Israel Real Missile Defense Focus

Israel Real Missile Defense Focus

A Pentagon source told us recently that the issue that literally keeps senior military people up at night is the prospect of an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program.

In recent months, the rhetoric coming from high-level Israeli military and political officials in meetings with U.S. officials has become increasingly hawkish as Israel sees a narrowing window of opportunity to inflict enough damage to slow Iran’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon and at a small enough cost.

The Obama administration has been frantically cobbling together a package of incentives to try and convince the Israelis to keep their bombers out of Iranian air space. Placing a ring of anti-ballistic missiles at sea in the Persian Gulf and at sites on the Arabian Peninsula is a key part of that effort, the source tells us.


Because of Arab sensitivities, the U.S. cannot come out and say that anti-ballistic missiles placed on Arab territory are meant to protect Israel. But they will do just that.

Obama administration military officials do not see Russia as a threat. In public statements, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who spent many years eyeballing the Soviet threat from his perch at the CIA, has repeatedly downplayed Russian military capabilities, almost to the point of outright mockery. He sees a more real and immediate threat, as he said at his press conference yesterday: “The intelligence community now assesses that the threat from Iran’s short– and medium-range ballistic missiles, such as the Shahab-3, is developing more rapidly than previously projected.”

Strategy is all about making smart choices with limited resources. The immediate threat to U.S. interests is the regionally destabilizing fallout of an Israeli strike against Iran and all that would imply for the U.S. wars in two countries that abut Iran. Hence, the shift in missile defense from defend Europe to defend Israel and Arab Gulf allies. Much of the official language out of the White House and DoD will seek to mollify the offended parties in Eastern Europe. Michele Flournoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy, and Ellen Tauscher, the undersecretary of state for arms control, are in Europe talking to U.S. allies.

Behind the scenes, near term deployments will focus on boosting missile defense capabilities in the Gulf. The first phase of the missile defense aimed at deterring Israel will be based at sea, and has already started. As Gates said: “We will deploy Aegis ships equipped with SM-3 interceptors, which provide the flexibility to move interceptors from one region to another if needed.” He said that Aegis ships are already in the Gulf; an Aegis cruiser can carry around 100 SM-3 missiles.

There will also be a land-based component. As Gen. David Petraeus writes today in the The Times: “Iran constitutes the main state-based threat to stability in the region. The impact of its malign activities and harsh rhetoric are felt throughout the Arabian Peninsula, making it, ironically, the best recruiter with prospective partners. We now have eight Patriot missile batteries spread across countries on the western side of the Gulf, where two years ago we had far, far fewer.”

Patriot is a point defense system. Sources tell us that DoD is trying to get Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries to the United Arab Emirates, but Lockheed Martin can’t build them fast enough for the Army, let alone for overseas sales. THAAD is just completing its testing and is beginning initial fielding of two batteries with the Army. One of the Army’s powerful X-band radars is currently deployed in Israel’s Negev desert. Under development is a capability to tie X-band radars to the Navy’s SM-3 interceptor missiles.

As Gen. Cartwright said yesterday, the land-based version of SM-3, that has been used in testing, is already a go. “We’ll put together the system in a deployable configuration so that we can move it forward to places like Europe.” Note that he said “like” Europe. Also, while the first THAAD battery is scheduled to deploy to Europe, don’t be surprised if that battery is diverted to a U.S. base in the Gulf, such as in Qatar or even Israel.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the U.S. may leave missile defense systems in Israel following the “Juniper Cobra” joint missile drills scheduled for next month. It will be the largest joint exercise between the two countries and will include tests of the Israeli Arrow 2 system, THAAD and Aegis.

As we’ve written here before, the Pentagon, as will be evident in the forthcoming QDR review, is very much focused on “high end asymmetric threats”; specifically, how to counter the increasingly capable ballistic missile arsenals of countries such as Iran. Lost in the fevered criticism of the administration from more conservative circles is the importance of these steps in addressing real threats to U.S. security interests and those of its ally Israel.

Join the Conversation

Good Morning Folks,

The best way to deal with Iran is just what Obama and Putin are doing marginalizing them. It appears finally that the U.S, and The Russian Federation have come to the realization that since the early 1980’s Iran has been 5 years away from something big, but it never happened.

