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  • Is Israel winning the Global War on Terror for us ?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on July 12th, 2014 (All posts by )

    Hamas has attacked Israel, first with the kidnapping of three teenagers, now with rockets aimed, for example, at Tel Aviv and its airport.

    GAZA: Islamist Hamas’ armed wing has warned airlines that it intends to target Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport with its rockets from Gaza and has told them not to fly there, a statement by the group said Friday.

    So far, Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system has been successful in intercepting those that are a risk to populated places.

    Israel’s astonishingly effective Iron Dome air defense has prevented Hamas from killing Israeli Jews and spreading terror in the civilian population. Ironically, though, the better Iron Dome works, the less sympathy the rest of the world has for a nation that remains under rocket attack.

    That sentiment is to be expected as even the Presbyterian Church is anti-Israel.

    David Goldman, who has been writing as “Spengler” for years, reports on the situation in Israel.

    the thumbnail version is that Hamas is making a demonstration out of weakness. Money is tight, 44,000 Gaza civil servants haven’t been paid for weeks, and the IDF did significant damage to its infrastructure on the West Bank after the kidnapping-murder of the three yeshiva boys. Netanyahu will look indecisive and confused, because he has to deal with an openly hostile U.S. administration on one side and his nationalist camp on the other. Time, though, is on Israel’s side: economically, demographically, strategically. The proportion of Jewish births continues to soar. The fruits of a decade of venture capital investing are ripening into high-valuation companies. And the Arab world is disintegrating all around Israel’s borders.

    Israel has been in mortal danger for 50 years. They have survived and thrived. The Arab countries are collapsing into chaos. Iran is still a threat but its demographic future is grim.

    There will be no Intifada on the West Bank: the Palestinian Arabs are older, more resigned and less inclined to destroy their livelihoods than in 2000. Syria and Iraq continue to disintegrate, Lebanon is inundated with Syrian Sunni refugees (weakening Hezbollah’s relative position), and Jordan is looking to Israel to protect it against ISIS. Egypt is busy trying to survive economically.

    Israel is becoming a huge economic success under Netanyahu. Just think of our future had we elected his friend, Mitt Romney.

    Obama promised a “pivot to Asia” but Israel may in fact be the one doing the pivot, leaving us in the dreary Socialist past.

    Richard Fernandez notes that in the view of the world press and elites being rich makes you “white.” Everybody knows that white people, even if they are Asian like John Derbyshire’s Eurasian children, are the root of all evil.

    Israel is starting to increase its ties to China. China agrees.

    Now the China-Israel relations are in the best-ever shape. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited China last May. Five important agreements were signed and consensus on many issues was reached between our leaders during his visit. The G2G (Government to Government) mechanism has been established and five task forces have been set up in the fields of high technology, environmental protection, energy, agriculture and financing, respectively.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Israel for friendship, cooperation and peace in December. The exchanges between the two countries now take place at the central governmental level, as well as at the provincial and municipal levels, and involve people from all walks of life.

    If Obama finally gets to his “pivot point” he may find someone there before him. Israel and China have no issues dividing them, except possibly Iran.

    The Chinese Dream will bring the world more opportunities, and will benefit Israel in many ways. It is projected that in the coming five years, China’s imports will reach some $10 trillion, its outbound investment $500b., and the number of its outbound tourists may well exceed 400 million annually, 50 times Israel’s total population.

    China and Iran share a trade relationship in oil but Iran is not the technological economy that China needs and desires to share.

    The foundations of the economic partnership between Iran and China are Iran’s abundant energy resources and China’s growing energy needs, but China is not overwhelmingly dependent on the Islamic Republic for its energy needs; in contrast, the Iranian regime now depends on China as its chief diplomatic protector.
    Despite their energy cooperation, trade, and shared geopolitical interests, Iran and China have potentially divergent interests on a number of issues.

    That may not be true of Israel. Spengler pointed this out some time ago.

    Chinese, who with some justification regard their civilization as the world’s most ancient and, in the long run, most successful. The high regard that the Chinese have for Jews should be a source of pride to the latter. In fact, it is very pleasant indeed for a Jew to spend time in China. The sad history of Jew-hatred has left scars on every European nation, but it is entirely absent in the world’s largest country. On the contrary, to the extent that Chinese people know something of the Jews, their response to us is instinctively sympathetic.

    “I am always surprised by the expressions of affection that the Chinese show for the Jews. Both cultures, the Chinese emphasize, share respect for family, learning and, yes, money,” wrote the journalist Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore last year. ‘”Most Chinese will think Jews are smart, clever or good at making money, and that they have achieved a great deal,’ Professor Xu Xin, director of the Institute of Jewish Studies at Nanjing University (one of over half a dozen centers in China dedicated to studying Judaism) told me last week,”

    The Chinese have been called “The Jews of the Orient” for many years and have experienced discrimination in Indonesia and Malaysia somewhat similar to the experiences of Jews living in hostile cultures.

    From the first link: China and Israel have been rapidly developing their ties of late, with a flurry of high profile visits since Netanyahu’s trip to Beijing last May.

