One unavoidable fact often lost in recent history is that two decades ago, more than 40 Scud Missiles were fired at Israel by Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. Dozens more were fired into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. The threat of tactical and long-range ballistic missiles facing Israel and the entire Middle East is very real. While Iraq is no longer a threat to the region, Iran and Syria – some of the largest state sponsors of terrorism, possess this technology and can easily strike targets throughout the Persian Gulf.
The Israeli developed ARROW missile and Raytheon built PATRIOT Missile are some of the greatest deterrents to radical Islamic dictators with dangerous military hardware. When deployed in the Gulf War, President H.W. Bush claimed a 97% success rate for the PATRIOT missile during combat operations. Likewise, the ARROW missile batteries offer complete protection for Israel from Tyre all the way south to the Negev.
Israel correctly recognizes the value of these systems and is upgrading the ARROW system with the installment of “Block IV.” According to Defense News, these missile upgrades “incorporate a new generation of radar and other technologies which will be synchronized with U.S. systems which are already in use in the region.” These upgrades greatly increase the stability of the entire Middle East and provide a shield against Ahmadinejad and Assad. Going forward, the U.S. needs to guarantee we have the capability not only to protect our interests in the Middle East and Israel, but also North America from potential launches originating in Asia. For a great resource to learn more about ballistic missile defense, I would recommend “33 Minutes” by the Heritage Foundation. http://33-minutes.com/33-minutes/