With cutting-edge anti-missile systems and two new submarines that can carry nuclear weapons, Israel is readying a new generation of armaments designed to defend itself against distant Iran as well as Tehran’s proxy armies on its borders.
Having failed to crush Hamas’ firepower in its Gaza offensive last winter, or Hezbollah’s in its 2006 war in Lebanon, Israel is turning to an increasingly sophisticated mix of defensive technology.
A system that can unleash a metallic cloud to shoot down incoming rockets in the skies over Gaza or Lebanon has already been successfully tested, according to its maker, and is expected to be deployed next year. The army is developing a new generation of its Arrow defense system designed to shoot down Iran’s long-range Shihab missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
It has three German-made Dolphin submarines and is buying two more. They can be equipped with nuclear-tipped missiles which analysts say could be stationed off the coast of Iran. Israel says Iran, despite its denials, is trying to acquire atomic weapons. It has never confirmed its Dolphin fleet has nuclear capabilities, but senior officials acknowledge that commanders are fast at work devising a strike plan in case diplomacy fails.
The missile projects have their critics in Israel, who question their effectiveness and say they are too costly. And many Israelis would probably agree with U.S. former President Bill Clinton’s recent warning to an Israeli audience that the country could achieve true security only by making peace with its enemies, who he said would always be able to improve their ability to attack.
“The trajectory of technology is not your friend,” he said. “You need to get this done.”
Under their overarching fear of nuclear annihilation by Iran, whose regime has repeatedly called for Israel’s extinction(1) the more immediate threat is seen as coming from Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Hamas.
Israel’s military believes Hezbollah has tripled its prewar arsenal to more than 40,000 rockets, some of which can strike virtually anywhere in Israel – a dramatic improvement over the short-range missiles fired in 2006.
We consistently have to repeat that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad did NOT call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”. The quote is a deliberate and dangerous mistranslation intended to make Iran look like the aggressor and Israel the helpless victim, which helps justify Israel’s military build up. So why is the Huffington post repeating what is recognised in many quarters as deliberate disinformation?
Moreover, the above report disingenuously ignores the fact that Israel has repeatedly hinted that it might take unilateral military action against Iran. Ed.