    Much of the focus has been on trade and economic cooperation. China is Israel’s third-largest trading partner, and bilateral trade between the two countries was worth over $10 billion in 2013. Officials from both countries hope to keep the positive momentum going. China is particularly interested in advancing technological cooperation with Israel. In a sign of China’s priorities, Ambassador Gao describes Israel in her op-ed as “a happy and innovative startup nation with many cutting-edge technologies.” According to Chinese reports, Beijing is especially interested in cooperation in the fields of agriculture, natural resources, environmental protection, education, and healthcare.

    The terrorists of Hamas are the remnants of a failed civilization and are in trouble both economically and militarily. The “Iron Dome” shows how foolish Obama’s actions were in canceling missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    Iran is in even worse shape demographically.

    Dying civilizations are the most dangerous, and Iran is dying. Its total fertility rate probably stands at just 1.6 children per female, the same level as Western Europe, a catastrophic decline from seven children per female in the early 1980s. Iran’s present youth bulge will turn into an elderly dependent problem worse than Europe’s in the next generation and the country will collapse. That is why war is likely, if not entirely inevitable.

    The only weapon Iran has is a suicidal war against Israel.

     

    38 Responses to “Is Israel winning the Global War on Terror for us ?”

    1. hattip Says:

      “Chinese, who with some justification regard their civilization as the world’s most ancient and, in the long run, most successful.”

      Anyone who believes that qualification “with some justification” should undertake an honest reading of Chinese history (and Western History too).

      Moreover, if we are to consider the current games the CCP is playing with the West (and their own people), that civilization that created the wealth, the institutions and the intellectual capital that both China and Israel “emulate”, “ultimate success, then our criteria for success are deeply flawed. What you suggest is the most preposterous sort of cultural and moral relativism. It also paints as incredibly naive picture what what China is today, what its intentions are and where it is headed.

      Let us be more honest: The Chinese are interested in leapfrogging military technology via the Israelis’ adaption and improvement of Western (as in mostly American) military technology, and the growing Jewish hold on Venture Capital in the USA. The Israelis will oblige them. In the end it may indeed prove that we were wrong to have Israel as an ally as they may very well sell us out. They have little loyalty to America at large.

      As to the myth that China has this long and continuous civilization–as well as the odd notion in currency that the Chinese somehow “take the long view”–well the actual reality is quite otherwise: it is a history of constant upheavals, unbelievably deadly disasters and debacles, discontinuity, intellectual setbacks and conquest by foreign peoples. This myth has been put forward by Leftist academics for quite some time. Even a casual reading of Chinese history–one that is not from a PC source–tells a completely different story.

      It is particularly galling to hear you parrot the CCP propaganda on “a love of family and learning” giving their hideous track record of mass murder and the humiliation (and destruction) of intellectuals during such escapades as the cultural revolution. As for the fruits of real learning–knowledge and innovative application–the Chinese have mostly succeeded by stealing other people’s IP or forcing the West to open up research centers in the West.

      Here again, the reality of it all is wholly different from what is being asserted.

      No, if the West is to survive it must return to its roots and cast of the current crop of PC elites. It must stop others from ripping off its technology. No reasonable future will come from the Chinese or the Israelis, at least none that are reasonable to the the West.
      Should the Chinese come to dominate the world it will in time sink into Asiatic stasis and stagnation, as it almost always has in China. No matter what the outcome, eventually there will be a struggle between East and West, and the Israelis (and the Jews in general) will have to make their choices. Should the west go down, it is rather doubtful that the Chinese will be their protector in the Middle East–there will be no “Pax Chinese”; that is a particualrly absurd notion.

      Mr Kennedy, I fear you drink to deeply both the Israeli and the Chinese kool-aid.

    2. Andrew X Says:

      Ironically, though, the better Iron Dome works, the less sympathy the rest of the world has for a nation that remains under rocket attack.

      “…the less sympathy the world has….”??

      Why am I reminded of that 80′s movie I liked more than I should have? ‘Less Than Zero’?

    3. Andrew X Says:

      After reading my own post, I think clarification might be an order: *I*… have all the sympathy in the world for Israel. My mighty keyboard stands at their disposal. But if any Israeli leader thinks that “the sympathy (hah) of the world” is ever going to mean a damn thing to them, they are out of their minds.

      Ah, but maybe the vaunted UN can help out. Let’s have a look at the UN’s own web page, shall we?

      11 July 2014 – Voicing alarm at the Israeli military operations resulting in the killing of Palestinian children and other civilians in Gaza, as well as the indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, senior United Nations officials today appealed to all sides to abide by their obligations to protect civilians.

      Isn’t that precious? After days of vicious rocket attacks into Israel, our courageous UN friends summon the gumption to respond by……”Voicing alarm at the Israeli military operations…..”. That is THEIR OWN web page announcing.

      “Sympathy of the rest of the world”. Please.

    4. MikeK Says:

      “Mr Kennedy, I fear you drink to deeply both the Israeli and the Chinese kool-aid.”

      Thank you. I know you didn’t intend that as a compliment but, given your opinions as presented, I consider it one.

