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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:50 PM

Iron Dome: Missile defense system a game changer, Israelis say

Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system is figuring prominently in the unfolding aerial conflict with Hamas' military wing in Gaza.

Iron Dome is being credited with protecting Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities by blocking some of the rockets fired from Gaza.

Over the past three days, 737 rockets from Gaza were fired upon Israel: 492 landed, but 245 were intercepted by the system, Israel Defense Forces said Saturday.

"Eliminating the ability to hit strategic targets may lead Hamas to rethink the efficiency of acquiring the rockets it has used in the past," former Israeli ambassador to the United States Dore Gold said in March.


http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/17/world/meast/iron-dome-israel-gaza-conflict/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

They were discussing this on NPR this morning. One of the major points they made is that by significantly reducing Israeli casualties, Iron Dome has reduced the pressure on the Israeli government to launch a ground campaign. The reasoning was that a constant stream of funerals on TV would inflame public sentiment to the point where the government would have no choice but to attack. At the moment there is no such pressure, leaving more room and time for negotiations.

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Reply Iron Dome: Missile defense system a game changer, Israelis say (Original post)
hack89 Nov 2012 OP
Mosby Nov 2012 #1
Doc_Technical Nov 2012 #2
Alamuti Lotus Nov 2012 #3
Kurska Nov 2012 #4
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #5
Kurska Nov 2012 #6
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #8
Kurska Nov 2012 #13
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #17
Kurska Nov 2012 #23
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #26
leveymg Nov 2012 #28
Dick Dastardly Nov 2012 #53
leveymg Nov 2012 #61
Kurska Nov 2012 #30
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #31
Kurska Nov 2012 #47
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #51
Kurska Nov 2012 #56
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #60
leveymg Nov 2012 #62
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #64
hack89 Nov 2012 #7
Alamuti Lotus Nov 2012 #9
hack89 Nov 2012 #10
Alamuti Lotus Nov 2012 #11
hack89 Nov 2012 #14
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #12
hack89 Nov 2012 #15
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #20
hack89 Nov 2012 #24
Alamuti Lotus Nov 2012 #25
hack89 Nov 2012 #33
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #29
hack89 Nov 2012 #34
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #50
Purveyor Nov 2012 #16
shira Nov 2012 #18
Purveyor Nov 2012 #19
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #21
Purveyor Nov 2012 #22
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #46
shira Nov 2012 #59
Purveyor Nov 2012 #66
Purveyor Nov 2012 #65
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #27
hack89 Nov 2012 #32
kayecy Nov 2012 #35
hack89 Nov 2012 #36
kayecy Nov 2012 #37
hack89 Nov 2012 #38
pelsar Nov 2012 #39
kayecy Nov 2012 #40
oberliner Nov 2012 #41
kayecy Nov 2012 #42
oberliner Nov 2012 #43
kayecy Nov 2012 #44
oberliner Nov 2012 #45
kayecy Nov 2012 #48
oberliner Nov 2012 #49
kayecy Nov 2012 #54
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #58
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #57
pelsar Nov 2012 #63
jeggus Nov 2012 #52
King_David Nov 2012 #55

Response to hack89 (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:58 PM

1. Time to thank Amir Peretz

Last edited Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:11 PM - Edit history (1)

When Ehud Olmert appointed him defense minister, people said he was forsaking Israel's security. When he spoke with senior officials, they humiliated him and disregarded his opinions, claiming he should not interfere in things he knows nothing about. When he toured the northern border, he was given binoculars with the caps still on and was made a laughing stock all over the world. When he left office shamefacedly, people said that Israel's security had been restored and that the appointment of a citizen for such a position would never happen again.

He was laughed at, disrespected and turned into an irrelevant product. But now, five years after he left the defense minister's bureau, one thing is clear: Amir Peretz was one of the most important and influential defense ministers the State of Israel ever had, if only for one important decision he made during his short term – developing the Iron Dome defense system, which changed the rules of the game and is saving the lives of many Israeli citizens as we speak.

Peretz made a decision which appeared almost imaginary at the time. People said that he was pouring money he didn't have into a technological adventure, that he was ignoring the opinions of senior officers who rejected this "absurd idea" taken from Star Trek, that he should stop presenting the army with creative ideas but rather invest the money in the familiar combat doctrines.

But Peretz, specifically because he was an outsider, saw what all those well-informed people didn't see: A horizon. As a resident of the rocket-battered city of Sderot, he realized that the State must do everything in its power to provide the home front with a defensive shield, that residents must not be allowed to continue going like lambs to the slaughter and that you can't threaten offense without thinking about defense.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4307684,00.html

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:58 PM

2. You can boast all you want in trade shows and magazines

but until you prove the worth of your products in actual
combat conditions, buyers will be skeptical.
After all, sales of the Exocet missile skyrocketed (pun not intended)
after the Falklands War in 1982 so selling the Iron Dome missile
system should be a big boost
to the Israeli defense industry.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:11 AM

3. no, Fajr-5 is a game changer

 

Iron Dome is an exorbidantly expensive public relations and defense contractor marketing package, subsidized in large part by the American taxpayer.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:48 AM

4. Iron Dome has a 90% success rate on Missiles it has targeted

That really is for lack of an original term utterly game changing. I know of no other anti-missile system that has that kind of success rate.

Iron dome recently destroyed the exact kind of rocket you are talking about.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:16 AM

5. Defence contractors must love this kind of gullibility...

First of all, where do you think the 90% success rate comes from? I'll give you a hint: its not coming from anyone that's independent. In fact, its entirely self-reported, coming from the operators themselves.

Secondly, what rock have you been living under? Pretty much every ABM scheme has claimed success rates of 90%. In fact, the Patriot system claimed exactly that kind of success rate in the Iraq wars.

Thirdly, you'd probably do well to actually look at the casualty rates from Gazan rockets:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel#Casualties.2C_Fatalities_and_rockets_fired

In 2009 (before Iron Dome), 569 rockets were fired for a total of two Israeli deaths and 11 further injuries. The fatality rate was 0.3% and the overall casualty rate was 2%.

In 2012 (after Iron Dome), 822 rockets have been fired for a total of three deaths and 32 further injuries. The fatality rate was 0.3% and the overall casualty rate was 4%.

If you can read all that and still believe that Iron Dome is a "game-changer", I have some bear powder to sell you. If you use this powder, I promise that there is at least a 90% chance that you will not be mauled and eaten by bears. And at $100,000 a bottle, my bear powder is a bargain, when you consider the benefit of not being killed by a bear. How many can I put you down for?

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:43 AM

6. There are a couple problems with your logic here

First off you may not trust the official numbers, fine can you provide a legitimate source of alternate independent numbers? If you can't do that you should at least try to prove that official numbers are biased you still haven't done that and here is why.

You do understand Hamas's arsenal has changed over time? Hamas's missiles have become better. If you look at the overall picture instead of just focusing on the 2009 numbers and 2012 number you'd have a better understanding of what is happening.

I'll break it down like this year and the number of Israelis killed per rocket.

2008: 0.0073
2009: 0.0035
2010: 0.0333
2011: 0.0071
2012: 0.0036

Israeli countermeasures against rockets (Interceptors and civil defence training) are the most effective they have been since 2009. That may not seem impressive at first glance, but given that Hamas has massively upgraded it's missile arsenal since 2009 the fact that their missiles are only slightly more effective than in 2009 is shocking. 2010 was Hamas's best year for their rockets, but it dropped off strongly in 2011 and has sunk even further in 2012. This is again despite the fact that Hamas has never had better rockets than it has now. You'll noticed that Iron dome was introduced in 2011.

In summary: Between 2009 and 2010 Hamas's missiles became almost ten times as effective (probably a function of their arsenal upgrades), they then lost nearly 75% of their killing power the next year after the introduction of Iron dome and then another 50% the following year. That is a hell of a drop for an arsenal that has only gotten better. Given that 1 year of uncountered growth of Hamas's missile technology lead to a 10 fold increase in their effectiveness, I can't even imagine where Hamas would be missile wise if Israel hadn't developed such technologies to counter them.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:32 PM

8. That is complete and utter nonsense...

That may not seem impressive at first glance, but given that Hamas has massively upgraded it's missile arsenal since 2009 the fact that their missiles are only slightly more effective than in 2009 is shocking.


Hamas doesn't have any missiles (apart from a few anti-air and anti-tank missiles). They have rockets. What we are talking about are rockets, not missiles.

Between 2009 and 2010 Hamas's missiles became almost ten times as effective (probably a function of their arsenal upgrades)


Actually, the only fatality that I can find for 2010 is a Thai national that was killed by a homemade Qassam rocket in March, 2010. It may well be that the Wikipedia article is incorrect in that regard, in which case I do apologise as I initially posted it and referred to it.

A recent post on Mondoweiss lists the precise dates and names of rocket fatalities:-

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/dissecting-idf-propaganda-the-numbers-behind-the-rocket-attacks.html

It shows that Palestinian rocket fatalities fell off sharply after 2009 - and certainly, there was no increase in fatalities in 2010. Also, prior to 2009, most rocket fatalities were within two miles of the Gaza strip. Thereafter, Hamas seems to have concentrated on hitting targets further afield (in Ashkelon, Ashdod etc).

In doing so, Hamas seems to have decided to make its rocket attacks more of a psychological threat than a physical one. It is very difficult to send an unguided rocket such a long distance and have it actually hit something, whereas if you are firing at Sderot, it is close enough that you should be able to hit it fairly reliably. Of course, trying to hit Tel Aviv with an artillery rocket from Gaza is like throwing rocks at the moon. But the idea is that Hamas can wear Israel down with the incessant sirens and state of alert caused by its rocket attacks, and that in order to do this it should send its rockets as far afield as possible.

The issue for Iron Dome is that it does not appear to correspond with any decrease in the lethality of Hamas rocket fire. Given the giddy estimates of its success rate (90%), there should be at least some corresponding decrease.

I suppose, at the end of the day, I am glad it is your tax dollars at work and not mine.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:07 PM

13. Excuse me, but rockets are a type of engine that is often used on missles

From Merriam Webster

Rocket 2:a jet engine that operates on the same principle as the firework rocket, consists essentially of a combustion chamber and an exhaust nozzle, carries either liquid or solid propellants which provide the fuel and oxygen needed for combustion and thus make the engine independent of the oxygen of the air, and is used especially for the propulsion of a missile (as a bomb or shell) or a vehicle (as an airplane)

It is pointless to try and draw a distinction between them in this situation. On technical grounds missile is an accurate way to describe what Hamas has. In the vernacular rocket and missile are pretty much interchangeable, except perhaps when refering to ballistic missile which few would call a rocket, but no one mentioned ballistic missiles.

Anyways I'd have to try and find more sources for information on rocket fatalities. To be honest though rockets fatalities are such a low probability event it is hard to derive the effectiveness of a defense system based on an increase or decrease in fatality. Lets engage in a thought experiment lets say that Iron Dome had a 99.999% interception rate and that had made the probability of a rocket attack by Hamas leading to the death of an Israeli to 0.0000001%. Lets say that event happens as is statistically possible, does that make the defensive system a failure?

No because Iron Dome's doesn't directly save human lives so much as it reduces the probably that humans will die. If you'd engage in another thought experiment with me. If Hamas fires 100 Rockets probabilities ranging from 1-95% of landing in a populated area, Iron Dome would try to identify the rockets with the highest probabilistic of landing in a populated area. It would then try to intercept as many Rockets as possible with the highest probability of landing in a populated area. The problem then becomes a series of individual trials in which a rocket must first not be intercepted by Iron Dome and then land in a populated area. Even then Rockets that land in populated space must actually land on targets within that area, this is another trial modified less by Iron Dome as it is by the population destiny of the area and the success of Israel's civil defense program. Do you see the problem here? Iron Dome isn't the only variable in this problem. Lets say Iron Dome was an abject failure but Israeli deaths went down massively because the civil defense program was superb or Israel was just really lucky, there would be no way to determine that just from the fatality figures. The same would be true if it was a massive success.

How we should evaluate Iron Domes success in my mind is like this. How good is Iron Dome at predicting which Rockets will land in populated areas and how effective it is at intercepting the rockets it targets for interceptions? If it does both of these things well and is determined to by an independent judgement then it would be successful even if Israel had terrible luck and 10 people died in rocket attacks. That may seem odd on the face of it, but really it is the only way to separate the actual effectiveness of Iron Dome from the noise of so many trials happening at once influenced by so many variables besides Iron Dome.

Think of it this way. What if Hamas suddenly found itself in possession of a massive number of Scud Missiles? This would be a huge improvement from it's current arsenal. Hamas fires all these missiles, but not a single Israeli is killed. This is because Israel developed a new missile defense system and vastly improved their civil defense program (with a little luck thrown in too). Does that mean these Scuds are a failure and Hamas should go back to Qassams? Of course not, the missile upgrade actually did it's job. It vastly increased the probability of a missile falling in a populated area; Changes to other variables were responsible for the decrease in fatalities. The program was successful, just not successful enough to make up for other changes. What changes is the bar for success has been raised and Hamas would need to go back to the drawing board. If the inverse were to happen to Israel the same thing would be true of Iron Dome.

If you got through all that I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read it. Typing it all out took awhile.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:22 PM

17. Rockets are unguided, missiles are not...

so Hamas rockets are rockets, not missiles.

There are two ways of assessing Iron Dome's efficacy. The first is as a placebo, a security blanket for the Israelis to comfort them against the extremely remote chance of getting hit by a Hamas rocket.

In that sense, it is extremely successful. Just about every media organisation has accepted uncritically the glittering success story of Iron Dome trotted out by its operators. I imagine quite a few Israelis a resting easier because of Iron Dome, and perhaps that is worth the price for some people.

The second basis for assessment is in its practical effect. Three people have died in the latest spate of Hamas rocket fire, and quite a few have been wounded (68). On that basis, any claim to practical efficacy is deeply suspect.

A further cause for skepticism are the excuses trotted out by the Israelis to explain why people are still being killed and wounded:-

“We have had casualties,” the senior Israeli official concedes, including three killed and 68 wounded. “But the casualties we have had – the three killed – was not because of Iron Dome, but because the people didn’t listen to the siren – they thought they were out of range.”

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/11/19/iron-dome-a-missile-shield-that-works


So even when Iron Dome fails, it doesn't fail. If it fails and a Hamas rocket ends up killing people, then its not a fault of the system but instead the victims for not running away in time. If that doesn't set off your bullshit detector, then nothing will.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:13 PM

23. I'm sorry but that just isn't true.

I quoted the dictionary on that one. I don't know where you are getting your information from

I already tried to explain why you can't use an incredibly low probability event is essentially a dependent variable for an experiment. You didn't address that all and just kept talking, I wish I hadn't of wasted the time of engaging in an academic discussion. I'll be sure not to do that again with you.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:23 PM

26. Its perfectly true

A rocket is a warhead attached to a propulsion system. A missile includes some form of guidance, in addition to the above. You can call a missile a rocket, I suppose, but you can't call a rocket a missile.

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/weapons/q0211.shtml

So you are wrong.

You also claimed that Hamas' rocket arsenal improved in efficacy ten-fold from 2009 to 2010. As it turns out, the numbers don't justify that either.

So you are wrong.