The problem for Iran is not the west and The Russian Federation but a modernized Iraq with a state of the art, well trained and armed (F-16’s, M1-A1’s, Bradleys, M-16’s, M-4’s etc.) that soon will have the ability to stand alone and defend itself and it won’t be to long after that Iraq will have the combat power to in fact exercise it’s will on Iran.

Iran is attempting to be a regional power, but Iran has isolated itself from the world for so long, and is so out of touch with current realities that any thoughts of such grandeur are now only old dreams.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

I think Iran is playing a hardball in halting its nuclear ambition and was keep on lying on its development on nuclear missiles while opening up a misleading conception of diplomacy.

I think the best strategy is to stay ready and prepared for defense and offense if things get worse while playing along with them diplomaticaly. If they launch a nuclear missile to Israel, Europe and USA, then that is the time to act. I don’t think we can stop Iran through a series of UN sanctions and from developing such WND until they launch it. If they launch such weapon then we can act to stop and irradicate it.
At the same time I think its not a bad idea to sell F-15 and F-16 and some M1-A1 to Iraq to balance the playing feild if conflict arises in the future. Remember Iran and Iraq has been foes in the past.

Obama’s instincts, tutored during his career with left-wing radicals in Chicago, instruct him that in any argument or confrontation it’s always America’s fault. If America could only mend its ways — or have them mended by someone else — the world would live In peace, harmony and love. In this world view, America must be cut down to size, to make it no more consequential in world affairs than Canada.

Turkey looks like it might be open to missile batteries and the push is to also get key Arab countries to accept such sites (if at least quietly). There is no better option I can see, but to go down this path while trying to further isolate the Iranians

On the other hand, lets see what we could get by a military strike from either Israel or U.S.

1. Iranian backing of Taliban fighters, since Iran borders Afghanstan.

2. An increase in Iraninan backing of insurgents in Iraq, since Iran borders Iraq.

3. A strike is likely to start conflict on Israel’s borders with Hezbollah, Hamas, or both.

4. Shipping in the water ways around Iran are disrupted by the Iranians.

5. Oil prices go through the roof hurting our economic recovery.

6. Support for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (now at an all time low) goes through the roof as Iranian nationalism surges, and the opposition movement is resoundingly crushed.

Drake1

I agree with you. I think Obama and Medvedev are playing this exactly right. The only way to stop Iranian aggressive gestures is to isolate them or marginalize them — especially when the Russians and the US talk to each other. So Bush’s aggressive stance with missile placements in Poland and Czech soil have been altered and the Russians in turn have agreed not to place Iskander theatre ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad.

Quid Pro Quo.

Every Arab leader since 1967 has announced to its base that Israel must be destroyed, Nasser, Sadat, King Hussein of Jordan, Saddam and Khomeini, all of them have. This is a hollow threat, sabre rattling at best and must be treated as such if we are to play in this theatre with any credibility. The downside of a strike by Israel or the US would be rather horrid, as you have outlined so succinctly.

Daniel Russ
Civilianmilitaryintelligencegroup​.com

I believe we are forgetting the arabs and persian are past foes. Saudi Arabia just orders 70+ F-16 because of Iran’s continous influence in the middle east.

Iran can’t attack Israel w/ WMD’s w/o killing off a whole lot of Palestinians. Does anyone really think they would do that? The whole Arab nation would rise up against them.
Iran certainly can’t destroy Israel w/ conventional missiles.
I agree w/ Daniel Russ that it’s a hollow threat made by a leader hoping to unify his nation in a common cause. An old canard.

Stephen,

In addition to your point, Iran would be completely obliterated if they launched nuclear missiles at either Israel or Europe. Suspect the SAMs would be more useful intercepting conventional missiles at Israel and at Saudi oil depots.

The larger threat is a nuke in a container ship used by Hezbollah attmpting to disguise its point of origin to avoid nuclear retaliation.

Agree with Byron that this is a unique opportunity to appear to concede to Russia, when in reality, we never needed missile defenses for Europe due to risk of one-sided destruction if Iran ever used nukes on missiles.