      And, yes, I have read quite a bit of Chinese history from well before Mao. Have you any knowledge of the Shang Dynasty ?

    5. Xennady Says:

      Just think of our future had we elected his friend, Mitt Romney.

      Okay.

      I think Romney would have:

      1) Failed to repeal Obamacare, instead agreeing to various false compromises to “fix” it, leaving the parts most important to the left intact, because otherwise they wouldn’t agree to any “fix.” The base of the GOP would, of course, feel outraged and betrayed. Result- disaster.

      2) Agreed to impose a carbon tax upon the US economy, because he believed in global warming. Conceding that, he would have no real cover when the left resumed shrieking that we need to force Americans to stop using exothermic chemicals reactions, because Gaia. And he’d “compromise,” because that’s just what GOP establishment politicians do, regardless of the consequences. Result- yet more disaster.

      3) Fought for another amnesty bill, with no real border security, because that’s what the big money donors want. Of course once again we’d hear all about phony border security provisions, carefully written to mean nothing at all, wrapped up in a giant “guest worker” program, more H1B visas, more immigration, MOAR. And working class Americans, US citizens, would have been thrown into the street by foreigners, including those who have absolutely no interest in the United States other than to send money home. Result- even more disaster, blamed on the Republican president.

      4) Continued expensively subsidizing the military requirements of our competitors, such as the EU, Japan, and Israel, while allowing their enemies and ours to pilfer American defense secrets with impunity. As Spengler notes, Israel is doing pretty well. Perhaps we don’t need to give them any more spendy military assistance.

      5) Done nothing at all to combat the slow-motion destruction of the Republic by the left, or its relentless subversion of American culture, or the vile hate-America propaganda force-fed to almost every American college student. Nope. I expect he’d come up with another student loan program, to make hate-America propaganda easier to afford.

      6) Destroyed the Republican party forever and all time, because the base voters of the GOP have become terribly unwilling to tolerate the endless, mindless, backstabbing failure of the GOP establishment.

      Forgive me for my criticism of your post, MikeK. I’ve just been watching the GOP for a long time, and they’ve scrubbed away any belief I ever had that they’ll be able to solve any problem the US actually faces.

      Watching the Romney fiasco didn’t make me feel any differently.

      Also, it’s fascinating to watch Spengler openly celebrate that high Israeli birthrate, while the low Iranian birthrate means Iran is doomed. Meanwhile, the United States has a birthrate which is just about the lowest ever recorded here.

      Gosh, it sure would be nice if someone in the US government would worry about that, instead of conspiring to import more foreigners we get to pay for, as well as suffer from their imported diseases.

    6. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>Everybody knows that white people, even if they are Asian like John Derbyshire’s Eurasian children, are the root of all evil.

      I see that as a projection of Leftist self hatred. Leftists do a lot of projecting.

    7. MikeK Says:

      ” Done nothing at all to combat the slow-motion destruction of the Republic by the left”

      So, I guess you are happy with the election results.

      “Meanwhile, the United States has a birthrate which is just about the lowest ever recorded here.”

      Still higher than other developed countries, especially Europe.

      Israel, in addition to a high Jewish birthrate has the lowest incidence of PTSD of any army. Does that tell you anything ?

    8. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      The Chinese have been called “The Jews of the Orient” for many years and have experienced discrimination in Indonesia and Malaysia somewhat similar to the experiences of Jews living in hostile cultures.

      Amy Chua wrote a book a few years back, World on Fire, in which she discusses the clashes of ethnic and social groups as globalization increases. In particular, she discusses how small groups often dominate markets or societies and how that breeds resentment and hatred.

      She considers that the US (was) such a group, dominating the world markets through technology and industrial efficiency. She argues that ethnic Chinese have often been the market dominant group in Asia and often in the countries where they’ve emigrated.

      Interesting interview:
      http://www.booknotes.org/Watch/174375-1/Amy+Chua.aspx

    9. Xennady Says:

      So, I guess you are happy with the election results.

      No- but as I said above I expect I wouldn’t be happy if Romney had won, either.

      Still higher than other developed countries, especially Europe.

      So we’re dying out slightly less quickly? That’s great, but it is not success.

      Israel, in addition to a high Jewish birthrate has the lowest incidence of PTSD of any army. Does that tell you anything ?

      Good for them. But as a big believer in the Peace of Westphalia Israel is not my country. Now I like Israel (and China, too) and I respect both- but I am neither Israeli nor Chinese. I wish those nations well, but that statistic tells me nothing about the United States.

    10. MikeK Says:

      “As Spengler notes, Israel is doing pretty well. Perhaps we don’t need to give them any more spendy military assistance.”

      My point was that we may be getting more than our money’s worth. Our defense export markets may be vulnerable to a high tech competitor like Israel. Maybe the administration should reconsider their alliance with Muslim countries.

      ” I expect I wouldn’t be happy if Romney had won, either.”

      I have no doubt of it. I had great hopes and they might have been dashed but that was our last chance before the deluge. Maybe America 3.0 will come after but I won’t see it.

