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U.S. Must Strengthen Israel’s Deterrence

By Israel Defense Forces and Nehemiya Gershuni-Aylho נחמיה גרשוני-איילהו (see also https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%A5:Flickr-IDF-IronDome-in-action001.jpg ) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/idfonline/8194572552/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34360609

President Biden’s public pledge to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome would boost Israeli defenses, but is insufficient to deter another war. To minimize the potential for another conflict, Israel needs further upgrades to its air defenses and access to advanced U.S. precision weapons.

Since the last major war between Israel and Gaza in 2014, Iron Dome has been upgraded to better intercept drones and large barrages of mortar fire. In March, the air defense system intercepted about 1,600 of the 4,360 Palestinian rockets and mortars that would have struck populated areas. With the Iron Dome’s protection in place, the IDF has greater freedom to choose how and when to respond to aggression.

Yet Palestinian militants significantly increased their rate of fire in this latest conflict to try and overpower Israel’s defenses and bolster their image. Palestinians launched 3,600 rockets in 11 days last month, compared to 3,700 over the fifty-day war in 2014. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad demonstrated that they can occasionally penetrate the Israeli system’s protection by simultaneously launching large barrages of projectiles at a single target….

H Steven Blum, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, served as Deputy Commander of U.S. Northern Command. In 2015, he was a participant in The Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s (JINSA) Generals & Admirals Program.

Ari Cicurel is a Senior Policy Analyst at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.

Originally published in Defense One