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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures 454

Lasrick (2629253) writes In a controversial article last week, MIT physicist Ted Postol again questioned whether Israel's vaunted Iron Dome rocket defense system actually works. This week, he comes back with evidence in the form of diagrams, photos of Iron Dome intercepts and contrails, and evidence on the ground to show that Iron Dome in fact is effective only about 5% of the time. Postol believes the real reason there are so few Israeli casualties is that Hamas rockets have very small warheads (only 10 to 20 pounds), and also Israel's outstanding civil defense system, which includes a vast system of shelters and an incredibly sophisticated rocket attack warning system (delivered through smart phones, among other ways).
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

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  • Maybe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @12:14AM (#47505335)

    Postol has a long history opposing any form of missile defense. While his assessment may well be correct, it should be viewed with considerable skepticism until data from opposing viewpoints is examined against his. Postol's view can be summaraized as: "No missile or rocket defense can work, therefore we should not try."

  • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @12:40AM (#47505425)

    It seems that Ted Postol defines a successful intercept as one where the opposing warhead is completely destroyed in mid-air and doesn't count a rocket being damaged enough to be knocked down over an area where it can detonate harmlessly. He also relies on personal and public photos and reports to draw his conclusions. This would miss a good portion of the rockets fired as most are fired at night, when photographing rockets and interceptions are much more difficult.

    I'm not going to argue that he is right or wrong. It just seems to me that his extrapolations are not based on enough factual evidence to draw a conclusion with any amount of confidence.

    It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

  • Re:Here we go... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @03:01AM (#47505795)

    They didn't steal the land, they bought it. They didn't expel them, the arabs left with the intention to come back with arab armies to steal back what they sold. Those who didn't leave became israeli arabs.

  • Re:Here we go... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SQL Error ( 16383 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @03:14AM (#47505815)

    If you view either side as clearly in the right, you're a fucking fool.

    Israel is clearly in the right.

    That doesn't mean that Israel is without fault. Clearly, they're not. But we have one side ready for peaceful coexistence and the other side who wants only the total destruction of their enemies.

    The situation is not complicated. That doesn't mean solving it is easy; there are many simple problems that are hard to solve. But we can say for sure that false equivalencies do not help.

  • Re: Here we go... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SQL Error ( 16383 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @03:27AM (#47505869)

    Of course, if you put an entire people inside an area more akin to the ghetto of Warsaw then a real country. An area with an insanely high population density an almost no way in our out for armed forces of their own the what did you expect really?

    I expect Israel would gladly hand the Gaza Strip back to Egypt at this point. It doesn't seem that Egypt wants it back.

  • Re:Here we go... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @03:59AM (#47505963)

    They're not at war? Are you high? Hamas has declared war on Israel from day one. At this very moment Israel and Gaza is exchanging rockets missiles and bombs and hundreds of people are being killed every day. If, as you say, "Israel could wipe them out in a matter of days", then do it and get it over with.

    Israel are trying to minimise casualties on both sides. Hamas are trying to maximise Israeli casualties, and use Palestinian casualties to their political advantage. It's a perfect example of asymmetrical warfare; the capabilities and aims of the combatants are completely different.

    Israel has the military capability to destroy Gaza, just as the US had the military capability to destroy Iraq or Afghanistan back in 2003. But doing so is not in their long-term interests.

    Do yourself a favor and drop your agenda and take a fresh look at what has been going on for decades. Israel is absolutely not trying to minimize casualties. They'll do everything and anything they can get away with, toeing the line as long as they have the backing of the US, which prevents anyone from doing anything about their horse shit.

  • Re: Here we go... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @04:46AM (#47506103) Homepage

    I'm an atheist. But I am happy when terrorists die. I don't need to rationalize it.

    Yeah, those damned terrorist children in their terrorist-loving hospital beds. Good riddance!

    Oh, but Israel warned them, right? Yeah, great how that goes down!

    Israel: Hey, just being nice and friendly and letting you know we're about to bomb!
    Palestinains: Great, we're on our way!
    Israel: Um, no... you can't come here.
    Palestinians: So... you're going to open up the border crossing to Egypt?
    Israel: Certainly not!
    Palestinians: Okay... so I guess we're not leaving then.
    Israel: Okay, your call, but don't say we didn't warn you!

    Gaza has been since the beginning like a giant open-air prison camp []. Where the heck are the impoverished people trying to flee the conflict supposed to go? And for that matter, for everyone criticizing Hamas for fighting and storing weapons in or near civilian areas... there is nowhere in Gaza not near a civilian area, certainly nowhere further than a stray tank shell can fly - it's one of the most densely populated places on Earth, over 5 times denser than Taiwan and 11.6 times denser than Japan. Israel forced as many people as possible into as little land as possible. And not accidentally. What little farmland there is can be overrun in a matter of minutes. Israel could fill the entirity of Gaza with tanks and artillery at a density of over 100 per square mile.

  • Re: Here we go... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bongo ( 13261 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:09AM (#47506423)

    I actually agree with this, but two things. Nearly 70 years have passed. The UN drew a line in the sand. What if Germans decided they wanted their land back, which they lost in war? Pakistan was founded at a similar time, largely for a religious group. The UN partly created this problem, the UN needs to solve the refugee crisis which is the Palestinian people, regardless of what their "leadership's" ideas are about changing history.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken