The clash between Israel and Hamas-backed fighters in the Gaza Strip continued over the weekend and into today, with the death toll in Gaza inching toward 100 (there were 91 recorded deaths as of Monday morning). But amid the troubling images and stark numbers trickling out of the conflict there, one set of numbers represents a rare bright spot: the number of Hamas rockets that Israel's "Iron Dome" missile-defense shield is knocking out the sky. Scattered reports from various Israeli officials and news media suggest that Iron Dome has intercepted more than 300 rockets fired at Israeli population centers since hostilities began, or between 80 and 90 percent of rockets targeted.
As missile defense goes, these success rates are more or less unprecedented. One of the five Iron Dome batteries deployed to southern Israel reportedly intercepted a full 100 percent of incoming rockets fired during one Hamas salvo. The overall success rate has been described by various officials at anywhere between 75 and 95 percent. Calling it a conservative 85 percent success rate still puts Iron Dome in a class by itself where missile defense systems are concerned. Hitting a screaming rocket with a screaming rocket is, after all, really, really difficult.
When many people think of missile interceptors, they think of the American-made MIM-104 Patriot missile interceptor system and its much-heralded successes during the 1991 Gulf War, during which then-President George H. W. Bush called the Patriot missile interceptor overwhelmingly successful, using numbers that described it as something like 97 percent effective. But we've since learned that those success rates were really much lower--mostly after changing the parameters of what defines a success (later analysis showed that the Iraqi Scuds that the Patriots were "intercepting" were simply failing in flight far more often than the Patriots were destroying them). The dubious success of the Patriot system has since served as a lingering reminder--in-flight missile-defense is a challenge that even the most technologically advanced military in the world hasn't been able to overcome.
So how is Israel pulling it off with such unmitigated success? Intercepting Soviet-designed Scuds and the much smaller Grad and Qassam rockets largely fielded by Hamas are in some ways very different, but the primary problem is fairly universal. Any ballistic missile interceptor system needs to meet at minimum three requirements: it must have a way to detect and track an incoming projectile, it must be able to use that tracking data to predict the future course of that projectile, and it must be able to accurately be able to get in the way of that projectile. In Israel's case there's a further requirement. Because most of Hamas' arsenal has a range of just two to 20 miles, it has to do all of this very, very quickly.
Iron Dome satisfies all three of these requirements remarkably well. It starts with radar stations that detect a missile or artillery shell moving toward Israeli airspace. Trajectory data on the missile are beamed to a battle control system, which quickly assembles a ballistic profile of the missle--where it is now, how fast it is moving, and where it is going to be. The system and its overseers then make a decision; Is this projectile a threat to a populated area, or is it destined for a rural field or some place where people are not likely to be harmed. Roughly two-thirds of the rockets fired thus far from Gaza have fallen into the latter category, and Iron Dome lets those rockets fall harmlessly.
But if an incoming rocket is perceived to be a threat, that radar data is quickly transferred to a fixed or mobile missile battery--each of which packs 20 radar-guided Tamir interceptor missiles. Those missiles have thus far proven adequately effective in tracking down Hamas missiles in flight and destroying them before they can reach their targets. Moreover, they seem to have grown even more effective since the system was first deployed last year. In three separate (but much smaller) engagements last year, Iron Dome experienced success rates ranging from 80 percent in a short April conflict to a low of roughly 30 percent last October, when it stopped just three of nine incoming missiles. An inquiry into that October event found that a radar failure caused some of the interceptors to deviate from their marks. That, quite apparently, has been fixed.
Another driver of Iron Dome's success could be as simple as Moore's Law. It takes a lot of raw computing power to rapidly build a ballistic profile of a fast-incoming projectile, make a series of quick decisions concerning potential lethality, and launch a countermeasure capable of intercepting said projectile in-flight. One reason Iron Dome is showing a much more robust capability than the Patriot system did in the early 1990s could simply be the fact that its battle control hardware and software are several generations more advanced than those early interceptor systems.
Whatever the reason, Iron Dome is working, and there are reasons to celebrate this technological achievement--lives saved, property spared, infrastructure preserved, continuity of daily life unchanged--and reasons to temper our optimism. As Cold War missile ideology demonstrated, a defensive countermeasure that is perceived as too potent can sometimes make an adversary feel cornered, pushing it toward more extreme measures. As one senior Israeli official has pointed out, Iron Dome must be frustrating Hamas, and without the ability to point to battlefield successes, it cannot declare any kind of political or military victory, nor does it have much to negotiate with. That could prompt Hamas to keep up the fight longer than it might otherwise.
