'Star Wars' System Protects Israel

Friday, 11 Jul 2014 04:43 PM

By Michael Reagan

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Since its inception in 1948 Israel — our ally and the only Democracy in the Middle East — has been proving the experts wrong.
 
The latest expert comeuppance concerns "asymmetrical warfare." This is a buzzword for guerrilla warfare and describes what happens when a weaker or more primitive combatant takes on a 21st century foe. The theory was that the weaker opponent will use what appears to be technically unsophisticated weapons and tactics that will find the chink in the technologically musclebound foe’s armor.
 
In Israel’s case, the thousands of home-made rockets fired at civilians by Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Arab terrorists were supposed to be so formidable that Israel’s military options would be severely limited, lest it risk devastating consequences for civilians under a rain of rocket fire.
 
Except the rockets didn’t and Israel is not.
 
The game changer for Israel is what you would expect from a technologically sophisticated and free nation: The Iron Dome defense system. Iron Dome was first employed to prevent missile attacks during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.
 
The system successfully intercepted 84 percent of the rockets launched at cities and other civilian areas.
 
This year the system is functioning even more efficiently. So far it has intercepted about 90 percent of the rockets fired by terrorists. Now this doesn’t mean every rocket fired is intercepted. The system only responds to attacks that are likely to hit civilians. As of yesterday 180 rockets had been fired and the Iron Dome was activated in 27 percent of the attacks.
 
Israel currently has seven Iron Dome batteries installed in areas where the danger of attack is greatest. And rockets aren’t the only threat Iron Dome can counter. It will also intercept artillery shells and mortar rounds fired from distances of up to 45 miles.
 
Now you may be wondering why Israel, which faces a threat from conventional rockets, has such a system and the United States, which is vulnerable to nuclear missiles, does not. The answer is fairly simple: Israel is not afflicted with leftwing fanatics that put scoring political points ahead of the well-being of the nation.
 
Work was started on such a system here during my father’s administration. He thought it was immoral that the nuclear policy of our country rested on threatening to immolate millions of Russians or Chinese if the enemy immolated millions of U.S. citizens.
 
Ronald Reagan didn’t think meekly accepting the potential murder of most of the nation was a morally justifiable defense policy. So he directed the Pentagon to begin work on a missile defense system.
 
Democrats were outraged. They ridiculed the project and called it "Star Wars." Their experts said such a system was impossible. It was “like hitting a rock with a rock.” The learned poo-pooed the concept; pontificating about "boost-phase," window of opportunity, MIRVs, destabilization and the like.
 
Yet it would be hard to find a weapon with a shorter boost-phase than a mortar round, yet Iron Dome does just fine.
 
So 26 years after my father left office, thanks to Democrats, the U.S. still doesn’t have a working missile defense installed, yet Israel does and it was built in only eight years. Fortunately, the U.S. has contributed to financing Iron Dome, so we are part owners of a system that’s located halfway around the world from us.
 
Maybe if we suffer an attack, they will let us borrow it.
 
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
 
 
 
 

© Mike Reagan

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