THE ARROW: ISRAEL'S MISSILE DEFENCE

By Ralph Sanders

E-Mail: drrsanders@yahoo.com

When the state of Israel came into existence in 1948 no one thought that some fifty years later it would be the first nation in the world to deploy a nationwide defense system for countering incoming ballistic missiles. In those days no one imagined the technological prowess that Israel would someday achieve. The development in Israel of a high tech society with well educated people and a skilled workforce has done much to influence its defense establishment, including its decision to build the Arrow system.

The Arrow is designed to destroy theater (within a specified military area) offensive ballistic missiles. It should be remembered that the Arrow was intended to counter medium and short-range missiles, not intercontinental missiles. At present, Israel does not have to worry about intercontinental missiles since all the Muslim states that might attack Israel are located within the same region and do not need long-range missiles. Arrow is an area defense system, intended chiefly to protect civilians and military targets.

To put the Arrow in proper perspective one must note that the system is not a unilateral Israeli development. Instead, it is a joint U.S.-Israeli cooperative program. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 1986. Yet, the United States is developing its own tactical defense against incoming missiles, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and Americans focus their attention on building that system. Arrow's backers claim that this project is apparently the most advanced of its kind in the world.

Scores of Israeli scientists and engineers worry about the peculiar requirements demanded of a defensive system against hostile missiles available to Arab states. At best, Americans view the Arrow as an interim program that might produce some hardware that would meet its own needs. Furthermore, thus far the United States has limited its help to conducting the R&D needed to develop the Arrow and a question remains whether it will help fund the procurement of the Arrow by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The Arrow system stands as an exemplar of what Israel can achieve technologically. It is not surprising that in their attempt to build a missile-defense system for the United States, American planners are studying the Arrow.

The Threat

Arabs states in the region have acquired their offensive missiles from other countries. Iraq and Syria, for example, imported Scud missiles from Russia. Israelis remember vividly the Scud missiles that Iraq hurled at them during the Gulf War in 1991. Since that date, Israel has become increasingly concerned about the threat posed by ballistic missile proliferation in the Middle East.

Saddam Hussein reverse engineered imported Scud theater missiles, giving them extended range. This modified Soviet missile proved important in Iraq's victory in its war with Iran (although the modified Scud did not decide the outcome of the war). Any idea that Israelis could avoid exposing their homeland to possible destructive attacks evaporated in the Gulf War. For years, Israel's superior air force provided very effective protection for the country's highly urbanized and concentrated population. Even the best Israeli aircraft and pilots could not intercept incoming ballistic missiles and prevent major damage should these missiles hit Israeli targets. The Israelis concluded that they needed an anti-missile capability of their own.

The Iraqis gave their Scud missiles Arabic names: the Al Hussein had a range of 600 to 650 km and the Al Abbas or Al Hijarah had a range of 750 to 900 km. Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya have acquired offensive theater systems, designed to penetrate deep into the territory of potential enemies. During the Iraqi-Iranian War of 1980-1988, the Iraqis fired some 350 missiles of all types. In 1998 Iran tested its Shehab interceptor missile, aiming to increase its range. The Syrians acquired Soviet-supplied Scud missiles and Libya bought No Dong missiles from North Korea.

Offensive missiles in the hands of Arab states can strike Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, cities in which so much of the Jewish population lives (although the Arabs may prefer to avoid hitting Jerusalem for fear of destroying Muslim holy places such as the golden Dome of the Rock and the silver-domed al-Aqsa mosques, as well as Arab neighborhoods). What's more, a Scud missile can reach an Israeli target in only six or seven minutes. Yet, we should note that the Scud missiles become less accurate as they traverse longer distances.

We should remember that Scud missiles that hit their targets even with high explosive warheads can cause considerable damage.

They can kill a lot of people and destroy a lot of property. During the Gulf War such a Scud missile fired at Saudi Arabia demolished a warehouse housing American soldiers, killing 29 and wounding 97.

By August1990 the Iraqis had built five fixed sites with 28 launchers in western Iraq threatening Israel. Of major importance, the Iraqis had developed mobile launchers that enabled them to set up and fire their missiles in less than 30 minutes. As a result, their enemies found it difficult to locate and destroy them. During the Gulf War reportedly the Israelis had to send special forces into western Iraq to conduct intelligence operations to help counter the Scud threat. We really do not know how many Scuds the Iraqis had during the Gulf War or how many they have today.