This is one of the greatest military technologies ever. I remember wondering at the stupidity of the Cold War doctrine of "mutual assured destruction" (MAD) and why anyone thought it made sense. Basically the idea was that the Soviets and the Americans both built so many nuclear warheads that neither would never start a war because they knew they both would lose.
Ronald Reagan was the first president to end that nonsensical strategy and actively promote and fund the technology to stop missiles before they hit their targets. He was derided as a fool for his "Star Wars" idea by the likes of Joe Biden and other liberal Democrat leaders; the very people who trumpet their supposedly superior compassion for everyday people.
Now we see abundant evidence that Reagan was right all along. Anti-missile defenses save lives without killing more people. And the bonus, back in the late 80's, was the end of the Soviet empire and the Cold War and the collapse of Communism, as numerous declassified sources admitted after the fact.
FYI, the USA gave a lot of money to Israel for this iron dome.
A brilliant tactical success -- but a success that is measured by the percentage of potential damage and casualties you prevent is a strategy that is not a winning one.
I would add the the interceptors are probably much more costly than what they shoot down -- again, not an advantageous approach.
I would also add, given Israel's position, I don't know what strategy would be a winning one. But it sure doesn't seem like withdrawing from Gaza has worked out very well.
Weeeee, we are the USA!!! We are 16 trillion in debt. Let's go buy other country some weapons, with money we don't have and put our USA citizens further in debt. YEA!
Meanwhile, Iran is supplying Gaza their weapons.
Can the world and the USA ever get our of the war game?
No. Why, because it makes the 1% richer.
Where are President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when the our Federal Government wants to interview them of their knowledge of the Embassy being attacked? Well they are out of the country and can't be interviewed, because they are just to busy!!!!
You see, they knew in advance, why the Embassy being attacked and they knew it was a terrorist attack, but for the sake of good Politics and the election, they said it was just a bad demonstration that went wrong. Ooopsie!!!! What really made it bad was then they lied to Congress for the sake of politics and not for the sake of security of USA. If they lied to congress for the sake of security, they might receive forgiveness, but to lie for the sake of Politics will kill Hillary Clintons chance to be a future President, lol.
While they are out of the country and we have this 16 trillion dollar fiscal cliff problem, they know and want the USA people and government to forget them and fall back to focus on the debt.
So USA, how do you feel about being manipulated by President Obama and Hillary Clinton for the sake of Politics and lying to our government?
^Robot for president!^
It's time to resurrect the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL). It worked almost 100% in tests,consistently shooting down artillery and mortar shells as well as rockets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCBwLJjzDJQ&feature=fvwp&NR=1).Cost estimates were about $1000 a shot,much cheaper than $60,000 for an Iron Dome missile.
My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do...Mel7.Com
This article had some inaccuracies that do not match up towards all the facts that exist. First and foremost the anti-missile defense system used back in the desert storm confrontation was the patriot PAC 2 that was initially designed as a anti-aircraft weapon with modifications source (defense-update.com), the majority of the patriot PAC 2 failures where the result of a software malfunction (www.BBC.co.uk) the patriot PAC 2 is replaced by the PATRIOT PAC 3 (varouse websites, but to name one www.defenseindustrydialy.com) and last but not least the Patriot Pac 3 system worked over 100% of the time against Iraqi scuds in 2003 (defense-update.com) and in addition the Israelis themselves have expressed interest into incorporating the Patriot PAC 3s because the Iron-dome lacked the capabilities to intercept some rounds (defense-update.com) into there multi-layer missile defense system. And in addition the PAC 3s also have a long and rich history of excellent performances advantages (www.defenseindustrydialy.com, www.defensetalk.com, defense-update.com, www.missilethreat.com, and many others. Plus the Palestinians have used small and infrequent attacks which make it easy to intercept, even the PAC 2s in desert storm worked well against single missiles and the real problems came from large numbers of missiles being fired at once which is what lead to the failure of Reagan's star wars (ironically popular science article published several years back)
Thank you, but no, lol.
All I want for Christmas is to keep the original USA written down government and oust the current leadership, who is currently corrupted by the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank. But instead elect not by electoral vote, but actually by individual personal vote.
Oh and if at all possible, get rid of the Federal Reserve Bank and go back to a monetary system that is based on something real and tangible, say platinum\gold\silver\copper\’real’ and regulated by the government and not this private company.