There are plenty of experiments that attempt to derive conclusions from low-probability events. Its true that you need to be circumspect in working from low-probability events and an admittedly low sample size, but by the same token, Iron Dome is making some extraordinary claims.

Iron Dome claims a 90% success rate. At the same time, the overall attrition rate from Hamas rockets is the same (actually its a bit higher) than the three-year average. If it really was that effective, you would normally expect those attrition rates to come down.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:37 PM

28. Iron Dome's failure has nothing to do with intercept rates. It has to do with the fact that Israel

continues to overreact and employ disproportionate force against Palestinian rockets. The primary purpose of $800 million the US has sunk into Iron Dome was to prevent the very sort of overreaction we are seeing now. Time to reconsider that investment - it hasn't worked as intended.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:22 PM

53. Israel did not overreact nor did it use disproportionate force.

With 6 dead, hundreds wounded and millions of its citizens under constant threat from the hundreds of rockets being fired, Israel has acted with more restraint than just about any country would facing such an intolerable situation.

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Response to Dick Dastardly (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:35 AM

61. How can millions of citizens be under constant threat from hundreds of tiny rockets?

The absurdity of your statement is underlined by the fact that the US has dumped almost a billion dollars into an anti-rocket system that the IDF claimed a few days ago has an 88% interception rate.

The US and Soviet population lived for decades under a much more real, terrible and "intolerable" threat of certain annihilation from tens of thousands of thermonuclear warheads and somehow managed to exercise mutual restraint. That is because they both had to.

The problem is the disproportionate response and use of force rooted in a total imbalance of power between Israel and Palestine, and the fact that one side is able to act with utter impunity when it does misuse its overwhelming power.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #26)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:15 AM

30. This is a semantics, I linked the dictionary you linked a random website.

I wasn't aware you don't accept the dictionary as a source of the definition of words. Far better we take it off some random website.

Also keep in mind I made that claim based on numbers YOU provided.

How many experiments are there where you attempt to determine the effect of one variable while making absolutely no attempt to control for extraneous variables? No good ones. I'm sorry that is just basic science. You can't say Iron Dome wasn't effective while not controling for such massive extraneous variables like types of rockets and Israel's civil defence program.

Because attrition rate is incredibly sensitive to those other variables either you shouldn't use it as a measure or need to make an attempt to control for other variables. I already suggested a measure that isn't sensitive to those confounding effects, you ignored it because it didn't tell you what you wanted to hear.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #30)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:57 AM

31. Exactly what is your argument?


Is it that, despite Iron Dome, attrition rates are unaffected just because Hamas has been incredibly lucky?

Or are you still arguing that death rates would be ten times higher (in effect, that the death toll of the last ten days would have exceeded the total death toll of the last eight years from Palestinian rocket fire) if not for Iron Dome?

And to reiterate, the Palestinian rockets are rockets, not missiles. I accept that any projectile (such as a rock to spear) can technically be referred to as a missile; however in contemporary usage a missile refers to a guided weapons system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:53 PM

47. My arguement is attrition rates is a bad measure of whether Iron Dome is effective.

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:27 PM - Edit history (4)

I suppose I must explain this to you like a child. Susan wants to run an experiment. She wants to know the effect of taking a test of nervousness. She determines her measure of nervousness should be sweating. However the only testing place she has is exceptionally hot. After she runs a few participants, she realizes she can't be sure whether the sweating is being caused by nervousness or the heat. In this case sweating is bad dependent measure because it is clearly confounded.

Essentially
Iron Dome*Israel's civil defence program*probability of landing in a populated area*Luck= Atrrition Rate
Iron Dome*Luck= Interception Rate

Attrition rate is a bad measure of the effectiveness of Iron Dome because it has several variables besides Iron Dome influencing it. We either need to control for those variables (through statistical means) or as I'm suggested find a measure that isn't confounded like that in the first place.

Also Is this some new style of debate? Introduce incorrect information and then try to claim your opponent made a mistake when he uses that information? Because it is incredibly intellectually dishonest.

Oh and by the way

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket


"A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket engine."

Either way I'd still take the dictionary definition over Wikipedia.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #47)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:09 PM

51. Attrition rates are the only measure of efficacy...

An anti-cancer drug is only effective if it actually reduces the incidence of cancer. If it did not do so, the FDA would be unlikely to approve a claim that a drug was "90% effective".

I suppose I must explain this to you like a child. Susan wants to run an experiment. She wants to know the effect of taking a test of nervousness. She determines her measure of nervousness should be sweating. However the only testing place she has is exceptionally hot. After she runs a few participants, she realizes she can't be sure whether the sweating is being caused by nervousness or the heat. In this case sweating is bad dependent measure because it is clearly confounded.


The flaw in your logic is this: sweating can occur in the absence of nervousness. However, dying from a Hamas rocket cannot happen in the absence of a Hamas rocket.

Further, a reduction in sweating need not coincide with a reduction in nervousness. However, a claimed reduction in the lethality of Hamas rockets by 90% should coincide with an actual reduction in the amount of people being killed and injured by Hamas rockets.