During the Gulf War Scud missiles inflicted only minor damage in Israel and, for a short time, kept Israelis confined to their homes. Iraq directed almost 40 Scud missiles at Israel over a six-week period. Saddam Hussein no longer had to rely on an air force to get to the heart of the Jewish state, an air force that he knew would prove vastly inferior to that of Israel's. In the Gulf War the U.S.-supplied Patriot proved less than adequate. The General Accounting Office estimated that as few as 9 percent of the engagements led to warhead kills. (It seems ironic that the only Israeli casualty was hit with debris from a U.S.-supplied Patriot missile.)

Whether the Iraqis have biological and chemical warheads for their Scud missiles is a matter of speculation. After his defection, Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, let it slip that Iraq did have a biological warfare capability. Some analysts think that Iraq no longer requires imports to increase its biological warfare capability, but no hard evidence exists to support this possibility.

Likewise, history has shown that in the past the Iraqis have conducted chemical warfare. They did not hesitate to use chemical agents against the Iranians and the Kurds of northern Iraq. Recently it has been reported that poisonous chemical fertilizers for making chemical bombs have turned up in Palestinian bomb-making factories in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, thus far the Israelis have not definitively stated that the Palestinians have a chemical warfare capability.

In 1980 Israel dealt Iraq's nuclear progress a major blow by bombing and destroying its nuclear Ossakik reactor. During the Gulf War coalition forces heavily damaged Iraq's ability to develop nuclear weapons and its uranium enrichment infrastructure. Currently, Iraq reportedly has made progress in designing a nuclear bomb, but lacks the nuclear material to give the country a weapons capability. It is highly doubtful that they have attached nuclear warheads to their Scud missiles. At present rumors abound that Israel's enemies might be developing "dirty" or radiological bombs that can spread radioactivity over large areas.

Quite naturally, Israel's political leaders, strategists, and analysts have given this problem considerable attention. In addition, they have had to adjust their missile/air defense deployments to meet the threats of suicide-piloted aircraft, pilotless aircraft, and motorized gliders.

Technological Development

Israel's large pool of highly educated and skilled scientists, engineers, technicians, and managers has enabled the state to undertake difficult and complex technological projects, especially military ones. The Arrow had its origins in President Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative. Soon after the Star Wars program began, Israel joined in the research and development effort.

The Arrow defensive missile represents one of the most challenging technologies that Israel has ever attempted. It would be the very first time in history that designers developed an interceptor specifically to shoot down incoming missiles. Previously, designers built systems (like the Patriots) to shoot down airplanes and then tried to modify them to hit missiles.

Israel built testing grounds for the Arrow missile system at the Palmachim Air Base south of Tel Aviv. Within recent years Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missiles proved their ability to hit real targets, and not just simulated ones, in vital test flights off the coast of Israel. An Israeli F-15 fighter aircraft at high altitude dropped a live missile which assumed the flight path of an incoming Scud missile. This success occurred after years of failure that previously had cast doubt on the fate of the Arrow program. No matter how successful the Arrow proves in testing, Danny Peretz, the Arrow's program manager, aptly said, "But we know in our hearts and put it in the design that this weapon will be tested only in war."

Israeli developers had to design and build three major components that made up the Arrow system: (1) the solid-fueled Arrow interceptor missile itself (acquiring the target and destroying it); (2) the Citron Tree fire-control system (calculating the firing data); and (3) the Green Pine radar (tracking the target). The Arrow-2 missile system contains a static radar station, batteries, and control center. Its Green Pine radar is designed to pick up and track incoming missiles from as far away as 500 km. The tests had confirmed the successful integration of the missile, tracking radar, and the systems control center.

Although the United States and Israel co-developed the Arrow and its launchers, Israel alone developed the remainder of the system. Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) (the largest and most important company of its type in Israel) was responsible for building the Arrow missile itself. Over the years it has evolved into an enterprise employing more than 25,000 people and manufacturing more than 400 different military and civilian products. The Green Pine Radar was developed by Elta, a subsidiary of IAI. This firm is responsible for conceiving, designing, and producing new generations of electronic systems. The Citron Tree battle management center, built by Tadiran, guides the launches of the Arrow.