Robot, Obama won the popular vote as well as the electoral vote. Also, it has been proven by thousands of economists that reverting back to the gold standard would put us into a deep depression setting us back over 150 years market wise. By the way, the US currently only has about half a trillion dollars worth of gold at today's market value.
Fair enough this is why I adore democracy, freedom of speech so all the great ideas can come to the surface and the poor ones noted and considered too.
What ever the past 50 years government is doing is not working. Its time for better ideas!
Our 16 trilllion dollar debt is obvious and so is the fiscal cliff. If the government does nothing, it get reduced by 10% across the board and we all get tax more.
If the government makes a budge, still budgets WILL happen and the fact we have a hudge debt is still there and all will be taxed more.
With this all the USA being taxed more, it will cause another recession or worse, but the declared the word depression a forbidden word.
So as of now, each person in USA 320 million owes 50k to the USA. Now I have excellent credit and pay my bills, but if somebody slams me with a 50k bill and tells me I have no social security or medicare, I am screwed and so is the rest of the USA peoples.
Write now also, my home is worth half of what I paid for it and I own twice the amount, if that makes sense. I have no IRA or 401k to speak of like many USA people too.
I have been working since age 14 and being told I have no social security or medicare is F.U.
What is it that you want Robot? Because it seems you want contradictory things. On one hand you complain about our country's debt. Please remember the keyword there is country; the debt isn't only our government's responsibility -- each and every person who rode the credit bubble is equally at fault. You say your home was worth more when you bought it? Guess what, you were participant of the credit bubble, no doubt hoping for the prices to go up even more.
Now you mention working since you were 14 and somehow you haven't accumulated any social security benefits. Now I'll tell you that is not possible unless you trigger the right conditions. Guess what the key condition is? Not paying income tax. I'm not sure if you know this, but people who don't pay taxes contribute to the growing debt.
While it's easy to blame the government, but the ones who deserve the blame is us. We created an illusion of value, believing that our homes can magically be worth more each year. But value is tied to demand and even if homes increased in value, more homes were being built at the same time. Eventually the number of homes on the market would outpace the demand -- but we ignored basic economic principles and kept the illusion going. The result is what you see today. Don't blame the government, blame yourself and deal with it. At least you have your home, others -- myself included -- were not so fortunate.
Yes at times I do seem to be contridictr. I have paid my taxes and social security and at the same time my government says to me and the rest of the public my and your social security will be broke.
And if I get an additional tax from my government for over spending, then if any social security I will recieve most like seem less with the additional taxes and as our government continues to dumb money into the system to bail those poor poor banks, then we have inflation and my current money is worth less and my itty bitty social security will be less too.
And after the fiscal cliff and we go once again into recession, my home will be worth even less and I continue to pay on a large debt.
By the way, who set the rules for the bank for which they were allowed to take risks, our sweet little government. You know the same government that bailed out the banks. Now there are less banks which makes for more of a monolpy of money and the Federal Reserve too is just betting oh so more powerful as ever.
Yes at times I do seem to be contradicting, but not really. I have paid my taxes and social security and at the same time my government says to me and the rest of the public my and your social security will be broke.
And if I get an additional tax from my government for over spending, then if any social security I will receive most like seem less with the additional taxes and as our government continues to dump money into the system to bail those poor poor banks, then we have inflation and my current money is worth less and my itty bitty social security will be less too.
And after the fiscal cliff and we go once again into recession, my home will be worth even less and I continue to pay on a large debt, with my take home pay being less, since the government will give me more taxes.
By the way, who set the rules for the bank for which they were allowed to take risks, our sweet little government? You know the same government that bailed out the banks. Now there are fewer banks which makes for more of a monopoly of money and the Federal Reserve too is just betting oh so more powerful as ever.
The best I can do not and am doing is pay of my home faster and have less bill at age 65, with the grim fact I will have to continue working until some medical reason, I can not work and shortly I just die.
I think we have different perspectives on life. I'm an optimist and I believe despite what has happened the economy will recover and we'll all be better off until the next misstep. You know who else advocates that line of thinking? Warren Buffett. I think the man has done enough for us to consider why he would say such a thing.
As for the government setting the rules that allowed big banks to take risks, yes I agree they were at fault. But the government isn't some evil entity, the people who run the government were voted in by us. Our representatives, people we vote to speak for us, voted on fewer regulations. And since we voted them in, that means we, as a people, wanted fewer regulations on banks. Why? Because fewer regulations allowed us to buy more homes for our American Dream. Those risks you are talking about are banks, run by people, ignoring reason and relenting to pure hope. Thousands of bankers saw loan applications from millions of people who were barely able to afford their home and let it slide, knowing if they didn't pass the application someone else would.
