What's Behind Israel's Reluctance to Share Iron Dome with Ukraine?

(Foundation for Defense of Democracies) Bradley Bowman - After Kyiv asked Israel to provide its highly-effective Iron Dome missile defense system to help protect against Russian rockets, Jerusalem's reluctance to do so has invited criticism. But Americans should not hold Israel to a standard the U.S. is unwilling to follow itself. First consider why the U.S. has not provided the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to Ukraine. Why? Primarily because the American military has nowhere near enough of them to protect U.S. troops. In addition, the U.S. industrial base has an insufficient surge production capacity to address the Pentagon's own needs and often leaves allies that have purchased Patriots waiting for years. Any decision to send Patriot systems to Ukraine would require the U.S. Army to under-resource vital contingency plans or pull Patriots currently protecting forward-deployed U.S. forces in harm's way. Moreover, some in Israel worry Russia could capture an Iron Dome system sent to Ukraine and then provide the system and its information to Iran, which could then develop capabilities to circumvent it, increasing the ability of Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to kill Israelis in future conflicts. One can understand why a country confronting such threats might be reluctant to reduce its means of self-defense. The writer is the senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2022-10-31 00:00:00

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