The Israelis designed the Arrow to intercept the Scud at a high altitude, destroying the warhead sooner, and at a greater distance from Israeli territory. They had learned a sad, but valuable lesson during the Gulf War when the Patriot hit Iraqi Scuds toward the end of their flight, causing the Scuds to come apart in flight and fall to the ground in broken pieces. Furthermore, the Scuds tended to separate on entering the atmosphere. By intercepting at higher altitudes, the Israelis do not have to worry about separation.

Realizing the limitations of the Arrow, Israel's weapons designers proceeded to build a two-layered defense missile system. The Arrow constitutes the outer layer and an improved Patriot missile serves as the inner one. Just how effective either system will be remains a question. In addition, the Israelis also are developing UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) designed to target launchers for Scud missiles. The UAVs would complement the Arrow theater missile defense system.

Israel's most recent progress occurred on January 5, 2003 at the Palmachim base when the Israel Air Force for the first time launched four Arrow missiles consecutively. The Israelis successfully dispatched these missiles toward different simulated targets, leading Israeli military commanders to conclude that the Arrow could intercept any Iraqi missile, including Scuds.

Because the flight tests were part of a joint U.S.-Israeli Arrow improvement program aimed at assessing the Arrow's performance under special flight conditions, to coordinate with American observers, in this test Israeli developers did not include real interceptions nor real targets. Despite these limits in testing, Major General Dan Halutz observed that Iraq's capabilities presently are limited, and Israel is prepared to deal with any Iraqi attack on Israel.

Strategic Dimensions

The peril of large-scale combined conventional attack that threatened Israel's survival from 1948 through 1973 and beyond has waned but has not altogether disappeared. As noted above, the WMD and ballistic missile threats posed by neighboring and more distant states are growing. The strategic role played by Arrow originates from that fact.

To make optimal use of the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, Israel's military establishment must develop concepts indicating how the weapon will be used in case of hostilities. In fashioning such a strategy, one begins with the fact that Israel is a small country with a population concentrated in a few cities. The geographical features of Israel, in large part, determine the kind of strategy its military thinkers can develop.

The Gulf War of 1990 proved a turning point in Israeli strategic thinking. Until that conflict Israel depended chiefly on a combination of superior air and armored power to protect its territory. Israeli doctrine traditionally has called for offensive tactics against its enemies. At times, it took preemptive action when it suspected an enemy was preparing to attack, as in the Six Day War. During the Gulf War Iraq presented Israel with a new strategic challenge as its Scud missiles rained down on Israeli territory. The Patriot missiles which the United States sent to counter the Scud attacks proved less than adequate. After that war Israel decided to develop its own tailormade system that could intercept incoming ballistic missiles. A new strategic age was born for the Jewish state.

Israel had long maintained a formidable nuclear and missile deterrent. Until the Gulf War this deterrent worked. Israel did not have to worry about any Arab nation using weapons of mass destruction (i.e., nuclear, chemical, and biological) and designed its deterrent force to forestall conventional ground and air attacks. Israel never publicly acknowledged that it possessed nuclear arms. However, Arab states believed that Israel possessed such weapons and acted accordingly. For example, some experts suggest that during the Yom Kippur War, Egypt did not push deeper into the Sinai because its military leaders feared Israeli nuclear retaliation. When deterrence failed, as it did in the Yom Kippur War, Israel absorbed the initial conventional blows and then deployed its own conventional reserves to gain a victory.

All of Israel's wars were fought with high-explosive warheads. After the Gulf War Syria, Iraq, and possibly Iran may have committed themselves to building weapons of mass destruction. The Israelis realized that although in the Gulf War Iraq refrained from arming its Scud missiles with warheads of mass destruction, in a future war they had to prepare themselves for countering such a possibility.

Absorbing a first strike has become unacceptable to Israel. Military experts in Israel must assume that Arab states might send a hail of missiles fitted with WMD warheads against Israeli cities and military targets. Recently, high-ranking Israeli officials reported that Iraq has airplanes capable of delivering chemical and biological warheads and the IDF must be prepared to counter this as well as the missile threat. If past records are meaningful, Israeli pilots should prove more than able to blunt an air attack.