      We will not see Reagan again and I’m not sure he would have the solution to the present problems we face. Reagan was a “hedgehog” with one idea. Maybe two. He was right and we are the better for it. I supported the tax reform of 1986 even though it cost me $100,000 in additional taxes and even though I knew the Democrats would reverse the reforms as soon as they got the chance. Still, it was the right thing to do.

      What we have now requires a more sophisticated person and I believed that Romney was that person. There is no one, no one, on the horizon that knows as much about rescuing entities in deep trouble. Ryan doesn’t know, Walker doesn’t know and Rand Paul sure doesn’t know. Romney has made his money and, like many Mormons, sees his role as one of helping fix things. Look at the number of CEOs who are Mormons now. We would have had a chance of getting out of the mess that is now gone.

    11. newrouter Says:

      >Ryan doesn’t know, Walker doesn’t know and Rand Paul sure doesn’t know. Romney has made his money and, like many Mormons, sees his role as one of helping fix things.<

      oh balderdash. the mittens is another karl rove creature. to fix this country's problem requires that the fed gov't be dismantled; piece by useless crony piece. it is simple as reagan said but very hard with so many pigs at the trough.

    12. newrouter Says:

      > Romney has made his money<

      that doesn't = doing something for you AND society at large. see: green "energy"

    13. MikeK Says:

      “that doesn’t = doing something for you AND society at large. see: green “energy”

      Well, I didn’t expect everyone to agree. Better ideas are at a premium.

      “the mittens is another karl rove creature”

      Sounds a bit Ron Paulish. That is certainly one way to go although it doesn’t lead anywhere. Karl Rove was a one-shot wonder who convinced Bush to campaign in California in 2000 and concealed his drunk driving arrest. Both brilliant moves and responsible for the tie in 2000. Romney had some people on his team who could have been smarter but not Karl Rove. Rove had a lot to do with the GOTV pratfall, especially in Ohio.

    14. VKA Says:

      Dr. Kennedy,

      Two points:

      1)
      Israel’s Iron Dome is of questionable value.

      http://thebulletin.org/iron-dome-public-relations-weapon7308

      Very few Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks historically- rockets are inherently inaccurate and have low payloads. Israel’s citizens also have plenty of time to get to shelters. There have not been statistically fewer deaths this war or in previous wars with Iron Dome than in conflicts before it which featured rocket strikes against Israel.

      Why does Israel claim that it works? To deter Hamas attacks by making Hamas believe it works.

      The defense industry has a long history of inflating missile defense work. I did some study in the area when I was at MIT, and Dr. Postol’s math is pretty convincing- unless we use lasers or something significantly faster than what we use now, it’s pretty ridiculous to hit a bullet with a bullet.

      2)
      Israel has been quite successful, and I admire the Israeli state for it’s accomplishments. However, it faces a demographic time bomb of it’s own.

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.583141

      The segment of it’s population with the highest growth rate is the haredi ultra-orthodox. 30% of Israel’s first graders study in Haredi schools- which (ironically like Madrassas) do not teach science or math and instead focus on study of the Torah. When they grow up, less than 40% of the men find employment, the rest live on welfare. They were (until this year) exempt from army service.

      I hope you are doing well-

      Respectfully,
      Vamsi Aribindi

    15. Xennady Says:

      My point was that we may be getting more than our money’s worth. Our defense export markets may be vulnerable to a high tech competitor like Israel.

      I’m sure they are. I recall- dimly, I admit- the lavi fighter controversy, which wikipedia tells me was in the late 1980s. Israel wanted a new fighter jet, and the development was going to paid for by US taxpayers, leading to Israeli competition against US aircraft like the F-16. Eventually this became unpopular enough in the US to get it cancelled. I also remember that when the USSR collapsed, and many highly educated Russian Jews wanted to leave, Israel and its friends in the US changed American law so that they could not come here.

      My point in mentioning this isn’t to run down Israel. As a Westphalian nation-state with its own interests it was completely rational in attempting to get the United States to pay for its aviation R&D, and also to get US law changed so Russian PHDs couldn’t move to the US.

      But it is *not* rational for the United States to go along with all this. We are also a Westphalian nation-state, with our own interests. Even supposed triumphs of the American defense industry like the Indian deal for P-8I antisubmarine aircraft turn out have buried in them fine print requiring that the US buy an equivalent amount of Indian exports. No doubt Boeing is fine with this, but the US government should not be.

      What we have now requires a more sophisticated person and I believed that Romney was that person. There is no one, no one, on the horizon that knows as much about rescuing entities in deep trouble. Ryan doesn’t know, Walker doesn’t know and Rand Paul sure doesn’t know. Romney has made his money and, like many Mormons, sees his role as one of helping fix things. Look at the number of CEOs who are Mormons now. We would have had a chance of getting out of the mess that is now gone.

      Obviously, I disagree. Romney is an accomplished and successful businessman. So was Herbert Hoover.

      Enough about Romney. I deleted most of this comment as tedious and redundant, but I’ll note just in closing that nothing I’ve seen from Romney makes think he’d be the guy that could take out us of the death spiral. He simply can’t do politics, and our key problems require a political solution.