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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #51)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:38 AM

56. How does a cause and effect relationship change the need to separate variables?

You are measuring the effect of a single independent variable (Iron dome) on a single dependent variable (attrition rates). Through attrition rates you hope to infer the effectiveness of Iron Dome. However attrition rates are just as influenced by the Israeli civil defense program and Hamas's new rocket arsenal as they are by Iron Dome. It could be that Iron Dome is even more effective than it appears, but that difference isn't shown in your measure because perhaps their civil defense program is worse or Hamas rockets are much better. Or the inverse could be true, Iron Dome could actually be having a negative influence on attrition rate and the Israeli civil defense program could be picking up the slack. The fact is you don't know because you've made no effort to isolate the effects of each variable.

You either need to control for the other two variables or find a measure that isn't confounded by them.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #56)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:37 AM

60. You're the one claiming 90% efficacy...

you need to provide evidence that that is the case. Personally, I think that the efficacy of Iron Dome is less than 90%, but I'm not claiming that it is 10%, 40% or 60%.

If you are claiming that Iron Dome is 90% effective, but that continuing deaths and injuries are due to recent failures of the "civil defence program" then you actually need to particularise that argument. Otherwise you're just grasping at straws. You tried to argue that the continuing lethality of Hamas rocketry was due to a massive upgrade in 2010 - obviously that didnt turn out too well. What else have you got?

Meanwhile, a further two people died in rocket attacks, bringing the total death toll to five, with 252 physically injured. The IDF claims 1456 rockets were fired into Israel. This means the lethality rate was 0.3% (in keeping with the long term average).

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #60)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:37 AM

62. IDF claimed 88% efficacy for Iron Dome in a statement a few days ago.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #62)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:08 PM

64. Patriot claimed 100% efficacy in the last Iraq war

apparently its faultless. You would have thought, then, that there would be no more need to spend money on it, but you would be wrong.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:40 AM

7. So where are all the dead Israelis?

all those game changing rockets don't seem to be working very well.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:14 PM

9. You're disappointed at the lack of dead Jews?

 

Some folks around here would consider that downright anti-semitic. Not me--I'm more open-minded and I would be willing to hear you explain yourself first. But, you are on thin ice at the moment.

Modern warfare is composed of two aspects: destruction and deterrence. This is a major development over the barbaric past, when just destroying stuff and people was the goal. We're civilized people now, so we're more concerned about scaring people into doing what we want instead of just putting them under the dirt. Despite what certain infinitesimally small amounts of people would like to believe or suggest, genocide is extremely difficult in these times (except in certain parts of Africa, where foreign-funded commercial enterprises wield enormously unchecked power and correspondingly few scruples aside from keeping the balance sheet in the black), so coercion or bribery are essential methods of getting one's way.

Some revisionist historians posit the concept that Saint Reagan forced the Russians to spend themselves into oblivion, based on the premise that the capitalist empires were better suited to throwing billions of dollars into a black hole than the stalinist bureaucracies were.

This brings me to Fajr-5 and the greater goals behind present events. The greater the range of an unguided rocket, the lower the accuracy. As you have noticed, body counts will not be impressive (not like those lovely "smart" weapons fired in the other direction, which are fully capable of destroying multiple generations of a family all in one pop--this capability is a tremendously civilized development and should be given the respect it deserves (*)), but the factor of disturbance exponentially increases. This disturbance prompts massive increases in "defense" spending and the acceptance of massive hair-brained marketing projects such as "Iron Dome" and military offensives. These are enormous expenditures in a place that is finding itself increasingly unable to produce basic services for its people, witness the massive economic protests earlier in the year. The US is also broke and cannot subsidize the failing state apparatus as much as before; noise from opportunistic politicians does not pay the bills, though defense spending and arms dealing has not yet taken the same nosedive as other aspects. In this way, the resistance factions are forcing the enemy to spend itself into oblivion with a sustained, low-level campaign.

This disturbance manifests itself in two forms: for the short-term, this produces an eruption in jingoistic nationalism, prompting certain sons of deceased mass murderers and unfortunately still living religious demagogues (**) to express horribly genocidal and widely popular sentiments, and an immediate up-tick in the continuation of bad policy decisions, because bad leaders can then get away with their stupid shit a lot easier. They just need to repeat Goebbels' favorite line about "we're being attacked" (***), and then just proceed with business as usual at a much higher volume. People usually go along with it and seem happy with their bad leaders at this point. Reference Bush the Lesser's 99% approval ratings on 09/12/2001, and the present 90% or something support from Israeli Jews for the present bombardments. Politicians are always good at getting people to go against their best interests; in a way, I'm still always astounded when I see it. Makes me wish I was selling something.

The second manifestation usually shows itself in the futile, courageous outbursts of a few misguided heretics and anti-patriots, who dare to suggest that present policies might not be working. For example, the army and air force has been killing so many thousands of Palestinians for decades and treating the living like shit, yet the range and rate of fire for the weapons seems to just be growing. Usually these observations are drowned out by the patriots who repeat talking points coming out of the ruling group (like most of you here), but after the smoke clears these heresies are usually adopted as official policy and some arrangements made accordingly.

The key concept at work when the rockets fly is deterrence, not destruction. Given the technology of these devices, a body count is clearly not expected or intended. That is not the case from the Israeli terrorist forces, but I'm not discussing them at this time. This is almost purely a psychological offensive, intending to deliver a clear message: you cannot get away with this stuff anymore, we can fire back.

