Iron Dome System Failed Miserably

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[Editors Note: America carries the dishonor of being a country where a sitting Congressman can call any constituents an anti-semite simply for quoting something from the Israeli news media. And if quoted the Hebrew papers they would be charged with a hate crime.

Richard Sliverstein has a long running blog full of  ‘secret material’ in terms of it being self censored out of our corporate media. The Iron Dome scandal is just the current version of the Patriot Missile hustle which performed similarly poorly during Gulf War I.

The scam generally works where the weapon is delivered in a partially functional state, and then more expenditures are voted through for ‘improvements’. The Mafia chief’s all regret not getting in on this scam in the early days.  For the Israelis it is less of a problem as the American taxpayers are funding the scam over there now…no dummies they.

The most unreported story of the whole program recently was how during the last Gaza ‘War’ the American Ageis destroyers which were supposed to be an integral part of the partially functional Iron Dome system never showed up. So we all got to watch the Iron Dome crash and burn, much to do about nothing as the Gazan rockets were of no strategic threat whatsover.

The Israelis got to shoot off a lot of their missiles so the Americans would have to buy a big batch of new ones for them, manufactured in Israel of course. Any yes, your Congressman voted that you should pay for all this because they cut him in for a piece on the back end.

Richard’s blog is a good stop (link at his name) for all the forbidden secrets in the Israeli Land of Oz. And unlike most Internet bloggers who are so often copiers, Richard actually has live sources like a real journalist from the old days doing the grunt work in the trenches, day after day …. Jim W. Dean]

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Iron Dome System Failed Miserably

 

by  Richard Silverstein     … first published at Tikun Olam –  March 8th, 2013

 

Fancy names for faked performance

After Operation Pillar of Smoke, the IDF claimed that its Iron Dome anti-missile system performed brilliantly destroying 84% of its targets.

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Defense Minister Barak sang its praises, Israeli civilians breathed a sign of relief to finally have a weapon that could protect them from incessant Gaza rocket attacks.

Home Front Minister Avi Dichter even used a truly capitalist metaphor to convey Israel’s admiration:

“Were Iron Dome traded on the (Tel Aviv) stock exchange or Nasdaq, it would have multiplied its share value several times over.”

Turns out it’s a good thing for investors they couldn’t buy shares in this thing because, while it’s not exactly a fraud, the IDF lied through its teeth about the results. Writing in Haaretz (Hebrew), military affairs columnist Reuven Pedatzur quotes three technical specialists who severely downgrade the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

The experts are Theodore Postol (whose findings are summarized in English here), Dr. Mordechai Shefer and an unnamed scientist who worked for Iron Dome’s manufacturer, Raytheon, till recently.

After examining hundreds of videos of Iron Dome launchings during the military campaign, they came to the conclusion that the anti-missile weapon may’ve shot down 5% of its targets.

They define a definite kill as a missile hitting the nose of the rocket where the weapons payload is. The IDF’s claims of success, they explain, results from confusion about the explosion that often occurred as the missile approached its target. In the vast majority of cases, the explosion was that of the missile self-destructing when it detected it would not strike the Palestinian rocket.

Postol also evaluated the success rate of Patriot missiles during the Gulf War and found that they didn’t hit any of their targets.

The experts also note a wide discrepancy between the number of damage claims by Israeli civilians (3,200) and the number of rockets the IDF concedes struck built-areas (58). Even the Israeli police reported 109 incidents in which they investigated damage from Palestinian rockets, which is double the number that the IDF claims.

If we keep in mind that Palestinian rockets are slow-moving, extremely primitive weapons and note the failure of Iron Dome at hitting them, missile experts have noted the anti-missile system would have much greater difficulty hitting more sophisticated rockets fired from missile launchers (such as what Hezbollah might mount).

Fifty million dollar missile batteries going up in smoke to counter what is effectively mortar fire – at $3 million a shot.

Before Israel and the U.S. rush into a billion-dollar spending spree for this whiz-bang system, it’s best that sober-minded people examine its real capabilities. The price of Iron Dome is mind-boggling. Israel wants 13 more batteries with each costing $50-million. That’s close to $600-million.

Missile experts have estimated that during an intense military attack Israel might spend $380-million a DAY on defensive operations. While I’m all in favor of protecting Israeli lives, is it worth a sum in the billions to shoot down 5% of the enemy rockets that it targets?

The hype and fraudulent claims around Iron Dome are characteristic of the entire Israeli national security system. It makes extravagant claims either about the danger posed by an enemy (Iran) or about the success of a weapons system.

Many of which turn out to be based on little more than wishful thinking. Israel bases much of its strategic military thinking on what it wants to happen, rather than what will or may happen. Which is how it gets into trouble when it actually has to fight a war or military campaign.

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