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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lessons of Iron Dome



Israel has touted the success of its anti-missile program known as “Iron Dome.”

For their sake, I hope they don’t really think it was the success they are crowing about. Figures vary, but it appears that they were able to stop most of the rockets. That means that some got through and there were a few fatalities.

As an anti-rocket shield, Iron Dome is a failure. The anti-rocket missiles of Iron Dome are expensive sophisticated devices employing the best of high tech instrumentation and materials. The rockets they had limited success against were essentially pipe bombs on over sized bottle rockets. The expensive smart missiles could stop some of the dumb cheap rockets. Big whoop.

Iron Dome could be defeated by sending in a lot more cheapo rockets. Now imagine how it would do against sophisticated, faster, and smart missiles? Imagine how it would do against a lot of those missiles?

What if Iron Dome was able to successfully stop 999 our of a 1000 attacks? Feel secure? What if the one that got through had a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon? Still feeling secure?

Maybe Iron Dome isn’t really there to make the country safe. What if it’s supposed to give the illusion of safety? If citizens feel they are protected from attack, they will be more likely to agree to military solutions instead of diplomatic ones.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. very well made statement. I think you are right.

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  2. The problem is, in this age of liars and no statesmen or gentlemen, diplomacy is a farce, too. It's coming eventually.

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    1. Maybe some of that DARPA money can go towards building a better diplomat. It's what the world needs.

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  3. I think you're right too. It would be like believing the "war on Terror" makes us "safe". Safe from what exactly and from whom exactly? I don't believe in fairies, particularlies the ones blown by any kind of politicians, like soap bubbles.

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    1. I'll believe in fairies before I'll belive politicians.

      The "War on Terror" has always been a scam. In effect, it has been a war on freedom.

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  4. The "war on terror" is supposed to make the politicians feel safe from their constituents...

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    1. That doesn't seem to be working for them either. Sounds like a huge waste of money to me.

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  5. What's the alternative? Would you rather stop 90% of the rockets, or let them all hit you? No defense is ever foolproof. People die wearing seatbelts. Doesn't mean you don't have a better chance with them.

    The only true answer would be an actual settlement with the Palestinians, but I'm not holding my breath.

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    1. The point is that Iron Dome gives a false sense of security and they back away from finding a diplomatic solution. A strong military is a useful tool, but it shouldn't be the only tool. If you only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails.

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    2. What "false sense of security"? Did the Israelis claim that it was 100% effective? You set a standard that cannot be reached and then criticize the Israelis for not reaching it.

      As to the cost, if 10 rockets cause 1 death and you can stop 9 of them, the odds have gone up dramatically that no one is killed. Your argument actually is that saving lives isn't worth it. You also conveniently ignore the costs of treating the wounded, repairing damage, etc. in your calculation.

      As to the chemical, nuclear, and biological threat: do the Palestinians have that many of those weapons? No, they don't. But even if they did, you are suggesting that a people would be better off exposing themselves to multiple weapons of mass destruction rather than reducing the threat. No responsible government would do that to its people and no rational people would want their government to do that. And don't argue MAD. That only worked until the US was strong enough (partially through the Star Wars Program) and the Soviet Union weak enough that Reagan could negotiate reductions of the threat.

      Lastly, in terms of negotiations, your logic is backwards. It was to a large extent the increased defensive capability threatened by the Star Wars Program as well as the threat of a new arms race that the Soviets could not afford that brought success to the Reagan negotiations. Even today, when the Russians can afford an arms race better than we can, the defensive missle shield for eastern Europe is major issue for the Russians. Negotiating out of weakness is never smart.

      Neither history nor logic, nor negotiation theory support your view.

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    3. Yes, it's much better than nothing. Of course I simplify, this is just a short blog post after all.

      The Star Wars arm race did help to bankrupt the USSR. Didn't do us much good either -on the financial side of things.

      My concern is that they might think they've solved the defense problem, when they have not. It's not just Gaza that they have to worry about. Against a real missile attack, they will be toast. Need I say Iran?

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  6. What they need is for someone to come up with a futuristic protective force field dome. If they do, someone will figure out how to get a misle through it.

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    1. Even the Great Wall of China didn't work.

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  7. just turn all of them loose on each other over there. we dont owe them shit.use the aid money to rebuild our ancient infstructure

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