US withdrawal from Europe-based missile shield will impact Israel’s defense

On March 20, President Barack Obama arrives in Israel for the first foreign trip of his second term. The purpose of his visit is plain, except to Netanyahu’s domestic rivals: Facing a 50 percent cutback in military spending, the Obama administration cannot credibly threaten to go to war against a recalcitrant Iran. But the US president may still wave the Israeli military option in Tehran’s face.Not that the ayatollahs are likely to be impressed. Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have both dismissed talks with Washington “with a gun” at their head, meaning that they are not scared of the Israeli gun the Americans are putting to their heads.

In fact, the Islamic rulers of Tehran are reported by debkafile’s intelligence and Iranian sources to be fully confident that they are home and dry as a nuclear power after a secret US Pentagon research study was leaked that “casts doubt on whether the multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe” (originally by the Bush administration) “can ever protect the US from Iranian missiles as intended.”

Clearly the missile shield against Iran, which aroused ire in Moscow, looks like falling under the defense budget axe.

The missile shield in Europe was also designed to defend Israel and Turkey against Iranian ballistic missile attack. Leaving it unfinished because of “flaws” exposes both those countries to such attack.

President Obama will not doubt tell Netanyahu that the system for intercepting medium-range Iranian missiles is to be scrapped. However, he will have to take into account that if the Iranians do finally manage to put a capsule in orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers, they will be able to fire a ballistic missile at any point on earth as well, including the United States. Even if they did fail to put a primate in space, they will keep on trying and advancing until they get there.

Full article: US withdrawal from Europe-based missile shield will impact Israel’s defense (DEBKAfile)

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