Iron Dome Used for Dangerously Wrong Concept

By Aaron Lerner

November 17, 2018

 

Here is what I wrote on January 27, 2008 as Israel raced to complete the

Iron Dome project:

 

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There are two fundamentally different visions of  the purpose of a rocket

defense umbrella:

 

Concept #1: The enemy can be essentially allowed to fire rockets 24/7 at

Israeli targets because they are intercepted.

 

Concept #2: The IDF can carry out operations against the enemy with the

enemy's ability to retaliate against Israel's civilian population

dramatically limited.

 

In the first case, life is still pretty miserable for Israelis with rockets

blowing up all the time and the enemy taking advantage of the Israeli

avoidance of ground activity to develop answers to the Israeli equipment

(e.g. shoot enough rockets at the same time that are aimed well enough that

most of them will in fact land inside a populated area so that the Israeli

umbrella temporarily runs out of supplies).

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Unfortunately, Israel opted for Concept #1.  

And judging from the talking heads - with the exception of Naftali Bennett

and a few others - the approach appears to be to continue to engage in an

incredibly expensive gizmo development and deployment race with our enemies

rather than destroying the gizmos already in Gaza and Lebanon and preventing

new gizmos from being deployed there.  

And the costs are indeed incredibly expensive.  

We are trying to defend basically all of urban Israel with systems designed

to defend strategic locations with relatively small footprints.  

In money terms - we are on the path to spending many tens of billions of

dollars on systems that may temporarily allow us to continue ignoring Hamas

and Hizbullah when the cost of literally demolishing the gizmos now in Gaza

and Lebanon and their gizmo production capability is only a fraction of

this.  

Let's be clear about this gizmo race.  

At every level of technology, the cost of gizmos that can shield Israel's

urban areas will always be magnitudes greater than the cost of the offensive

gizmos.

That's "shield Israel's urban areas"  rather than limiting the deployment to

protecting critical strategic locations.  

Hamas spends ten million - we spend a billion.  

Hamas spends fifty million - we spend half our current defense budget.  

And it only gets worse.  

Today, when it appears that we still have the gizmos to defend our critical

strategic locations as we do what must be done in Gaza and Lebanon, is the

time to urgently and quickly plan and execute the operations to wipe out the

gizmos which we have postponed for over a decade.