We also need Russia’s help to get supplies and equipment to Afghanistan as the surge continues. If this helps keep S-300 out of Iranian hands, that will help. Reduced tensions don’t hurt, either.

Good Afternoon Folks,

It appears that The Russian Federation is willing to corporate with NATO (the United States) on this issue. The Russian Federation has agreeded to relocate all the ballistic missiles they had deployed near the Polish border. There destinations were not announced by I think it can be assumed that they will be out of range of any NATO or EU countries.

I know someone is going to say what’s the big deal, most Russian Federation ballistic missiles are mobile and can be put back in place just as fast as they were removed, true, but I thinks it’s time for the United States and The Russian Federation to start trusting each other just a tiny bit. The Russian Federation know that the U.S. and NATO monitor the locations of their equipment as they monitor ours so there is no point in cheating on this.

Maybe the paranoid age of George W. Bush is over, lets hope. so.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

Rogozin’s announcement shows that Moscow considers Washington’s conciliatory move as only a first step, and that real U.S.-Russian negotiations that might lead to Russian assistance on isolating Iran are only at the beginning.The announcement shows that Moscow does not consider the U.S. concession on BMD sufficient to win Russian support on isolating Iran.

They now Obama is weak and more likely just a useful idiot that will offer up even more.

Dow, you are so right. Things are going to get much worse from here on out.
Think Carter was bad?

@Drake1 — I would have to disagree with your points.

1. Iranian backing of Taliban fighters, since Iran borders Afghanstan. — They already are, look into the equipment used by the Taliban in the ambush in Gangagil that killed 4 Marines.

2. An increase in Iraninan backing of insurgents in Iraq, since Iran borders Iraq. — They are already doing as much as they can in Iraq.

3. A strike is likely to start conflict on Israel’s borders with Hezbollah, Hamas, or both. — Israel is prepared for this and the threat is something they’ve been training for continuously since 2006.

4. Shipping in the water ways around Iran are disrupted by the Iranians. — Maybe but only slightly at most. In the Iran Iraq war, shipping was marginally disrupted and that was when both sides were trying to take out every ship in the Gulf. Right now Iran would only be able to muster a marginally effective force in a very limited area before it’s entire navy eat a few Harpoons. Their order of battle is exceedingly limited and their little speed boats have limited range and capabilities esp against a supertanker or a US flagged ship.

5. Oil prices go through the roof hurting our economic recovery. — Saudi would liekly fill the gap, and because physical exports from the region are only a fraction of our imports it would only slightly affect us. On top of that, another sustained price spike will push more consumers away from gasoline consumption and that’s the last thing oil producing counties want.

6. Support for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (now at an all time low) goes through the roof as Iranian nationalism surges, and the opposition movement is resoundingly crushed. — Simply wrong. An attack against Iranian nuclear facilities wouldn’t cause mass civilian casualties. Now if Israel carpet bombed all of Tehran you might see that effect but at this point, most Iranians think that whatever happens to the IRGC and the Iranian military (and nuclear facilities) is well deserved. Ahamdinejad is already blaming the US and Israel for everything from their economic problems to the bad weather for the day so I don’t see how he could really say this any more than he already is.

@Stephen. . Iranians (Shiites) could care less if there are mass casualties among the Palestinians/Jordanians (Sunni) if you need more evidence see who is butchering who in Iraq.

I personally think that we are going to find out Iran got a nuke when there is a big mushroom cloud in Israel somewhere and Hezbullah takes credit and Iran just gives a wink and a nod and then says they’ll donate food aid to the remaining Israelis.

LockMartSkunk wrote:
@Drake1 – I would have to disagree with your points.

1. Iranian backing of Taliban fighters, since Iran borders Afghanistan. – They already are, look into the equipment used by the Taliban in the ambush in Gangagil that killed 4 Marines.

*They currently are doing the same in Iraq, but that’s not to say that it could not intensify at a sensitive time for us. Iran has shown itself to be a master of turning on and off the tap of insurgent support when it suits them.

2. An increase in Iranian backing of insurgents in Iraq, since Iran borders Iraq. – They are already doing as much as they can in Iraq.

*“2. An increase in Iranian backing of insurgents in Iraq, since Iran borders Iraq.”

