The Birth of Israel's Iron Dome

(Wall Street Journal) Charles Levinson and Adam Entous - Israel's Iron Dome rocket-defense system spent the past two weeks successfully blasting 421 Hamas rockets out of the sky. The system limited Israeli casualties to six during the seven days of bombardment. Despite initial Pentagon misgivings, President Barack Obama has given $275 million to the project since 2010. For years, Pentagon experts dismissed Iron Dome as doomed to fail and urged Israel to instead try a cheaper U.S. approach. But an Israeli mathematician-general, along with a labor-organizer-turned-defense-minister, pushed the project through. In 2004, then-Brig. Gen. Daniel Gold, who also has a Ph.D. in mathematics, was named director of the Ministry of Defense's Research and Development department, responsible for overseeing the development of new weapons systems. In the summer of 2006, Hizbullah in Lebanon fired more than 4,200 rockets into northern Israel, killing 44 Israelis over 33 days. Suddenly, stopping rockets was a government priority. In Nov. 2006, Gen. Gold directed Rafael to begin full-scale development of the Iron Dome project.

2012-11-30 00:00:00

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