I don't necessarily agree with the present approach (I will not condemn it, either), and I tend not to historically agree with Hamas tactics--though I do not necessarily disagree with the executive strategic planning, I just find it poorly executed. Seems like a lot of energy that is largely misdirected when there are alternative approaches that are proven to have greater success. For example, Hizbu'llah famously fired off a large amount of ordinance in 2006, and was highly successful at targeting and striking at strictly military targets and infrastructure. The number of ITF military casualties in this conflict was very high, from activities on both sides of the border. This worried the ITF greatly, so their tantrum manifested itself by ramping up their targeting of civilian targets in response, but without the desired result. The ITF retreated again from Lebanon and dares not approach the border again, except to impotently terrorize from the air.

The present approach, however, is actually proving largely successful for what it is (****) The increased air-strikes and artillery from the Israeli terrorist forces has not stopped the rocket attacks from Gaza militants, which are extending their range deeper into the occupied territories. Strong pressure is being placed on the illegitimate collaborationist regime in Ramallah and the Arab dictators in the Gulf for their almost blatant support and acquiescence of the present assault by the zionists.

(*)--by that, I of course mean that the pilot who dropped that bomb should have a rocket fired into his face at short range
(**)--this is a reference to Sharon the Lesser and Rabbi Yosef the Lesser, in case I wasn't obvious enough for the hasbara folk.
(***)--despite appearances, the way this phrase was constructed does not actually invite an invocation of Godwin's Law, so don't try it.
(****)--key phrase "for what it is"; reference my previous opinion on that before commenting on this point

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:47 PM

10. If the Fajr-5 was a true game changer

then it would shift the military balance of power. At a minimum it would impose unacceptable casualties on Israel. It has failed at both.

My question about dead Israelis was to point out what a failure the Fajr-5 has been and how it is not a game changer.

And can the thin ice shit - the issue is your comprehension, not my words. Anyone that knows my history of posting knows I am pro-Israel.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:34 PM

11. while that was a serious posting...

 

I would have thought that I had made that initial and exaggerated dark sarcasm to be completely obvious. I seriously am losing my finesse with these things--sarcasm used to be the one thing I was really marvelous at slinging, now even that has apparently become blurry. I'll be kind and avoid making some remark about "comprehension" in light of the obliviousness, giving possible allowance for how adeptly I write sarcasm with the written equivalent of a "straight face".

But it did unintentionally put even you--whom I did, in fact, know to be a consistent defender of Israeli terrorism--on a serious defensive stance out of the gates, which sort of unfortunately proves completely true some remark I made a few days ago about how that charge is recklessly used for precisely that purpose.

The main point in that screed, however, was that a body count is a grossly simplistic way of viewing warfare. There are a number of other factors to consider that you are ignoring completely.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:16 PM

14. " Israeli terrorism" - OK. nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:03 PM

12. Personally, I think that if the second Lebanon war proved anything...

it was that paramilitaries are far better off sticking with their tried-and-true short range rockets. Give a man a bicycle, a simple steel bipod, and a Katyusha, and he has everything he needs. He can pedal to a quiet patch of forest, set up his rails and rockets to fire, and then watch from a safe distance as the Israelis engage in sand-pounding $10 pieces of welded steel with $20,000 bombs.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:19 PM

15. That's the beauty of Iron Dome

it minimizes the impact of those paramilitaries and their tried-and-true rockets. It prevents every pissant radical group with a handful of rockets from triggering a larger conflict.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:53 PM

20. No it doesnt

see my posts above.

Additionally, from looking at videos, it seems as though the operators usually send up two interceptors for every rocket. And contrary to claims that the system can detect which rockets are a threat and which are not, Israel claims to have intercepted half of all rockets fired.

That works out to an interceptor per rocket. Hezbollah fired 4000 rockets in July, 2006, give or take. That works out to bill of $4 billion, presuming that the estimates of $100 000 per interceptor are correct.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:27 PM

24. Imagine how bad things would be in Gaza right now

if instead of 3 dead Israelis there were hundreds.

I see this as a good thing. You for some reason do not. OK.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:16 PM

25. Please elaborate

 

Would they try for *four* generations of one family? That would be a very civilized use of their smart bombs.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #25)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:08 AM

33. There would have been a ground war

because of Iron Dome, there was much less pressure on the government to stop the rocket attacks at any cost - it allowed more time for talks.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:48 PM

29. "Hundreds of dead Israelis" is bullshit

In the 2006 war, Hezbollah (a much better fighting force than Hamas, with many more rockets) fired 4000 rockets into Israel and killed 44 people. Its ridiculous to suggest that Hamas could ever kill a similar amount of people, let alone hundreds.

The fact is that the Hamas is killing about as many people with its rockets as it normally does, Iron Dome be damned.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #29)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:16 AM

34. Wasn't the point of Hamas getting bigger, better, longer range weapons

to put more at Israelis at risk?

