U.S. Helping Israel's Defense
Cooperation between the two countries today is at an unprecedented level. The other part involves devastating offensive capabilities, designed to surprise adversaries, bringing any war to a swift conclusion.
The cheering and the hugs exchanged by Israeli and American teams this week at Palmahim Air Force base, south of Tel Aviv, marked a historical turn of events.
For the first time ever, a successful test launch had been carried out of the Arrow 3 missile defense system, designed to stop Iranian long-range ballistic missiles – even those carrying nuclear warheads – in space.
The product of Israeli-American cooperation, and years of research and development led by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), together with the US Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency, the successful test represented a leap forward in missile defense technology, and a key development in the ongoing Israeli-Iranian arms race.
Travelling at twice the speed of a tank shell, the Arrow 3 interceptor is carried into space by a missile, which then falls away. The interceptor is actually a space vehicle that carries out several swift maneuvers as it locks on to its target. It then lunges directly at the incoming projectile, for a head-on collision.
At speeds of up to 4000 meters (13,123 feet) per second, the interceptor relies only on its self-generated kinetic energy to destroy the hostile missile, and does not require its own explosives to get the job done.
The successful trial underscores the fact that despite significant political differences that exist between Jerusalem and Washington, defense cooperation between the two countries is today at an unprecedented level.
The first batch of four Arrow 3 batteries is expected to come into service between 2014 and 2016. Four additional upgraded batteries, carrying more interceptors, could be built later.
Israeli and American companies are working together to get Arrow 3 operational. The technological breakthroughs that allowed for Arrow 3 to be tested have been led by IAI, but collaboration with Boeing has been significant.
Iran is amassing hundreds of missiles capable of striking Israel, while taking steps forward in its nuclear program. As the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv has recently noted, Iran has Shihab 3 missiles that put all of Israel in range, as well as the Ghadr-1, which is an upgraded version of the Shihab 3.
Tehran is also developing the Sajjil-2, a two-stage solid fuel missile that can strike targets 2,000 kilometers away. Any of these missiles can be fitted to carry unconventional warheads.
To cope with this ballistic missile challenge, as well as the threat posed by Syrian scuds, some of which have reached Hezbollah, Israel has the Arrow 2 missile defense system in place, which shoots down incoming projectiles in the upper atmosphere.
Once it becomes operational, the Arrow 3 will form another layer of defense over millions of Israelis, thereby giving the Israel Air Force two to three shots at intercepting incoming missile.
"We are in arms race. We hope to be one step ahead, technologically," said defense source well acquainted with the Arrow 3 program.
As part of the race to protect its civilians, Israel has set up the Iron Dome rocket protection system, which intercepted over 90 percent of rockets from Gaza during last year's conflict with Hamas .
Other projects under development include the David's Sling system, designed to stop intermediate rockets and missiles, which are a part of Hezbollah's arsenal of more than 60,000 rockets.
Despite the progress being made in this field, Israel can never rely solely on defense for its national security. In an unstable region filled with radical non-state actors, collapsing states, and an Iran marching towards nuclear weapons capabilities, defense can only form one part of the plan to keep Israel safe.
The other part involves devastating offensive capabilities, designed to surprise adversaries and throw them off balance, bringing any conflict to a swift conclusion.
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by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.
by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.