3. A strike is likely to start conflict on Israel’s borders with Hezbollah, Hamas, or both. – Israel is prepared for this and the threat is something they’ve been training for continuously since 2006.

* I’m worried about how a new conflict affects the overall climate in the region and how it could hamper our diplomatic and national security interests. Israel only has to worry about Israel. We on the other hand have to worry about Israel, Iran, and the whole goddamn Middle East.

4. Shipping in the water ways around Iran are disrupted by the Iranians. – Maybe but only slightly at most. In the Iran Iraq war, shipping was marginally disrupted and that was when both sides were trying to take out every ship in the Gulf. Right now Iran would only be able to muster a marginally effective force in a very limited area before its entire navy eats a few Harpoons. Their order of battle is exceedingly limited and their little speed boats have limited range and capabilities esp. against a supertanker or a US flagged ship.

*The Cole? Any disruption also affects world markets.

5. Oil prices go through the roof hurting our economic recovery. – Saudi would likely fill the gap, and because physical exports from the region are only a fraction of our imports it would only slightly affect us. On top of that, another sustained price spike will push more consumers away from gasoline consumption and that’s the last thing oil producing counties want.

–Somehow this didn’t work last time we has a crisis in the region and oil prices surged. The world is also coming off an economic crisis.

6. Support for Mahmud Ahmadinejad (now at an all time low) goes through the roof as Iranian nationalism surges, and the opposition movement is resoundingly crushed. – Simply wrong. An attack against Iranian nuclear facilities wouldn’t cause mass civilian casualties.

*Never said, that but the fact you said it tells me you don’t understand that any attack on Iran would rally Iraninan nationalism.

Now if Israel carpet bombed all of Tehran you might see that effect but at this point, most Iranians think that whatever happens to the IRGC and the Iranian military (and nuclear facilities) is well deserved.

*My experience leads to think that this assumption is incorrect. I have read from multiple sources and have yet to see such an out of step assesment of Iranian sentiment.

Ahamdinejad is already blaming the US and Israel for everything from their economic problems to the bad weather for the day so I don’t see how he could really say this any more than he already is.

*He’s trying desperately to rally support around traditional issues to deflect attention from the disputed elction-why make his life easier, by giving him an issue he can run with?

-@Stephen. . Iranians (Shiites) could care less if there are mass casualties among the Palestinians/Jordanians (Sunni) if you need more evidence see who is butchering who in Iraq.

*So Iranians could care less about Plaestinain casualties??!! I’m not even going there.

I personally think that we are going to find out Iran got a nuke when there is a big mushroom cloud in Israel somewhere and Hezbullah takes credit and Iran just gives a wink and a nod and then says they’ll donate food aid to the remaining Israelis.

*There is always the chance that the Iranians could give Hezbollah a nuke too bomb Israel, but it would also ensure the end of Iran. Some may think the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council are suicidal, but I’m not of that opinion. Furthermore, the Iranians would be stupid to follow in N.Koreas footsteps by detonating a bomb, when all they have to do is keep a nuclear capacity.

Well Drake… let’s just let them have the bomb on a silver platter then because Obama sure as hell won’t be able to get anything through the UN (thanks to sure fire effects of winning the hearts and minds of Russia and China) and won’t militarily go after Iranian nuclear facilities on his own.

I’d also suggest you read the latest article of Foreign Policy Magazine where Paul Wolfowitz puts in place a realistic view on things shaping up in the region.

LockMartSkunk–

“Paul Wolfowitz” and “realistic” don’t belong in the same sentence… well, unless it’s “Paul Wolfowitz is incapable of being realistic.” He even says so himself. Just doesn’t agree with him, or something.

Please say just exactly what it is you’re afraid will happen if Iran gets a nuclear weapon? Ignore for the moment that they don’t have a bomb, that they continually say they don’t want a bomb, and various intelligence services have said they apparently aren’t trying to build one.