An enemy WMD first strike might severely cripple Israel's retaliatory capability and prove devastating to its urban and industrial centers. Israel's retaliatory capability comprises aircraft (F-16s and F-15s) and offensive ballistic missiles, the Jericho-2 (a two-stage solid-fueled missile with a range between 1,500 and 3,500 km). Unconfirmed reports exist that Israel is building a 4,800-km range Jericho-3 missile based on Israel's space launch vehicle, the Shavit. Israel also has become a leading developer of a type of UAV that perhaps could be used in a retaliatory mission.

Israel's military leaders have concluded that they no longer can depend solely on a "second strike" strategy. They can destroy any nation that attacks them, but can suffer terrible losses in any war. Therefore, Israel finds it advisable to look to its defenses both active (anti-missile systems) and passive (civil defense).

Although suffering from some major deficiencies of late, Israel civil defense has made some major strides. For instance, in case of a chemical attack local rescue teams, comprising paramedics, firefighters, and security forces, who are first on the scene are getting special protection. Some of these local teams have received from the Home Front Command special suits developed in Israel for protection against chemical and biological weapons. There is controversy if Israel has enough smallpox vaccines, but the Health Ministry is making efforts to have enough for every Israeli.

The Arrow is intended to enable Israel to deter or withstand a surprise Arab "first strike" against military targets or urban centers. It is quite true that during the Gulf War Iraq's theater ballistic missiles enjoyed only marginal military utility. They had small payloads and were inaccurate. Projected improved accuracies, increased payloads, and more lethal warheads could enable them to inflict vast damage to key military and civilian targets in Israel.

The doctrine of "mutual assured destruction" that served the United States so well during the Cold War today has little appeal in Israel. A deadly riposte by Israel would not save the state. It could only inflict enormous damage to an aggressor. Both sides would sustain hits, but Israel could be obliterated. The Israelis have no desire to see Baghdad wiped out if it also meant that Tel Aviv ceased to exist.

Israel's leaders have announced that if an opponent attacks Israel with weapons of mass destruction, Israel would use its right of self-defense and strike back. No longer would Israel refrain from action as it did during the Gulf War. Only if the United States destroys Iraq's theater strike capabilities before the Iraqis could fire them, would Israel's retaliatory blow become unnecessary.

Of course, Israel's response would depend on the "degree of destruction" of the enemy attack. A lot depends on the type of weapons Israel's enemies use and their results. No doubt, a nuclear assault would call for a nuclear response. The effectiveness of possible chemical and biological warfare remains questionable. In large part, the effectiveness of these weapons depends on the degree to which Israel prepares its military forces and civilian population to counter them (e.g., many Israelis have gas masks).

Some Israelis argue that Israel should not respond with weapons of mass destruction even if Arab opponents use such weapons first, otherwise it will lose the moral advantage. At any rate, the Israelis naturally would prefer to blunt incoming missiles before they could cause any damage. That is where the Arrow missile system comes into play. This missile system is designed to add to Israel's deterrent capability. It is intended to allow Israeli leaders sufficient time to make decisions free of "apocalyptic" alternatives.

Some Israeli strategic thinkers argue that Israel must publicly declare that any attack made against its territory by an enemy's ballistic missiles should be considered an attack using nuclear or biological warheads, with the intention of annihilating Israel. Certainly blunting such an attack with a defense shield makes good sense. But Israel requires protection from any incoming missile, irrespective of the type of warhead that it carries.

Operational Considerations

The Arrow anti-missile system became operational in the fall of 2000. It is a two-stage, solid-fuel missile which is linked to Israeli military surveillance satellites that are launched by Shavit rockets. The Israelis know that no system can guarantee an interception rate of 100 percent. A former Israeli defense minister acknowledged this fact when he cautioned that there is no way to seal the skies hermetically against attack.

Nonetheless, the Israeli Defense Forces believe that the Arrow system should be able to intercept a salvo of ballistic missile attacking from ranges of up to 3,000 km. and do so with a very high kill rate. It can achieve such high effectiveness by providing three independent discrete opportunities of interception. The first involves intercepting at the highest altitude possible. If no kill takes place there, two additional interceptors are launched at short time intervals.

The Arrow is part of an integrated system, including an interceptor, a launcher, a Fire Control Radar, a Fire Control Center, and a Launch Control Center. All these components make up a total air warning system.