So Hamas significantly upgraded their weapons and yet are not killing more Israelis. Looks like Hamas is in a bind - they have done nothing more than show to their people just how militarily impotent they are. Not only can't they threaten Israel in any significant way but now they have placed themselves in a position where their leadership is being hunted and killed like rats. They played right into Israel's hands.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:57 PM

50. No...

the goal is disruption. The rockets will never kill that many people. Whether it kills 3 people or 20 makes not that much difference one way or the other.

Hamas could probably kill more people by firing at nearby southern communities, where they have a better chance of actually hitting something. However, over the past four years, most of these towns have been reinforced with slat armour and concrete. Its unlikely that they would get the same results that they used to.

Moreover, firing at towns one mile away is hardly going to create an aversion to war amongst Israeli society generally. To do that you need to broaden your horizons.

For instance, Hezbollah's rockets forced one-third of the population in the Northern District to flee, and resulted in the contraction of the entire Israeli economy by about 1.4%. Of course, in the north that impact was even more pronounced.

That is real money. Suddenly, the guy selling hot dogs in the street has a reason not to support a war.

That has led to a situation of mutual deterrence on the Israel-Lebanese border. Sure, Israel may now have quiet on the Lebanese border, but Hezbollah got their prisoners back and got the IDF out of Lebanon. The Israelis are far less provocative than they used to be, even the incursions and sonic booms over South Lebanon by IAF aircraft are now only occasional nuisances.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:28 PM

16. I predict by January, the US Congress (with China $$$) will write another check to bolster and

replenish this 'system'.

Weeeee!!!!

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:33 PM

18. Without this system, the death toll would be higher on both sides....

...especially the Palestinian one. You care so much....

You should be all in on Iron Dome.

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Response to shira (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:53 PM

19. As long as israel pays for it, go for it but don't come begging to the US taxpayer for the costs. nt

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:55 PM

21. Too late nt

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:37 PM

22. Oh they'll be a coming, at 100K a pop, and from what I see they are popping off about 4-5 per

'shootdown' on the dreaded hamas pop-rockets...

We will pay, indeed we will pay...while our schools, roads, healthcare for the poor gets gutted.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:50 AM

46. Pop rockets? You impeach your self with such nonsense

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #46)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:26 AM

59. Gotta love apologists for Hamas war crimes. n/t

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Response to shira (Reply #59)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:09 PM

66. As much as some apologize for the 'apartheid' state of israel, indeed! eom

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:40 PM

65. Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Comes with Pledge from Obama to Seek More Defense Aid for Israel

Well I guess I 'called this one'...quicker than I thought but drag a dollar bill through tel aviv and you can get results.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021864945

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:27 PM

27. I am glad that this exists, I wish it existed for the people of Gaza to protect the civilians.

it is a good thing to have this because when you see the horror on the faces of Israelis faces when the bombs are incoming this gives them a great chance to live. Human life is most important no matter who they may be. That is why I wish the civilians of gaza had this too.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:06 AM

32. The attacks on Gaza can be easily stopped

Hamas simply has to stop firing rockets at Israel.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:22 AM

35. And then the economic blockade, overflights, assassinations, killing of shepherds will stop?....n/t

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Response to kayecy (Reply #35)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:30 AM

36. Once Hamas shows it can control the militant groups in Gaza

and there is an extended period of peace then there will be peace talks. Of course Hamas will be expected to recognize Israel's right to exist first so that is very unlikely. Hamas will undoubtedly rearm and try again next year.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:51 AM

37. So there we have it....Gaza is bering bombed because Hamas cannot control it......

So there we have it....Gaza is bering bombed because Hamas cannot control it......If Gaza was a state it would be considered a failed state...You are suggesting that Israel should continue the killing simply because being a failed state, no one can control every rocket team.

It may have escaped your notice but Israel's economic blockade is the major cause of Gaza being a failure....Moreover, when Hamas was doing its best to control the rogue rocket teams two weeks ago, Israel 'helped' them by assassinating Jabbari....The same Jabbari who was trying to arrange a truce and principally involved in hunting down the rogue rocket teams.

So why not come clean and admit that Israel did not want Hamas to succeed in controlling the militant groups.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #37)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:57 AM

38. No economic blockade means more weapons.

do you think for a second that building the biggest arsenal possible won't be Hamas' first act once a blockade is lifted?

How about this - instead of smuggling tons of weapons lets smuggle tons of food and consumer goods.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:02 AM

39. a few facts for the foolish, ignorent and those who dont like the facts:

Hamas is now using military grade missiles..that have guidance systems. the missiles are shot from civilian areas, from "buried areas" etc (just about anywhere)

the iron dome is not a PR exercise but an excellent but not perfect defense measure

additional measures are warning systems, hardened shelters etc. that protect the civilian population
___

hamas targets schools during the hours of entering and exiting when most of the parents and kids are present, they have it hospitals as per the guidence system of the missles permit as well as a other apt buildings.

hamas has been shooting at israeli almost daily for the last years: a mortar here, a few sniper shots there a missle now and then
__

there wil be those that defend hamas for targeting civilians, will claim the missiles are nothing more than fire crackers, have hurt a few.... and therefore its "ok" or that israel shooting back with larger bombs is really the bad guy..or at best will claim its the same thing....

its actually nothing more than using a second, lower standard for the Palestinians

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Response to pelsar (Reply #39)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:31 AM

40. Guidance systems on Hamas rockets?..........

Guidance systems?.......Perhaps you could expand on your statement, unless of course you think your superiors would think that there is a danger that Hamas might find out what guidance system they have on their rockets!


