Sunday, April 14, 2024

Israel owes Obama a huge debt of gratitude

While we don't know the outcome of Iran's attack on Israel yet, it appears as though the worst has been avoided. According to reports, Israel's multilayered air defense systems were effective in stopping the barrage of drone/rocket attacks launched by Iran. As a result, Biden has warned Netanyahu that any further attacks against Iran would not be supported by the U.S. At the moment, that warning seems to have been heeded.

The amount of blood and treasure that would have been spent on an outright war between Israel and Iran is impossible to quantify. So it is important for all of us to be clear about the role played by those air defense systems in potentially avoiding a global catastrophe. It might surprise you to know who is responsible for that. So let's take a walk back through some recent history.

The concept of an "Iron Dome" over Israel dates back to 2004, when Brig. Daniel Gold, a mathematician and head of new-weapons research and development for Israel’s Ministry of Defense, invited the country’s defense contractors to propose innovative systems to protect against aerial bombardment. In early 2007, Israel’s Defense Ministry backed the project’s pilot phase with an outlay of $10 million, but then decided that offensive readiness was a higher priority and didn't allocate any more funds. Instead, Israel approached the Bush administration requesting hundreds of millions in additional support to deploy the Iron Dome. Bush said "no."

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama visited Israel. 

All the cameras were on Barack Obama as he gave an emotional speech against the backdrop of the remains of around 100 spent Hamas rockets in Sderot...It was then that he made his memorable statement about someone sending rockets into his house where his daughters were sleeping, and promising that if he were elected, he would do everything in his power to protect Israel from Hamas rockets.

In 2010, President Obama proposed that the U.S. spend $205 million to spur Israel's production of the Iron Dome. Congress complied as part of a package that also included the following:

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has three initiatives with Israel to boost its home-grown capability to defend against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

The so-called David's Sling Weapon System is for short-range defense; the Arrow Weapons System targets medium-range missiles; and the Arrow-3 interceptor is an upper-tier system under development.

The United States is also developing interoperability between the U.S. ballistic missile defense system and the Israeli architecture to make sure Israeli systems can be stitched in to a global umbrella.

Those are the systems that were used to deflect all of the drones/rockets that Iran launched against Israel on Saturday. Another middle east (and possibly global) war may have been prevented - all because President Obama had the foresight to take steps to prevent war. We all (including Benjamin Netanyahu and the people of Israel) owe him a huge debt of gratitude. 

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