      As you’ve already said, you differ.

    16. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>unless we use lasers or something significantly faster than what we use now, it’s pretty ridiculous to hit a bullet with a bullet.

      And yet it’s been done many, many times. Odd that. And rocket attacks are meant to be terror weapons, since the target population does not know where the next will fall. To the degree Iron Dome intercepts a large fraction of those rockets, the effect is minimized. That has tremendous psychological value.

      Just as importantly, the launch points can be determined fairly easily with radar or optical/infrared tracking systems. Those systems can then be targeted. The combination of minimal impact of the rocket attacks followed be destruction of the attacking systems gives heart to the Israelis and diminishes the image of Hamas. That in itself is valuable as a deterrent.

    17. MikeK Says:

      “rockets are inherently inaccurate and have low payloads.”

      And yet a Scud killed 27 Americans in Saudi Arabia in Guld War I . The present Hamas rockets are a mixture of the old crude ones with new long range missiles provided by Iran. Those are the ones aimed at Tel Aviv.

      “Hitting a bullet with a bullet.”

      When I worked on the Nike Zeus at Douglas in 1959-60 this was an impossibility because of computer power. We were using an IBM 650 and the main plant had just gotten their first 7040, a main frame using transistors.

      The value of Iron Dome will become apparent if the Hamas rockets manage to hit something important. They are certainly trying.

      I understand the problem of the ultra-orthodox and their schools. It will be interesting if that population segment can keep their kids in the Middle Ages as successfully as the Arabs do. I doubt it. My dental hygienist is an Ethiopian young woman who was taken to Israel as a child with the great waves in the 80s and 90s .

      Unlike Russian immigrants, many of whom arrive with job skills, Ethiopians came from a subsistence economy and were ill-prepared to work in an industrialized society. Since then much progress has been made. Through military service most Ethiopian Beta Israel have been able to increase their chances for better opportunities. [1]. Today most Ethiopian Beta Israel have been for the most part integrated into Israeli society, however a high drop out rate is a problem, although a higher number are now edging towards the higher areas of society.

      And yet, here she is, fully trained in a technical field, speaking excellent English and married to a white man living in Irvine. I doubt the Ultra-orthodox will be able to keep their children ignorant.

      The Council for Higher Education announced in 2012 that it was investing NIS 180 million over the following five years to establish appropriate frameworks for the education of Haredim, focusing on specific professions.

      And Over the years, as many as 1000 Haredi Jews have chosen to volunteer to serve in the IDF, in a Haredi Jewish unit, the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, also known as Nahal Haredi. The vast majority of Haredi men, however, continue to receive deferments from military service.[105]

      In March 2014 Israel’s parliament approved legislation to end exemptions from military service for Haredi seminary students. The bill was passed by 65 votes to one, and an amendment allowing civilian national service by 67 to one.

      My post title has a question mark so I don’t know the answer but it is interesting that, as we retreat from world affairs, others may step up to take our place. China and Israel share some interests. The war in the Middle East is a war of civilization against the barbarian. Why Obama and the political left choose to ally with the Muslims against, for example India, is a mystery that has its answer in leftist psychology.

    18. David Foster Says:

      There is nothing inherently impossible about “hitting a bullet with a bullet”…the laws of ballistics are deterministic, and if multiple defensive bullets are available to be fired, aim can be successively corrected.

      Someone told me that in the late 1970s he had seen a video of a GE Vulcan Gun destroying a 5-inch shell in flight. This was probably a prototype of the USN’s current Close-In Weapons System.

    19. Jonathan Says:

      a mystery that has its answer in leftist psychology.

      So many political mysteries do.

    20. MikeK Says:

      “Romney is an accomplished and successful businessman. So was Herbert Hoover.”

      Herbert Hoover was a Progressive and his policies were identical to those of Roosevelt in his first term. The main difference was Roosevelt’s isolationism. He cancelled international conferences that Hoover had scheduled.

      Romney is a successful businessman who has done especially well with distressed companies. That suggests he is a pragmatist and will do what works. The political left is anything but pragmatic. His experience with the Salt Lake City Olympics should be a guide.

    21. Jonathan Says:

      If you can disable 50% of all incoming rockets you effectively double the attacker’s costs. If you can disable 90% you increase your attacker’s costs by an order of magnitude. The attacker’s costs continue to increase exponentially as you make incremental improvements to bring your defenses closer to 100% effectiveness. Iron Dome improves the defender’s cost/benefit ratio further by ignoring rockets that it determines will fall in unpopulated areas, and by rapidly calculating origin coordinates so that his orbiting aircraft can destroy the attacker’s launch sites. The attacker’s only response that can improve his cost/benefit ratio is human shields, but that response becomes decreasingly effective (because logistically increasingly difficult) as his need for new launch sites increases as defenses against rockets are improved. Yet if the attacker attempts to maximizes the effectiveness of his human-shield defense by using fewer launch sites he makes those sites more attractive as targets for ground or helicopter assault. Meanwhile the defender still has plenty of room to improve his own cost/benefit ratio, such as by developing effective laser weapons. The attacker’s rockets are crude industrial products that are not likely to become cheaper over time, barring significant improvement in accuracy, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable that the costs of effective directed-energy weapons will decline significantly as the technology is perfected. Moreover, at some level of low marginal cost per laser shot it should be possible to more than compensate for future improvements in the accuracy of the attacker’s rockets.

