame & weak. With evidence pouring in that Syria has been for years now allowing the open flow of men & matériel to Iraq with the goal of fighting Americans, Abrams counters that a more aggressive strategy would have been effective and that the tools – A massive US military presence along the border regions with Iraq were close at hand.
Hawks Speaking Out
Which brings up another related manner. VP Cheney’s recent comments to Fox News Sunday which carried a not so subtle undertone. The second half of the Bush administration’s two terms exhibited a much weaker foreign policy stance across the board. One which clearly created debate within the administration with Cheney and hawks lined up versus Condi Rice and the organs of State.
We can deduce without much trouble where Elliott might fall opinion wise. Cheney himself spoke about Iran, but this weakened stance exhibited itself in relation to Syria & North Korea, and finally in the Annapolis process as well which was clearly Condi’s baby. This weakness was most especially pronounced & came to the fore clearly when Condi lobbied to have America halt Israel from successfully striking the Syrian illicit nuclear program, which was frankly a stunning bit of appeasement that Bush thankfully resisted.
Realists vs NeoCons
It all comes full circle. Abrams speaks about the lack of moral clarity we’re now seeing under President Obama in relation to Syria, but just as glaringly we have also seen it in relation to Iran. Where Obama shamefully sacrificed American ideals to appease a brutal and vicious Iranian Revolutionary Guard military coup in order to prop up his already failing strategy on that front too.
The new Obama policy has produced no change in Syrian conduct, but it has produced a change in American behavior: Now we have even lost the moral clarity with which America used to speak about the nature and actions of the Asad regime.
But that is in essence the great American dilemma right now isn’t it?
With realists driving American foreign policy; Freedom, American values and sacrosanct American ideals which are the basis of neoconservative policies have taken a back seat to cold often faulty calculating ‘realism’. Screw Democracy, it’s now a moment by moment mish mash of washed up, moraless, academia induced nonsense. There’s no map or guiding principles. In short – An epic fail in both result and what has been sacrificed.. The American moral high ground.
President Obama doesn’t like ‘surprises’..
(Haaretz) U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding that Israel not surprise the U.S. with an Israeli military operation against Iran. The message was conveyed by a senior American official who met in Israel with Netanyahu, ministers and other senior officials. [...]
The message from the American envoy to the prime minister reveals U.S. concern that Israel could lose patience and act against Iran. It is important to the Americans that they not be caught off guard and find themselves facing facts on the ground at the last minute. [...]
Obama, the New Abraham of our age!
So this is effectively the 1st message Obama has chosen to deliver to Israel thus far. Further, by sending it along with a lone senior American official like the lone ranger mere days ahead of Netanyahu traveling to meet the US President, Obama effectively conveys a policy message as well – Don’t expect any coordination or backup from America.
If the opposite were the case, Admiral Mullen, Secretary Gates, senior American commanders, or senior US intelligence officers would be the ones conveying these messages. That omission of senior security officials & talks sends a clear message that coordination is not ongoing, nor is it welcome. To date they have refused to meet with Israel’s new government, The IDF Chief of Staff was denied meetings on his most recent trip in late March.. He cut his trip short & came home early.
Quid Pro Quo..
The American President has made a large request, his cold warning is a catch-22. No surprises, and no coordination to avert one, in effect he has tried to tie Israel’s hands from defending itself should that need arise, the new Abraham prepares Isaac up for sacrifice to the ‘Grand Bargain’ Gods.
This is what the President’s new advisers must mean by ’smart power’ – Warning the need to be intimately involved while simultaneously bolting closed the door marked ‘involve me’, more like smart-ass power really. Those seeking the types of pressures Obama might choose to employ against us as penalty for not playing along with Palestinian concession Quid Pro Quo? - Here they are, delivered by lackey yet! As befitting the royal house of Obama, which one gathers only bows to Arabian Kings.
Israel has already made clear it intends to give President Obama some time, 3 to 4 months in order to test his ‘smart power’ appeasement strategies. But, there are warnings of our own. The ‘smart appeasement’ window isn’t open ended, time is now more precious. Maybe Obama should stop warning & start preparing, as Israel evidently is..
IAF practicing MIG-29 / F-16 dogfights
(JPOST) Israel Air Force test pilots are flying MIG 29 jets and conducting dogfights against the IAF’s F-16 fighters, Channel 2 revealed Wednesday evening.
The MIG 29, developed by the soviets in the 1970s, is one of the best fighter jets used by eastern and Arab countries, as well as by Syria and Iran. It was developed to counter American-made jets such the F-16 or F/A-18.
The jets were loaned to Israel by an unnamed foreign country. The experiment is meant to prepare IAF pilots for missions where they might have to fight a foreign air-force. “We tested them – we trained the IAF pilots against them,” an unnamed IAF official said. [...]
The IAF has according to the report also been testing the mechanics & aerodynamics of maxed up fully loaded F-16s, training & testing their performance loaded for bear with full strike packages.
(Photos from Israel Channel 2 )