U.S. Army Abandons Iron Dome Project After Israel Refuses to Share Critical Intelligence
The U.S. Army has been forced to give up on their Iron Dome project after Israel withheld critical intelligence needed to complete the $1 billion defense project.
“It took us longer to acquire those [first] two batteries than we would have liked,” Gen. Mike Murray, head of Army Futures Command, said to the House Armed Service tactical air and land forces subcommittee on last week.
“We believe we cannot integrate them into our air defense system based on some interoperability challenges, some cyber challenges and some other challenges,” he added.
Without receiving the source code from the Israelis, the Iron Dome project became wholly untenable for the U.S. Army. They were previously hoping to implement Iron Dome technology within the military’s Integrated Battle Command System by 2023.
“I think everybody kind of knew going in that Iron Dome is on one hand a proven system with a lot of operational experience, but everyone also knew going in that it was tailor made for Israel, and so it is not going to be optimized for the United States,” said Tom Karako, a missile defense expert who works for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. “I see this development as not surprising.”
While Israel certainly has the right to be independent, they are subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer to the tune of billions per year to help keep the only Western democracy in the Middle East safe from external threats.
Israel receives the assistance regardless of who wins national elections, with the vast majority of leaders within both political parties supporting the foreign aid:
The United States will provide Israel’s military with $38 billion during the next 10 years, officials said Tuesday, the largest batch of military assistance the U.S. has ever pledged to another country.
Following months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the State Department said the two countries had reached a 10-year agreement, with a signing ceremony planned for Wednesday. The U.S. and Israel haven’t disclosed the exact sum, but officials familiar with the deal said it totals $3.8 billion a year — up from the $3.1 billion the U.S. gave Israel annually under the previous 10-year deal…
Under the agreement, Israel’s ability to spend part of the funds on Israeli military products will be gradually phased out, eventually requiring all of the funds to be spend on American military industries. Israel’s preference for spending some of the funds internally had been a major sticking point in the deal.
The new agreement also eliminates Israel’s ability to spend a fraction of the funds on fuel for its military. In another apparent concession, Israel has agreed not to ask Congress to approve more funds than are included in the deal, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss the details publicly ahead of a formal announcement and requested anonymity…
The new U.S.-Israel deal also includes, for the first time, funding for missile defense programs. Under the previous arrangement, Congress approved funds for missile defense separately and on an annual basis.
Congress must still formally approve the funding each year, but is expected to put up few roadblocks. Both parties in Congress have sought to outdo each in with displays of support for the Jewish state. The previous 10-year agreement is set to expire in 2018.
While Israel receives billions in foreign aid, they refuse to share key intel that could help keep Americans safe. That does not seem like the behavior of a grateful ally.