China is spreading their wings blanketing much of Asia in the shadow staring up the claws and talons of the Chinese dragons armed with missiles covering every corner of her neighbors. South Korea, Japan and the Philippines face the combined threat of an expansive reach, possibly overreach from China and the growing ballistic and nuclear potential from North Korea and all from shorter ranged ballistic missiles, just the ones the Iron Dome is so proficient at intercepting. Israel has good relations with much of the Asian nations such as India and also China and could always use a few more friends. The recent test by North Korea of a nuclear device which had the highest yield of any device thus far tested by the secluded and often surly in their relations with the neighboring nations, especially South Korea and Japan , has led to a troubled area with furrowed brows. Israel has the perfect solution for addressing potential threats from North Korea and their rockets, missiles, mortars and even artillery rounds with a highly successful interception rate in the neighborhood of ninety percent. The Iron Dome systems have proven their effectiveness against actual war time footing in the last Gaza conflict. Israel could offer the Iron Dome to these nations in a very affordable and mutually beneficial exchange where for every so many units purchased the nations also finance the production of an additional Iron Dome system for Israeli use. Such an arrangement would be of obvious benefit to all the nations involved in such an arrangement. The United States who had been assisting with the production of the Iron Dome in exchange for access to some of the research and operational data of the system and the production of some of the system’s units by the American company Raytheon has already taken their pound of flesh. Such an arrangement would benefit all involved and would provide Raytheon business in the production of their section of the systems thus also benefitting the United States.
Why would Israel seek to offer their most proficient indirect weapons fire interception system to foreign Asian nations when there are presumably agreements with the United States for further production of additional units? The recently signed defense agreement signed between Israel and the United States set into motion a steady reduction in monies reserved for Israeli defense industries. This may reflect on further financing the Iron Dome systems in Israel independent of influences in Washington D.C. Whether Israel will continue to have a friend in Washington D.C. will be heavily dependent upon the results of the coming elections for President as well as for Congress. Israel needs to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. These last eight years have placed relation between the White House and Jerusalem in the most parched regions of the driest and hottest desert known to man and depending on the election the next four years could just as easily be more of the same. Neither candidate for the Presidency has made foreign policy the main theme of their campaigns which is understandable with the American public more focused on the economy and jobs caring little about the rest of the world beyond reducing legal and ending illegal immigration until the economy warrants the need for foreign workers. Both candidates will necessarily concentrate on the economy first and foremost and foreign relations will be a back burner issue unless events cause the American public to sit up and take notice and keep their attentions. The American public has a remarkable ability to look up and see beyond their borders only if the noise is loud enough but even when they do look up, they return to their daily concerns with unfathomable speed continuing as if their attention had never been diverted. The resilience of their ability to focus on everyday life and only passing attention beyond their drive to and from work, their job or finding one, and their family, disregarding the remainder of the world as if it was a bothersome mosquito whose droning wings are but an aggravation is their best coping method and the world’s bane.
This may be to the detriment of Israel as well as other nations who may depend on the United States government and particularly the White House actually looking beyond their borders when the most pressing problems echoed by the media is jobs, jobs, jobs and the economy and in an extreme situation, immigration. Terrorism, well, only if there are a series of devastating attacks within the United States itself with potential for momentary interruption if there is striking news from abroad, but such news passes from the news and the attention span of the busy Americans is brief for anything not immediately on their view screens. The news networks in the United States spend more time on the weather and even more on sports with little room for international news which they run through as quickly as possible avoiding it altogether when possible as their advertisers know the public and the public cares more about the cat rescued for the little girl from a tree or some viral video than they want hard news. It is no wonder why the United States Congress and the White House are hard pressed to tune into the international front when they are rewarded almost uniquely for taking care of the home front leaving the world to do as it will. The American citizens believe that the two great oceans protect the United States just as much if not more effectively than the military. One would think that the terrorist strikes they have suffered would have disabused them of this notion, but like any normal person, the average American prefers to believe that they are safe and comfortable within their little cocoons with the remainder of the world locked out. Granted the United States is the size of a continent and reach from ocean to ocean and are bordered largely by Canada and by Mexico for a far shorter southern border which most Americans simply would love to see it closed but unless pressed mostly do not place that concern at the top of their to worry list.
What does this have to do with Israel? Well, their future has been tied to the United States in the defense area since they terminated the Lavi fighter project and went with American aircraft and have remained dependent on the United States for their aircraft ever since. The future of this relationship has been harshly affected for the worse under President Obama and the fear is should Hillary Clinton be elected in November that relations will not improve under her leadership. As far as Donald Trump is concerned, many claim relations would be improved under a Trump Presidency but still there are many unanswered question as Donald Trump is still largely an unknown. The current aircraft Israel is expected to receive from the United States is the F-35 JSF which has been experiencing serious delays and problems. There has been serious concern that the F-35 JSF will not be truly combat ready until sometime in the early to mid-2020’s with 2025 not an unreliable prediction. Israel’s main enemies are able to purchase superior Russian aircraft which are combat ready today such as the SU-35 or any of the newest Chinese aircraft which are also combat ready. This could be a detrimental situation which Israel can ill afford as she is extremely dependent on air superiority. Iran is currently sitting with the ability to purchase entire fleets of these aircraft with the monies they received from the United States from the Iran Deal and the loosening of sanctions, the payments for the release of hostages or repayment for nondelivered arms after the Shah was overthrown in 1979. There have been rumored further cash payments to Iran for undetermined reasons by the Obama administration. How much additional payment Iran has or may receive is unknown and probably the full amounts granted to Iran may never be fully understood. This has created further concerns for Israel as has the recent delivery by Russia of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile and tracking systems to Iran which have seriously upgraded the Iranian air defenses around their nuclear sites.
Israel could seriously upgrade their defenses against rockets fired from their neighboring threats such as Gaza and Hamas and Lebanon and Hezballah who between them have easily over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles. Such numbers are the very serious reason why Israel would be very pressed to increase the numbers of Iron Dome systems and further develop their other systems and deploy them in order to be capable of defending against any missiles fired from Iran or potentially other enemies. This means the manufacture of David’s Sling and the Arrow II systems and further developing of these systems to improve them seeking the impossible, perfection of interception of all range of missiles and other armaments fired at her people, that is what Israel could gain from such deals. Further, Israel could strengthen her relations and perhaps develop closer relations with new nations. Israel recently made inroads sharing a visit with Japan and has good relations with the Philippines after assisting them with their recovery after the horrific typhoon which struck that nation. Israel could also seek to have improved relations with South Korea and with the troubling developments and concerns over North Korean sabre rattling and their close relations with Iran with the two nations sharing scientific and military research developments Israel has more in common with these nations than many might see at first glance. Israel could develop these relations using military trade as an inroad and develop further trade relations as time and relations develop. One can never have too many or too varied friends and with systems such as the Iron Dome Israel has a very enticing calling card.
Beyond the Cusp