      TL; DR: The rocket/defense arms race favors the more technologically advanced side.

    22. Trent Telenko Says:

      >>The rocket/defense arms race favors the more technologically
      >>advanced side.

      Which is why the Soviet Union folded when Reagan played the SDI Card.

    23. VVXC Says:

      To respond to the question, NO. Israel is in fact finally winning it’s war because the USG Department of State has no more influence with it, and for you Israel fans may praise Yahweh for it. Because now Israel may make it. They were never going to be allowed to win until we let them, or lost our hold over them. In fact their intended fate may well have been Rhodesia’s, or South Africa’s.

      Israel is winning because the USG is leaving. There will be winners and losers from our withdrawal, but we and the world are better for it. Because you see – It’s not our government at present.
      =======================
      The Soviet Union folded because they didn’t have money to buy enough grain to last the winter.

      Not that SDI wasn’t a brilliant stroke.

      The USG is folding because it lacks both money* and cannot get it’s yeomanry stock to support any more adventures, the Syrian Red Line deflation was the beginning of end.

      *in fact I think they’re just about out, and it’s almost over.

    24. MikeK Says:

      All true but Hamas is probably playing to its funders in the West. They are broke.

      44,000 Gaza civil servants haven’t been paid for weeks

      The end of Egypt as a source for smuggling is one problem. Another is the destruction of tunnels that is going on as part of this Israeli campaign. Hamas originally gained some credibility as a more honest administrator in Gaza Fatah has been notoriously corrupt from the beginning. Arafat was building his Swiss bank account, the one his “widow” lives on.

      The Hamas party won the Palestinian legislative elections on 25 January 2006, and Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as Prime Minister,[5] establishing a Palestinian national unity government with Fatah, which effectively collapsed when Hamas and Fatah engaged in a violent conflict.

      Hamas seemed less corrupt for a while but that may not be the case with all the emphasis on fighting Israel. There has been a large increase in work permits for the West Bank Palestinians.

      The number of work permits allowing Palestinians to work in Israel was raised recently to its highest level since the start of the second intifada in 2000. In addition, Israel has begun allowing construction materials into the Gaza Strip for use by the private sector.

      The only work for Palestinians has been in Israel as laborers. Maybe the construction work in Gaza will increase once the campaign is over. If hey can pay for the labor.

    25. Jonathan Says:

      I have family friends in Jerusalem who employ an Arab man from Silwan, which is where some recent anti-Israel riots have been, as a house cleaner and handyman. Some years ago I gave him one of my old computers for his kids. Now several of those kids are studying computer science at Israeli universities, or may have graduated by now. I’m guessing that there are many other Israeli Arabs who are the children of laborers and are studying subjects like computer science in Israeli universities. They are on track to have very productive lives by anyone’s standards. I am also guessing that many Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would like the same for their children. Israeli annexation of the West Bank would be the best thing that could happen to them. Meanwhile the USA and EU are funneling billions of $ to prop up the PA and Hamas. We should stop subsidizing Israel but we get quite a bit in return for those subsidies. Our subsidies to the PA and Hamas are purely destructive, encouraging the worst people and worst behavior among the Palestinians and discouraging the kinds of people whose success we should encourage.

    26. VVXC Says:

      For it’s own survival Israel needs to get T_F away from Washington.

      As does America.

      As does London, Paris, Bonn.

      As does Peking [going to be tricky for them].

      As DC dies it will not die gracefully-see the US border today-for they never lived with grace. It’s not going to be pretty or bloodless.

      As does the rest of the world, and Tel Aviv knows it. This is a blessing for the Jews.

      Of all of the above who need to divest themselves of DC/USG and it’s increasingly insane death throes all but one have the advantage of distance, we the Americans do not.

      For we are governed as a conquered province to be plundered, but they didn’t realize we weren’t conquered. Worse they are quite mad.

      The others can escape, we cannot.

      If you’re American wish the Jews well and really stop concerning yourselves with other people’s problems. We have all we can do to survive themselves.

      *Mr. K, yer not listening to the Thunder Sir. It’s much closer than Gaza, Sinai, or even the Rio Grande.

    27. MikeK Says:

      An interesting comment from the Domino’s pizza web site Hamas hacked into .

      hilarious! they cant pronounce “piguim” cos there is no “p” sound in Arabic (so the Palis are the only “nation” in the world that cant pronounce the official name of their so called “nation”)…

      The worst thing the West has done to the Palestinians is to subsidize those “refugee” camps for three generations. The East Prussians and the Sudeten Germans long ago settled in new territory and got on with their lives. The Arabs shun the Palestinians, especially since they sided with Saddam when he invaded Kuwait. Thousands of Palestinians workers were expelled from Arab countries.