There is no evil genius behind the collapse, simply people. People who think, who feel, and who sometimes make mistakes. People like you and me.
As a robot, I am currently breathing in a paper bag to calm down, lol.
I wish you a nice Thanks Giving!
Happy thanksgiving to you too, sir. Thank you for the conversation.
You say it's proven??? Proven?? I usually don't comment but I couldn't resist here, but your statement is flat wrong. First off, we (and economists included) need to have a little bit more humility when it comes to understanding the limitations of what the study of economics can tell us.
Now on to your comment, I do think most economists would agree a sharp drop in the money supply is a bad thing. What you were trying to get at is a gold backed dollar would inhibit the fed from reversing this fall by devaluing the dollar.
Where economists disagree is how to fix this situation. Some say we should induce inflation by manipulating the money supply, some say the credit expansion is to blame, and by inflating you are making this worse. It gets much more complicated, but there have been Nobel prize winners on both sides, so to say it is proven gold would put us in a depression is just ridiculous (what would they blame the 2008 recession on btw??).
Gold does have two distinct advantages over fiat though.
1. Long term price stability
2. Restricts the governments ability to spend
It would keep the govt from trying to re-expand the money supply during a recession, but I think it would be better to focus instead on the credit expansion during the boom years.
Robot, I pegged you for someone who was more intelligent than to believe the conspiracies and lies of Fox News. No, Obama nor Clinton lied about Benghazi. They were intentionally "aloof" about it because the CIA begged Congress and the White House to not immediately declare it a terrorist attack. They had been doing extensive surveillance on Libya for months, and putting the terrorists on the defensive would ruin their efforts. The Republicans knew this, but still attacked Obama for it. They even revealed the strength and location of the CIA operatives in the area. They had to scrap the whole operation thanks to those idiots. And why does everyone seem to forget it was Mitt Romney, trying to make a political argument for his position on free speech, who first declared the video was the reason. I guess another lie from him wasn't anything new.
And you only have to do the slightest research to know that the current administration had almost nothing to do with the debt. Bush cranked it up to $10 trillion, then Obama came along and it rose another 6. $2.4 trillion of that was from an outstanding war debt Bush had left over. Another $1.8 trillion was from the interest we had to pay on all Bush's war debts, and most of the rest was from trying to run an economy with the wealthiest Americans not paying their fair share. Look back through history at all the recessions and the depression we had. They were all caused when the rich weren't paying their share, and they were all fixed when a Democrat came in and made them pay equally to everyone else. In fact, Obama has the lowest spending record of ANY president in 60 years, so it sure ain't Obama that caused this mess.
Really Robot, you seem too smart for these kinds of lies and imaginary fears. Maybe you've been reading too many of the nutjob trolls who frequent this site like Aldron or snowboard. Don't be a victim to the mental illness that is self-imposed ignorance. Do some research!
When the USA was on a gold standard, over a period of 100 years or so, we had more or less 1% inflation.
Months prior to the great depression a few banks pooled all their money out of the stock market and after the great depression they bought up all the close banks and their assets, then went to the USA government and offered to save USA from its economic woes by managing the value of money. This private company is called the US Federal Reserve and you can see their name printed on your money.
Since President Kennedy and their after our government has been dipping into the social security excess fund, always promising to pay it back and use the money for other projects. They never paid it back and since they make the laws, it’s all legal.
The same is true of the National Highway system and a great many other programs in the USA.
Money is taxed for certain programs and when an excess is created in 'good times', the Politian’s wanting votes cannot leave it alone and spend it inappropriately.
This is how the 16 trillion dollar debt was created and of course to feed this need for greed, selling treasury bonds as well.
Little side note, our law makers created a law to help fight slavery, when poor folk get caught in financial situations they cannot escape. It is well documented in our history. Workers on the farm, in debt to the company store, miners in debt to the company store and recently holding credit card debt at impossible to pay back interest rates. This is illegal and called debt servitude slavery.
As our government now holds all 320 million USA peoples, including babies in debt to the sum of 50k dollars, they decide to ignore this little fact and the only one who benefits is the Federal Reserve Bank.
The 1% rich continues to get richer and the rest of us continue to be poorer. And to help control us, they created new laws after 9/11 and enhance and built the NEW NSA to keep track of all people in the world, real time.
It may take 5 or 50 years, but once the collapse of the world economics finishes, a new world order will come into power, with one world currency and we all be tagged physically and tracked in every action we do.