No matter what its enemies say, Israel can take no chance that they will not use chemical warheads. Wearing gas masks and protective gear, Arrow crews practice reloading the Arrow missile launcher in an environment contaminated with chemical agents. In the fire control center, Israeli soldiers practice tracking and hitting incoming missiles under various scenarios. Unlike the Patriot system, whose fire control system was essentially automated, the Arrow system enables military commanders to decide when to fire.

Criticisms

Although the Israeli public strongly supports the Arrow missile, the system has attracted considerable criticism both inside and outside Israel. First of all, some critics claim that with today's technology no anti-ballistic system can be effective and, therefore, investing in such a system makes little sense. They argue that neither the American "Star Wars" nor Arrow will work. Reuven Pedatzur, an Israeli missile expert, argues strongly that there is no defense against ballistic missiles and implies that the Arrow will prove no exception to this rule.

The finances of the system also have come under attack. Critics charge that although the United States is footing the bill for initial missile development, the final price of $10 billion, of which Israel will pay some 85 percent, will prove too costly for the small nation. They contend that Israel's official cost estimate of only $1.59 billion is simply not believable. Nor is its belief that only one missile in 1,000 will "leak" past the system.

The Center for Defense Information (CDI), an American think tank critical of military establishments in general, argues that although the Arrow has tested well, it is a recently deployed system. Consequently, its effectiveness in actual combat against missiles with chemical or biological warheads remains uncertain. Arrows also suffers procurement criticisms. According to skeptics, Israel Aircraft Industries lacks the capacity to produce the number of Arrow missiles needed to meet a major Arab attack. As a result, Israel looks to the United States to fill this deficiency and in 2002 was negotiating an agreement with Boeing. CDI argues that Israel will have to wait many months before receiving U.S.-manufactured components from Boeing.

CDI also suspects that by this tactic Israel is being devious. It is trying to place itself in an advantageous position in the future to export the Arrow to other countries, thereby cutting into American exports.

Critics argue that another fact clouds the estimates of the Arrow's effectiveness. The system never has been tested against an actual Scud missile. As a result, under actual wartime conditions, Arrow's accuracy cannot be guaranteed. In addition, if the Arrow hits an offensive missile high in its trajectory, it might cause the agents to fall on Israeli territory with deleterious effects. CDI concludes that Arrow has not shown that it can stand alone as a defensive system. It further suggests that Israel is doing its citizens a great disservice by relying so heavily on the Arrow system.

Shawn L. Twing, the news editor for the pro-Arab publication, Middle East Affairs, calls the Arrow project a boondoggle. He charges that the U.S. taxpayer will bear the overwhelming cost of the system and the Israelis will contribute only a paltry sum. Twing also charges that U.S. officials quietly argue that they would rather see Israel spend U.S. money on the relatively low-technology Arrow program than let THAAD's high-technology components fall into Israeli hands and then have Israel illegally transfer the technology to other countries.

At one point Twing curiously seems to imply that even if the Arrow proves successful, it will not work. He explains that decoys and countermeasures could confuse missile defenses. Nuclear, chemical and biological warheads, even if destroyed high in the atmosphere, would inflict unsustainable damage on Israeli territory. If Arab enemies should master the use of multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) on their ballistic missiles, the defense certainly would prove inadequate.

Twing goes on to argue that even Third World countries might overwhelm missile defense systems with a barrage of relatively cheap Scud-class missiles. Lastly, he contends that the defensive nature of the Arrow is contrary to Israel's offensive military doctrine that encourages preemptive strikes to make up for Israel's lack of strategic depth.

All these criticisms add up to the conclusion that ballistic missile defense is not worth the large investment that it devours.

Responses

Although these criticisms have some merit, they fail to place the Arrow missile in proper perspective. First of all, one cannot fault all ballistic defense systems, including the Arrow, as being unworkable. We will not know if the Arrow system truly works until the Israelis have to use it in a combat role. It is quite true that the Arrow has passed some critical tests. If fact, Israel's theater anti-ballistic missile program has progressed faster than that of the United States. Nonetheless, recent success in tests does not guarantee favorable outcomes on the battlefield.

As yet, the Israelis do not face sophisticated foes who in the near future probably can attach new technologies such as sophisticated decoys or MIRVs on their Scud missiles. By and large, Israel faces simple, but efficient, ballistic missiles which chiefly represent terror weapons launched against civilian populations.