    28. Grurray Says:

      I did some study in the area when I was at MIT, and Dr. Postol’s math is pretty convincing

      Postol said. “It—my guess is maybe [it hits a targeted missile] 5 percent of the time—could be even lower. … And when you look—what you can do in the daytime—you can see the smoky contrail of each Iron Dome interceptor, and you can see the Iron Domes trying to intercept the artillery rockets side on and from behind. In those geometries, the Iron Dome has no chance, for all practical purposes, of destroying the artillery rocket.”

      I don’t see any math there. All I see are qualitative judgements from pictures and videos.

      When I search for his work, I find a talk that he gave in China a few years ago of alleged fraud and rigged anti-missile tests.

      The Security Implications of Missile Defense-A Technical Perspective
      The Institute for Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics
      Beijing, China
      March 18, 2011

      From what I can ascertain from browsing through the presentation, he was informing the Chinese that our missile defense is vulnerable to countermeasures, radar absorbing materials, and decoys, which seems plausible.
      He’s not a big fan of the home team, I see. At one point he even gives examples of how Iran or N. Korea could improve their decoy systems. I bet that particular audience found that informative.

      However, Hamas missiles don’t have countermeasures.

      His other argument against the Iron Dome I assume is that only a direct hit on the warhead will disable it. In his view, hitting the rocket part will still leave the warhead to do some damage.
      However, there’s still no quantitative data, only contrail photos of Patriot intercepts from 1991 and 2003 – from tests he previously described as rigged. If the test is already going to be rigged to show positive results no matter what, why would they bother to do any of it successfully?
      Is it possible that the warhead does in fact explode after the other part of the rocket is hit. Notice the two explosions:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASMI11CcTPw

      As I stated previously, the Israelis actually have real lives at stake, unlike in rigged tests. The incentive to succeed is much greater. He has to analyze Israeli systems to be convincing.

      Anyway I don’t see any proof from Ted Postol. All I see is someone with some kind of axe to grind, which is odd because a couple years ago he said it worked

      http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507736/why-israels-iron-dome-missile-defense-system-actually-works/

      They’ve made every effort to optimize the system to be as efficient as possible and not fire at rockets that pose no threats; they don’t shoot at rockets that are not going to land in populated areas. And there are some exotic features related to real-time adjustments. If there is an indication that an interceptor is going to miss—that it’s not on the optimum track toward the missile it’s trying to hit—they have computer programs that will launch a second interceptor.

      Care to share that math from MIT you are referring to?

    29. VVXC Says:

      Comment on the Pali’s – true.

      This needs to get away from UNWRA they’ve been milking this one since 1947. When the subsidies go no more Filastina even in concept.

      Everywhere on earth has been conquered and reconquered, people get on with their lives.

      What we have been doing is a bad imitation of the British attempting to have both Israel and Palestine and play them off against each other, and we’re doing it very badly.

      All dripping with sanctimony. The Arabs if confronted with Filastina without Israel would destroy it immediately.

      They exist to fill a need in the UN for a bureaucracy. Everyone else has washed their hands now, and the State Dept has no more teeth since they couldn’t deliver the US military to either Syria or the Ukraine.

      Slums with delusions of grandeur. Sounds as bad as Chicago.

      [oh, sorry...]

    30. VKA Says:

      I did not mean the math in the article- I was referring to what he presented in the course he was teaching.

      His big political position (not that I agree with it) is in favor of Mutually-Assured Destruction. He was Chief Scientist for the US Navy during the Cold War, and was strongly against SDI because it didn’t work. Right now, he’s trying to get the US to drop it’s mid-course program in favor of local programs. Basically, to have a bunch of drones over North Korea and Iran that just shoot the missiles while they’re launching. His big thing is that a mid-course interception system’s only value is to protect against a retaliatory strike from a powerful nation (China or Russia) that has been crippled by a US first strike. This understandably increases the incentive for the Russia or China to launch first in any conflict.

      In terms of math, this is the analysis I’ve seen (please excuse the source- I’m trying to find the original one that is far less biased against Israel, but I can’t at the moment)

      “Let’s do some simple math.
      The 2008-9 Israeli massacre in Gaza before Iron Dome lasted 22 days. Three Israeli civilians were killed.
      The current assault on Gaza has to date lasted 5 days. So far one Israeli civilian has been killed, although (1) despite what’s being said, these Hamas projectiles must be far more primitive than in 2008-9 because Gaza has been subjected to an airtight blockade since 2007 and whatever “sophisticated” rockets Hamas had were already expended during Israel’s 2012 assault; and (2) far fewer Hamas projectiles have been fired thus far than in 2008-9. In addition, Iron Dome is said to be targeting only a small percentage of Hamas projectiles, yet the impact of Hamas projectiles in places where Iron Dome allegedly functions is the same as in places where it doesn’t function.
      The reasonable inference from this data is that the only condition under which Iron Dome might be a game-changer is if Hamas fires Abraham Foxman at Israel.”

      http://normanfinkelstein.com/2014/can-iron-dome-intercept-abe-foxman/

      Respectfully,
      Vamsi Aribindi

    31. VKA Says:

      Sorry, that last comment posted early.