@syfyguy, "Recessions are caused by the rich not paying their fair share", wow. Talk about needing to do some research. You really do need to take a step back and realize you do not have a clear understanding of the business cycle. There are volumes and volumes of research that disagree with that statement and not even the most socialist of economists would agree with what you said.
I'm with you on Bush though, he, just like every president before him in the last 80 years, drastically grew the size of government during his tenure.
Also, I do like how everyone likes to point to someone else as the person who needs to pay more.
I would love if for one year the federal government was forced to operate by voluntary donations, instead of forcibly taking. Then we would get a good idea of how big the people really want the federal government to be.
Oh and the national media's are a monopoly too. The only current threat to this is the internet and they are working hard to close that gap and you can see often 3rd world countries all the time, closing the internet with the public gets unrest.
@Robot, that comment was kind of hard to follow, and I'm not really sure what you were trying to say. I will note though, the 1% is not some fixed group of people as you seem to indicate. The people in the top 1% are constantly changing.
Also, I don't have a problem with the 1% if they earned their money through voluntary exchange. I do have a problem however, if they got their money by theft, or by using unfair advantages gained through government.
Becoming the 1% rich by earning it honestly is one thing. But being this 1% and controlling our lives is not democracy, it is a monopoly ofs kings and we are the peasants. The power should always rest with the people, not the minority 1% rich.
Hickey, I shouldn't have made it sound like the rich not paying was the ONLY cause, but it is a big one. I'm a scientist, not an economist, but I am a big fan of history. Look at the great depression. Hoover cut taxes on the rich, deregulated financial institutes, cut programs for the poor, and increased tariffs...pretty much the same policy Republicans always have. Then we had the Depression. Roosevelt came in and raised taxes on the rich, increased social programs, and regulated financial institutes...pretty much the same policy Democrats always have. Even the GOP's favorite Reagan couldn't keep it up. His tax cuts were blowing the debt up so bad he had to raise taxes 11 times. Then H.W. Bush came along. I wouldn't call it a lie, but he of course was wrong when he said "read my lips, no new taxes". Reagan had left him such a mess we ended up in recession, once again while the rich paid less and were making record profit. Then Clinton comes along, and guess what? He made the rich pay their fair share, increased social programs, and increased regulations. We had some golden years, then dubya came in and did what all Reps do: cut taxes, primarily on the rich, deregulated, and cut social programs. BOOM! Great Recession!
Democrat policies are once again bringing us from the brink. It's going so slowly because we weren't allowed to make the rich pay, our main tried-and-true method. Remember when the Reps held us for ransom and said they'd shut down the government if the rich didn't keep their cuts? The only way we are going to not fall off the cliff is if the wealthy pay.
This is not "picking" on one group. Does anyone honestly think it's fair for millionaires to pay often less than HALF percentage-wise what the middle class pay, especially when during this whole recession they have been making RECORD profits while the rest of us suffer? Is it fair that our wages are going down or stagnated while they are tripling and quadrupling their fortunes?
And unfortunately, the people in the 1% are not changing. The Warren Buffets and Mitt Romneys are the same wealthy guys that were there 30 years ago. This is the ultimate lie behind the "American Dream". These wealthy hold such a stranglehold on wealth that no one else has a chance. This is why they're so terrified of the inheritance tax, or "death tax" as they call it. This tax is set up to prevent the creation of dynasties like the Romney family. Sure, there are a few "new money" people getting into the game, but they are few.
Wealth is not "created", it is always redistributed. When I buy something, my wealth is passed to that company. That company then redistributes it to employees, vendors, and executives, which they in turn redistribute to the things they buy. The problem is that the wealthiest are not distributing it to anyone else, and are forcing their employees to do "more with less", all while they just make more and more. Where is the "trickle down" Reps are always talking about? Robot was right about one thing: the 1% own this country. We have become a plutonomy. I know conservatives hate the word "Socialism" (mostly because they know nothing about it, and think it's the same as Communism), but Marx was dead-on in his prediction of what would eventually happen in a capitalistic society. The divide between the rich and the poor would grow so great, the wealthy would own everything, and there eventually will be revolution.
The rich have already anticipate a revolution, they created the NSA to monitor our communications and they will eventually give us a personal id to track us and our lives. They will create a new currency and the 1% already controls the government which controls the most powerful military and police in the world. The 1% rich is making ready for a revolution and they will control all the power in this too.
The new and improved legally enhance after 9/11 NSA.