Why Israel Cannot Send Its Iron Dome to Ukraine

(National Interest) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel - Israel has refused to provide Ukraine with its Iron Dome air defense system for several reasons. First, Israel harbors legitimate fears that its systems could be captured by Russia on the battlefield and would be sent to Iran. This could enable the Iranian regime to find ways to counter these systems, which would benefit Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in future confrontations with Israel. Second, the Israel Defense Forces have already assessed an urgent need to acquire more systems and interceptors for its own protection, as Hizbullah and Hamas weapons arsenals continue to grow. The production of the necessary numbers of systems and interceptors will take some time, and the timetable could be set back by exports to Ukraine. Third, the amount of time required to train Ukrainian forces to operate the Iron Dome would not help Ukraine in the short term. Finally, Israel does not wish to trigger a harsh response from Russia, which maintains a significant presence in Syria, where Israel is engaged in regular activity to neutralize efforts by the Iranian regime to smuggle advanced weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Whether Israel likes it or not, the Russian military presence in Syria is a long-term issue with which Israel must contend. The writer, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former Israeli national security adviser to the prime minister and head of Israel's National Security Council.

2022-12-29 00:00:00

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