According to Janes's missiles and Rockets publication:
"Fajr 5 is a rocket rather than a missile. It is not guided as such. That is how we differentiate it," said Gareth Jennings, managing editor of IHS Jane's Missiles and Rockets.

I believe the Grad is also a rocket raher than a missile and has no guidance system.


I might be a "foolish ignorant" civilian, but I do like to get my facts right, so if you can clarify your statement it would be much appreciated.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #40)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:01 AM

41. Maybe you can start here

Even foolish civilians can read Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fateh-110

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Response to oberliner (Reply #41)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:40 AM

42. Thank you for that URL but Hamas does not have the Fateh-110.......

You are right, even foolish civilians can read Wikipedia, but can you?

The URL you supplied seems to detail only the 200-300km Fateh-110 which I do not think is a weapon used by Hamas.

Did you supply the wrong URL by mistake?....If you are going to supply references, I find it is always best to check them first.


For your information:
The 75kn Fajhr-5 rocket which is used by Hamas is detailed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fajr-5
You will note that there is normally no guidance system although there is a radar-guided version for attcking naval targets.

The 20km BM-21 Grad rocket is also used by Hamas, but again, it has no guidance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BM-21_Grad


Do you have information that Hamas have sucessfully upgraded their rockets with a guidance system?


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Response to kayecy (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:57 AM

43. Did you even read the link?

It seems like you didn't. I understand Wikipedia is not the best source in the world, believe me, no one knows that better than me, but if you read the article, you will see detail related to the guidance system on those Iranian rockets. Iran has even boasted that these rockets can hit any city in Israel should the need arise.

Not sure what the links you posted have to do with anything in the above.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #43)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:24 AM

44. Of course I read the link, but did you read what I wrote?.....

Your link was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fateh-110

This link details the Fateh-110 rocket and no other rocket. The Fatah-110 is NOT in the Hamas inventory.


Would you please check your link again and tell me where it refers to anything other than the Fatah-110. Do you really believe that Hamas is able to deploy the Fatah-110 which has a 300km range and weighs 3,500kgm?


You seem not to be aware of the type of rockets Hamas is using.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:49 AM

45. Iron Dome is meant to defend against any and all attacks

I don't understand why you are limiting the discussion to the rockets Hamas is using.

Iran has made threats against Israel as well.

If you re-read the OP, it makes that abundantly clear.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #45)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:47 PM

48. Perhaps you should read the post I was responding to (Pelsar No 39 ).......

Pelsar in his post claimed:
"Hamas is now using military grade missiles..that have guidance systems. the missiles are shot from civilian areas, from "buried areas" etc (just about anywhere)"


Pelsar seems to have information about Hamas capability that contradicts the information I have.......Pelsar is an IDF officer and so presumably knows what he is talking about and I would like to make sure of my facts.

If you wish to respond to my post, you might at least find out what was said in the post I answered.......Pelsar made no reference to Iran.....Everyone knows that Iran has ballistic missiles with guidance systems......What was the point of showing me something that is common knowledge and irrelevant to my post?



...........................
You say that the Iron Dome is meant to defend against any and all attacks....I believe you are wrong....The Iron Dome missiles/radar system is designed as a short range, low-level point-defense system.....It is incapable of intercepting an Iranian ballistic missile at any safe height........For comparison, the Israeli Arrow ABM system has a range of 100km and can intercept an incoming BM at a height greater than 30km.








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Response to kayecy (Reply #48)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:36 PM

49. Wow - my bad

Please disregard my posts in this subthread.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #49)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:58 PM

54. You have my respect for that admission.......n/t

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Response to kayecy (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:48 AM

58. They're few and far between

The above poster is about the only hasbarado left on this board with any credibility to defend. As for the General, you won't get any concession from him, I can tell you now. He's far too intelligent a fellow to have to bother with that sort of thing.

Apparently he can even distinguish a Bedouin from a non-Bedouin Arab from fifty paces. Don't tell me how he knows, he just knows.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #45)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:41 AM

57. No its not

Iron Dome is meant to defend against short range artillery. There is an entirely different system called Arrow meant to defend against ballistic missiles.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:44 PM

63. for the foolish civilians....

the military grade rockets/missiles used are accurate enough to land in very specific areas over and and over again within a hundred yards of each other.

so whereas there may be no internal guidance system (poor writing/wrong on my part...) they have a rather accurate aiming system.
____

but as i recall, they are just large fire crackers anyway so they dont really count as murderous weapons (either that or they aren't fire crackers, but because they are being fired by the Palestinians, which means they dont really count, as murderous weapons aimed at civilians.... i always get confused on that part, perhaps you would like to clarify?0

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:11 PM

52. Yeah, I've seen the secondary explosions.....................

 

when they engage one of the furocious M-80 firecracker rockets that are being fired from Gaza. I'm still tryin to figure out how they shoot down something so small! You Israelis really should not be allowed to be around fireworks! Firecrackers must be so frightenening to you all. Just stick to sparlers for your celebrations!

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Response to jeggus (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:06 AM

55. What a clever post ...

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