      The above anecdote- comparing casualty rates- holds true if you look at the 2006 war (which also didn’t have Iron Dome). Roughly the same low number of Israelis died, and property damage was not notably lower.

      The real analysis is more technical. I can’t find the slides on which it was presented, however I will briefly summarize what I remember (without the numbers, so take it for what you will).

      Warheads do not go off if there is an explosion nearby. Modern High Explosive is remarkably stable. They need to be electrically detonated. Thus, the task of the Iron Dome system is not to hit the rocket tail, but the warhead, head on. And even then, if the detonator survives as the fragment hits the ground, it can still go off.

      To do the math, we have to look at the velocity of a falling rocket on the downward ballistic track vs. the velocity of the Iron Dome rocket launched to intercept it. We know from several pictures that the Iron Dome missile has launched when the Hamas rocket has passed directly over or past the Iron Dome position. Thus, the Iron Dome is often “chasing” the Hamas warhead instead of rushing towards it, head-on. In the end, it is very, very difficult to believe that Iron Dome rockets could catch Hamas rockets on a downward trajectory.

      And briefly to the SCUD in the gulf war: that was an extraordinarily lucky shot. Up to that point, our troops weren’t even taking cover in response to missile warning sirens because the SCUDs were so inaccurate. Hence why they were all in the dining hall when it hit. After that hit, our troops started taking cover, and we suffered very few additional casualties.

      We will never truly know the effectiveness of the Iron Dome, but even the IDF in the past has reported an intercept rate of only 1/3 (http://www.dailytech.com/Iron+Dome+Helps+Mitigate+1+in+3+Rocket+Strikes+on+Israel+as+Gaza+Conflict+Escalates/article29227.htm)

      They’ve also reported 84%, and really a ton of other figures. I get why- they want to make Hamas think it’s useless to launch a rocket. But they’re asking the US to pay hundreds of millions to fund the development of a system which doesn’t really work, purely for propaganda value. And, it’s preventing the development of systems that will work 100%- lasers. When you travel at the speed of light, you can hit anything.

      Respectfully,
      Vamsi Aribindi

    32. MikeK Says:

      “But they’re asking the US to pay hundreds of millions to fund the development of a system which doesn’t really work”

      How much do we spend, or did before this administration, to test our weapons ? Israel is doing it for us. That is a significant factor and should be considered. We will see if it fails. If not ?

    33. Grurray Says:

      Maybe hard to believe the Patriot can catch a ballistic missile on the downward slope, but most Hamas’ rockets are much slower and flying low.

    34. Xennady Says:

      Herbert Hoover was a Progressive and his policies were identical to those of Roosevelt in his first term. The main difference was Roosevelt’s isolationism. He cancelled international conferences that Hoover had scheduled.

      Romney is a successful businessman who has done especially well with distressed companies. That suggests he is a pragmatist and will do what works. The political left is anything but pragmatic. His experience with the Salt Lake City Olympics should be a guide.

      I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to saddle up my hobby horse and criticize the GOP establishment. I’ve enjoyed it greatly.

      But I’m starting to feel like a troll. So I’m going to put the horse away, and give you the last word on this topic, at least for now.

    35. MikeK Says:

      “A consumption tax, at least the way it is often proposed, is not actually less intrusive. ”

      That’s why there is so much interest in “boost phase” interception. Lasers will be better at that. Brilliant Pebbles was one name for the program.

    36. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Is it possible that the warhead does in fact explode after the other part of the rocket is hit. Notice the two explosions…

      Looks to me like they fired a paired salvo, which is not unusual, and if you have lots of missiles on hand, standard practice.

      And, it’s preventing the development of systems that will work 100%- lasers. When you travel at the speed of light, you can hit anything.

      That sounds easy, but much more complicated in practice. Here’s why:

      1) You need an a power source capable of providing and storing an enormous electrical charge. The reason is you need a beam with enough energy to raise the target temperature a few hundred degrees in 2-3 seconds while the target is being air cooled in a high flow environment. No easy task.
      2) Laser blooming – when the air around a beam expands from super heating it roils and expands, making it difficult to keep the beam coherent.
      3) Counter measures can be effective. Ablative surfaces, for example, can take a lot of heat and simply carry it away as its surface disintegrates. Ceramics can take enormous heat without transferring it through the material.

      So far, kinetic kill seems to be the most straightforward and effective.

    37. Trent Telenko Says:

      See my column here on Chicago Boyz:

      “Iron Dome: Winning Asymmetric Warfare Through Superior Cost Accounting”

      …for what I think of the current IDF/Hamas fighting.

    38. MikeK Says:

      I wonder how many others have noticed this comment on Instapundit ?.

      UPDATE: Question: Come a real confrontation with Obama — which seems possible — could the Israelis flip and ally with Putin? The Soviets backed the Israelis pre-1967, and right now Putin’s siding with Assad against the Islamists. Israel would be a game-changing ally for Russia in the Middle East, especially with all the traditional Arab powers looking shaky — not only in terms of military assets, but more significantly in terms of intelligence assets.

      Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood are not paying close attention, I suspect.