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The Military Technology

Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel 377

An anonymous reader writes "Many this week have declared Israel's American financed Iron Dome rocket defense system a success. Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagan's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system. Pundits have even gone so far to assume the system could be sold to other nations. However, the Iron Dome may not be the game changer many are making it out to be. Taking out unsophisticated rockets is quite different than advanced missiles: '...the technical and strategic challenges of shooting down ballistic missiles differ considerably from those of shooting down unguided rockets. BMD shares with rocket defense some common technological ground; both require fast reaction time and impressive sensor capabilities, and the Iron Dome project has benefited from technical work on missile defense. However, ballistic missiles in flight behave differently from unguided, sub-atmospheric rockets.'"
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Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel

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  • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:52PM (#42062667) Journal
    Will it still work if the same rockets have an off balance twisted fin making them spiral? Will new tactics erase some of the advantages as fewer and larger salvos are launched? Will EW rockets get thrown in with the others to try to jam iron dome radar tracking? How well will it work against larger salvos with a bunch of really cheap cardboard and tinfoil rockets mixed in?
  • Re:one other place (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @10:16PM (#42062857)

    Yeah, that's about it.

    Anywhere else that was getting shelled would just send in an army and level the folks shelling. Not sure why Israel isn't being allowed to do that, doesn't make any sense.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:07AM (#42063541)

    I read somewhere a couple of years ago that most of the rockets that are being fired into Israel don't even have a payload, and are just empty shells. Compare and contrast to how many have been injured or killed by Israeli reaction

    What would you consider to be a proportional response?

    Also, assuming that you are American (you may not be, of course, but changes are good), remember Afganistan? There is still a war raging there, plus at least 5 other countries are being bombed on regular basis. All that in response to an 11+ year old event (if a major one). You wanna talk about "proportional response"?

  • by CaptBubba ( 696284 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:56AM (#42063789)

    There has been noise, unable to be confirmed of course, that Hamas has been intentionally botching the rocket launches because they are little more than publicity for Hamas in Gaza and Hamas knows they are not an effective threat against Israel. Haaretz (which is admittedly a left-leaning Israeli newspaper) interviewed Gershon Baskin who indicated:

    '“during the past two years Jabari [whose assassination marked the start of the current fight] internalized the realization that the rounds of hostilities with Israel were beneficial neither to Hamas nor to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and only caused suffering, and several times he acted to prevent firing by Hamas into Israel.” Even when Hamas was pulled into participating in rocket fire, its rockets would always land in open spaces. “And that was intentional,” Baskin said.'

    We will likely never know if this is true or not, however it certainly seems plausible given the massive increase in the Iron Dome intercepts lately (which only trigger when a rocket is going to hit a populated area), indicating the rockets are capable of being aimed better than they have been in the past.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @01:44AM (#42063967)

    Also, assuming that you are American (you may not be, of course, but changes are good), remember Afganistan? There is still a war raging there, plus at least 5 other countries are being bombed on regular basis. All that in response to an 11+ year old event (if a major one). You wanna talk about "proportional response"?

    You're confusing "an American" with "America, the country." Realityimpaired is most likely a guy who lives in the US. He is most likely not one of the people who got the US involved in Afghanistan.

    If you were implying there was hypocrisy there because he lives in a country that did something bad, then you're a hypocrite for living wherever it is you live, because wherever it is you live, people did/do bad stuff there too.

    Also, really, do you think that someone daring to question whether Israel was morally justified was all gung-ho about Bush invading Afghanistan? I guess if you're not from America, the basics of our politics might be difficult. The answer is no: Realityimpaired likely was disgusted at his country for that.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @02:00AM (#42064041) Journal

    Let me highlight a bit of fact here, that you did not find out in actual research discussing it with military people who would have clarified.
    Believe it or not, but the unguided small missiles are a hell of a lot harder to intercept than ICBM's. Smaller and more frequent. ICBM's have more risk, but the unguided ones were basically impossible to intercept prior to Iron Dome. The issue with ICBM's is not that they can be intercepted (that part's easy), but the risk of fallout that increases by the second as the missiles head back towards the earth and/or the risk to other countries if they are detonated in upper atmosphere.

    If you recall the missile system russia was panicking about when countries near it's borders wanted to install it, it was this same project working successfully. Russia is probably shitting itself right now, as this is effectively a successful demonstration.

    It's not about the flight path at all - I doubt they predict based on flight path, or the intercept process would fail routinely just due to wind variations.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @04:42AM (#42064575) Homepage Journal

    You are comparing Israel to the worst example of how to deal with this sort of thing. A better comparison might be the UK and the IRA. Ultimately we sat down and negotiated peace which has lasted and which works for both sides.

    Israel's problem is that it continues to antagonize. Yes, Hamas is in the wrong as well, but Israel's actions are making a two state solution impossible. The current borders are not really viable for the Palestinians, for example.

  • HAHA! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @05:57AM (#42064791) Journal

    Yeah, Northern Ireland is a bright light to the world, just ignore the segregation and constant troubles. Have the fences come down? No? Are there still incidents of people attacking each other for being the wrong faith?

    Northern Ireland is as much a beacon for resolving conflict as the former Yugoslavian countries. Sure, it is peaceful, because everyone is separated.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:07AM (#42064835)

    But they were also given citizenship and rights.

    You mean that the Native Americans had to wait for Europeans to arrive and give them rights? They must have been suffering terribly for those thousands of years they had to live without any rights. If only they had been able to form a society of their own, which, as you imply, clearly weren't...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:14AM (#42065009)

    First, Palestinians don't have freedom of movement in the West Bank. The roads are segregated [visualizingpalestine.org] with special Israeli only roads, restricted Palestinian roads, and full use Palestinian roads. Israelis can use all roads. In order to travel, Palestinians must go through checkpoints to access different areas [wikipedia.org] is what is now popularly referred to as the West Bank Archipelago due to the isolation of Palestinian cities and land. This is partially due to the settlements and Israeli-only or Palestinian restricted roads and also due to military bases and land that Israel is reserving for future use.

    Second, Israel has been continuing to build settlements. That was one of the promises that Netanyahu made to win his seat. They just announced a new one [huffingtonpost.com] just before this recent war. Obama has almost been on his knees begging Netanyahu to stop since further construction is so inflammatory to this region. But even if he did, religious hardliners in Israel have been know to perform Price Tag [wikipedia.org] attacks as reprisals for any restrictions on building settlements.

  • by jabuzz ( 182671 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:32AM (#42065075) Homepage

    You are ignoring the fact that when the IRA finally decided to sit down and talk they had been severely curtailed in there ability to carry out operations by the British and Irish governments.

    The final hammer blow was actually 9/11, because the war on terrorism meant that the USA had to finally stop harbouring the bastards, stop any fundraising on behalf of the IRA and stop refusing to extradite them because they where "political refugees" rather than terrorists.

    I believe that French where also pretty happy in relation to some of their terrorists which the USA had been shielding as well.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser