The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

The real game in town – will Hillary be correct about the declining returns in the tech battle?

The Washington Post reports that the US will have invested almost ONE BILLION dollars in the Iron Dome anti missile system for Israel… This is the real game – can this system get better than the questionable 70% success rate against Hizbullah and its tactics – not likely in the next war… and imagine the costs.

The US is trying to reverse Hillary’s pronouncement to AIPAC in 2010 where she spoke about the declining edge in this low-high tech war. The US and Israel are going to EXTRAORDINARY LENGTHS to stem this tide.

 

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In early 2007, then-Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz chose Iron Dome to meet the short-range rocket threat. Testing began in 2008, and by January 2010 the system showed it could be effective.

In May 2010, President Obama announced he would ask Congress to add $205 million to the fiscal Pentagon budget for the production phase of Iron Dome. The funds were approved, and in March 2011 the Israel Defense Forces declared the first batteries operational.

Iron Dome was developed and built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli government-owned, profit-making company that, since 2004, has been headed by retired Vice Adm. Yedidia Yaari, the former commander in chief of the Israel Navy. Rafael’s board chairman is retired Maj. Gen. Ilan Biran, former general director of the Ministry of Defense. In August, Rafael joined Raytheon Co. to market the Iron Dome system worldwide. The two are already partners in one of the other anti-missile systems that is being jointly run by Israel and the Pentagon.

The House committee report noted that the United States will have put $900 million into the Iron Dome system if the full $680 million is used on the program “yet the United States has no rights to the technology involved.”

It added that Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O’Reilly should explore opportunities to enter into a joint production arrangement with Israel for future Iron Dome batteries “in light of the significant investment in this system.”

So here is the United States, having added to its own deficit by spending funds that it must borrow, helping to procure a missile defense system for Israel, which faces the threat but supposedly can’t pay for it alone.

To add insult to injury, Pentagon officials must ask the Israeli government-owned company that is profiting from the weapons sales — including Iron Dome — if the United States can have a piece of the action.

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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