Well let’s say aside from the leverage they gain in any future negotiations, how about an all out nuclear arms race in the Middle East for one. The Arab states are wary enough with Israel having a bunch of nukes, but at least they know they are rational actors and won’t pop one off for the sake of jihad. How about the fact that they directly support Hezbullah and Hamas. You almost couldn’t get a more clear connection between those parties and their transfer of technology is pretty smooth between eachother as well. ie. the C-802 missile Hazbullah seemed to acquire and use during the 06 war. Going back to the rational actor bit, how about Ahamdinjad and crew openly declaring to wipe Israel off the map. The Arab states kept at that until they tried two or three times and then realized they couldn’t so they quit with that rhetoric. What happens when someone who says the exact same thing gets his chance at bat, but is swinging with a nuclear weapon. Iran is about as openly heinous as it gets as far as belligerence goes so yea I’d say we have something to worry about if they get a nuke.

Let’s say we go with your logic though and that there is nothing wrong with Iran having a nuke. Then what’s wrong with anybody having a nuke? Why not just give them out to everybody? If Syria wanted one or if Al-Queda seriously wanted one, do we have anything to worry about? I think your belief in MAD working among irrational people is too naive.

And as far as your Paul being rational comments, let’s try and keep this at the college education maturity level at least.

Mikej

“iran says they don’t want a bomb.”.
Well there. Case closed! What is anyone concerned about. You must work in the osbama administration.

I’ll just state this hypothesis, and we’ll see if it passes the smell test:

The Ayatollahs in control of Iran have the ultimate goal of destroying Israel and starting a regional or global conflict, regardless if it destroys them as well. They are beyond reasoning with, or any attempt to contain them.
______________________________

What’s the evidence?

It had better be good, solid evidence to justify launching preemptive strikes, with the current situation in South Asia. Worry is not a good reason to start a war.

Equating al-Qaeda with a state, any state…? Please be serious.

@LMS
Who is butchering whom in Iraq? Tit for tat retaliatory, tribal payback.
and
” how about Ahamdinjad and crew openly declaring to wipe Israel off the map.” Semantics.
I’ve yet to find a direct quotable threat against Israel by Iran.
A lot of ‘should be wiped off the map’,’ will be wiped off the map’, but not ‘We will wipe Israel off the map.’ It’s always in the context of “Allah will ensure.…” or “God willing” but doesn’t say how it’ll happen or even for sure that it’ll happen. Just wishful thinking in my book. They’re trying to unite the divisions in the Iranian population against a common foe. The populace seems to be not buying it anymore. The opposition is just as adamant about the right to nuke power in Iran as is the government.
I’m against nuke proliferation however I view Iran’s quest the same way I view US citizens right to bear arms to protect themselves. I’m not convinced a state will attack Israel but do see a possibility of a state losing control of a/some/all of it’s nukes and then who knows who’ll be targeted?
Israel is more secure than USA, right?

Stephen and mike… please go read some books or a newspaper. Both of you reek of the left wing apologetic kool-aid.

and I just had to comment on trying to equate CCW laws in the US with a country having a nuke. In the US, you can’t have a criminal record or be mentally unstable if you want to carry a gun and odds are if you threaten anyone with a gun you are going to jail regardless of how justified you may be. I’d say Iran would be disqualified from owning a gun (nuke) on all three rules.

…on the Semantics, you’ve got to be kidding. I guess Hitler never outright said he’d kill a bunch of Jews so he clearly never meant it right? Just must have been some math homework he was trying to desperately to reach the final solution on.

as I said before, the naivete of you two is almost embarassing to have to respond to but someone has to do. So please do everyone reading this a favor and go educate yourselves.

LMAO and SMDH! ^^^

Actually, LMS, I’m pretty far to the right of you, whatever that means anymore.

Here’s why: I prefer to contain Iran and maintain our preparedness. I don’t see a clear existential threat to our nation from them. If it becomes necessary to attack, I’d like to have a clear strategy describing how military action is going to achieve our goal. Iran has some serious political weaknesses, I’d prefer to observe what develops. Possibly we can exploit their problems, maybe better to just stand back and let nature take its course, but open warfare doesn’t seem to be the best way to get what we want. See how that’s conservative?

You on the other hand, equate the Ayatollahs with Hitler and advocate immediate punitive sanctions and military strikes, regardless if we have the capacity to do that or what the consequences are. Seems like something in the worst tradition of liberalism. Neocons, ya know, are basically just a kind of cynical liberal.

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