Nor does hitting chemical and biological warheads during their upward trajectory ensure that fallout will cause catastrophic damage to Israel's land and population. It all depends over whose territory the interception occurs. The threat of nuclear missiles poses a much tougher problem. For the most part, Israel depends upon its own nuclear retaliatory capability to deter such an attack.

Nor do we have a clear idea how destructive chemical and biological agents will be. Chemical attacks are difficult to control. As has happened in the past, they may waft back to the sender. Chemical warfare historically has had no decisive effect on the outcome of any war in which belligerents used it. This failure during World War I influenced World War II belligerents to avoid its use. Biological agents have never before been used in a conflict. One cannot predict how lethal they will prove under wartime conditions, especially against military forces or populations which have prepared to resist it.

The total price of the Arrow system remains unclear. (Henry Cooper in the May 2, 2001 New York Post estimates that it will cost less than $2 billion.) Most likely Israel will expend the funds needed to acquire the system and the United States will continue contributing toward that end. Although critics can censure any estimates of the systems cost, Arrow looks too vital for Israel's survival to be abandoned or terminated because of costs. Nonetheless, Israel's military planners must allocate resources within the competition taking places among the country's various military missions.

What's more, the American contribution to the development of the Arrow could benefit the national security of the United States. Although the United States does not plan to field the Arrow, participation in this project could assist the Americans in their own theater missile defense development. In the past, Americans have benefited greatly from Israeli technology and there is every reason to believe that the same holds true regarding the Arrow. It pays to note that the Arrow missile became operational while the American THAAD system remains in development.

The Israelis have emphasized that the Arrow should lessen the load of the United States if American forces have to make an emergency deployment to the Middle East of the magnitude of the Gulf War build-up. Moreover, they have tried to show how Arrow's electro-optical technology could be integrated into several missile defense systems currently being developed by the United States, especially the U.S. Army's THAAD system. In short, the money that the United States spends on Arrow development does not represent a zero-sum-game for this country.

Israeli spokesmen point out that in regard to cooperation with the United States, the Arrow does not compete with U.S. weapons development. Israel is determined not to spend its limited research and development funds in areas where others have heavily invested. They believe that it is stupid to develop the same technologies.

Although Israel cannot export the Arrow to other countries without securing American permission, it can recoup by exporting other components of its missile defense system. For example, Israel has exported two Green Pine early warning stations against ground-to-ground missiles to India. The Israelis developed all the technology of these radars and consequently need no U.S. permission to export them. However, the question of Israeli export of U.S.-supplied technology still requires scrutiny by American officials.

Israeli experts remind us that the Arrow complicates an enemy's calculations and alternatives in launching its ballistic missiles. The enemy must assume that the Arrow will work, not perfectly, but that it will destroy a certain percentage of their offensive missiles. For example, Israel's enemies cannot be sure that the Arrow will prove unable to protect Israel's second strike force (although the Arrow is chiefly for the protection of the civilian population). In this sense, the Arrow acts like a deterrent.

Arab commanders must have at least a rough idea of the destruction that an Israeli retaliatory strike could inflict on their lands and peoples, especially if they do not have their own defensive systems. They probably have to respect both Israel's retaliatory strength and Arrow's capability. They will likely exert caution before hitting Israel with a WMD missile attack. If they do decide to attack, they must consider two actions: (1) they must launch a considerable number of missiles and (2) they must launch a surprise attack when the Israelis are not prepared to counter them.

Moreover, the Arrow does not necessarily contradict Israel's offensive military doctrine. Under certain political situations, Israel might find itself unable to launch a preemptive strike. On the other hand, the IDF could first launch a military ground or air attack and use the Arrow to protect Israel's residual military capability.

Of great importance, Israel stands as a robust ally of the United States in the Middle East. The degree to which the Arrow strengthens Israel, the stronger will be America's ally.

Final Assessment

Some analysts have suggested that Israel should be lauded for facing up to its strategic situation by developing defensive as well as offensive systems. The Israelis believe that whatever the investment, the overall cost of the Arrow is a small price for decreasing the risks that the country will sustain great damage. Put another way, the Arrow is nothing more than an "insurance policy" in case Israel faces the threat of acute destruction. Insurance policies do not prevent the unwanted from occurring; rather, they serve as an act of preventing against loss. Let us hope that the Israelis will never have to find out Arrow's worth. Peace is preferable.



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