Dear Members and Friends,
Over the past few days, MDAA has made an inaugural and historic visit to the country of Israel. Understanding the ballistic missile and rocket threat to this country and its people by their people provides a realism that is much different from our perceptions.
Understanding the political and public will to develop and deploy national missile defense to protect their lives and nation enlightens the reality of a nation under threat.
Understanding the 4 major Israeli missile defense systems (Arrow 2, David’s Sling, Iron Dome, Arrow 3) through in-depth briefings from the chief engineers and program managers validates the efficiency of doing more with less from the Israeli self grown systems with their U.S. partnerships and support.
Understanding that missile defense prevents low intensity conflicts from becoming wars, providing the leaders of the Knesset other options other than ones that cost lives and sends the Israel Defense Force into conflict proves missile defense can deescalate and stabilize future crisis.
The future survival of the country of Israel may depend on its missile defense capability and the U.S. missile defense assets in the region to defend and protect against Iran’s ballistic missile force and its soon to be acquired nuclear weapons. This is clearly the number one threat to Israel and this threat will require not only interoperability of the various missile defense systems but most important a “zero leakage” or 99 percent capability to destroy an incoming ballistic missile.
This means being able to have the capability to look, shoot, look, shoot, look, shoot, shoot at a missile during its entire flight. The capability required involves multiple radars to track and discriminate as well as defensive missiles that can shoot in the upper tier of space, the lower tier of space and the higher and lower atmosphere.
Today Israel does not have this capability nor do the current U.S. regional assets have this capability. Missile defense deployment and development here is much needed and encouraged prior to Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon.
Ballistic missile threats to Israel involve nearby neighbors, with a total of 200 plus missiles. This threat continues to grow exponentially as many of these countries have eliminated their resources for Air Forces and put them into ballistic missiles and rockets as they have proven far more effective and efficient for their military and political objectives.
MDAA visited the town of Sderot a little less than a mile from the Gaza Strip where this year alone 1,460 rockets were fired by Hamas into Sderot. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to protect public places from playgrounds, schools, to bus stops. This has yet to stop the life changes for the citizens caused by this threat. MDAA also visited Haifa and both Arab and Israeli towns in Lower Galilee. These towns and cities within this region have seen 4,000 rockets launched from Hezbollah in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Both of these unfortunate situations have driven the development of two new missile and rocket intercept systems that will be deployed over the next couple of years, one a joint U.S./Israel program called the David’s Sling and the other Israel only program called the Iron Dome.
This trip has been both inspiring and humbling as having first hand interaction and viewing the destruction of both life and property that ballistic missiles cause. These vivid memories and experiences add more motivation to fiercely advocate for missile defense.