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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the big-badda-boom dept.

The Military 379

Lasrick (2629253) writes It isn't as if real analysis of Israel's "Iron Dome" isn't available, but invariably, whenever Israel has a skirmish the media is filled with glowing reports of how well the system works, and we always find out months later that the numbers were exaggerated. John Mecklin at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists looks at the coverage of Iron Dome in the recent exchanges between Israel and Hamas and finds the pattern is repeating itself. However, 'Ted Postol, an MIT-based missile defense expert and frequent Bulletin contributor, provided a dose of context to the Iron Dome coverage in a National Public Radio interview Wednesday. "We can tell, for sure, from video images and even photographs that the Iron Dome system is not working very well at all,"' Includes a good explanation of the differences between Iron Dome (a 'rocket defense system') and missile defense systems pushed by the U.S.

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Oh well (-1, Offtopic)

JockTroll (996521) | about 5 months ago | (#47438533)

He can go and build a better one. Or he can shut up and suck up the fact that Jews are smarter than euro-derived 'murkins.

Re:Oh well (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438633)

Uh huh, then why are they living in a desert surrounded by violent sand niggers?

Parent is a libtard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438655)

Why is Slashdot full of libtards?

-Most libtards don't have jobs so they can comment on things they don't understand like energy policy all day as they don't care what the working man pays for energy as long as they feel good about controlling people for bullshit reasons like global warming.

-Slashdot posts stories about solar panels and electric cars that appeal to libtards. Libtards love to push shitty technology on everyone to jack up the price of energy so we have to live in a third world hellhole again all over bullshit global warming.

-Slashdot is very LGBTQ friendly. While this in itself is not a problem this combined with all of the libtards means that straight white men are nothing but targets and I'm fucking tired of this!

-Slashdot has the Anonymous Coward feature which means libtards can show their real racist tendencies.

-Lastly most people here love Obama who is the ultimate libtard. Even mention conservatives and you get modded until oblivion.

Re:Parent is a libtard (2)

Jahoda (2715225) | about 5 months ago | (#47438745)

So, you're spending your saturday anonymously posting to slashdot about "libtards" and the persecution you face from them every day. i don't really need to say much of anything else, do I?

Re:Parent is a libtard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438883)

You are a libtard aren't you?

Re:Parent is a libtard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438865)

Slasdot posts that kind of shit because these days it's audience is all Jews and commies. But I repeat myself....

Re:Oh well (-1, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 months ago | (#47439057)

Maybe you should read the bible. That land was given to them in the covenant that God commanded. Genesis 12:7 Genesis 15:7 Genesis 15:18-21 Galatians 3:28-29 There are multiple references also, in Exodus, when Moses lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.

Re:Oh well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439275)

fuck the bible, or any religious shitboook

Subject bait (5, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | about 5 months ago | (#47438549)

This post (like the one with the Brazuca for the World Cup) is certainly subject bait. It works because it attracts lots of tangentially on topic comments but that doesn't have anything to do with the subject matter of the article.

So please, don't fall for it. Don't spend the whole comment section arguing about causes and consequences of the conflict, who started it, who deserves is, etc.

Stay on topic and discuss the technical aspects of the missile system, at least that is what should be discussed here.

On bizarro world Slashdot, maybe ...

Re:Subject bait (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438585)

"tangentially on topic" is better than your offtopic post.

Re:Subject bait (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 5 months ago | (#47438935)

Meta-discussions have to happen somewhere... where do you suggest?

Re:Subject bait (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47438683)

It's Bush's fault.

Re:Subject bait (5, Informative)

doomer (2026902) | about 5 months ago | (#47438703)

I worked on the beginning of Regan's Star Wars project. We viewed the problem as one in which you try to stop a bullet with a bullet. Add long range and intelligence to the bullet and the problem gets harder.The problem is hard and physics places many constraints on the solution. At one point management thought that space based defense was what we wanted until we showed that the time/distances were too great to be effective. Now we just have a scaled back terminal defense with very limited capabilities. After all these years the only value that I think that missile defense has is PR. Effective? Not really. Forget Star Wars the movie. It's not going to happen.

Re:Subject bait (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#47438773)

I worked on the beginning of Regan's Star Wars project. We viewed the problem as one in which you try to stop a bullet with a bullet. Add long range and intelligence to the bullet and the problem gets harder.The problem is hard and physics places many constraints on the solution. At one point management thought that space based defense was what we wanted until we showed that the time/distances were too great to be effective. Now we just have a scaled back terminal defense with very limited capabilities. After all these years the only value that I think that missile defense has is PR. Effective? Not really. Forget Star Wars the movie. It's not going to happen.

Except perhaps in a galaxy far, far away

Re:Subject bait (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#47438915)

In the case of SDI the PR might actually be worse than useless (playing mutually-assured-destruction isn't much fun to begin with; but if one or both sides come to believe the hype about a missile defense system things could really go downhill). In the case of 'iron dome', though, it might actually be helpful. Barring fairly substantial increases in rocket construction expertise, or acquisition of something particularly nasty to fill them with, the attacks it is supposed to defeat are only modestly dangerous; but extremely inflammatory.

Given how lousy the alternatives for appearing to be taking action against the rocket menace are (grovelling through every last hidy-hole in Gaza is militarily doable but a PR debacle and unlikely to turn up more than a few bits and pieces of impoverished machine tools, because low-end rockets just aren't that hard to build. Paying Hezbollah a visit might turn up somewhat more interesting stuff; but that hasn't turned out well in the past) a system that postpones or prevents somebody taking the bait and trying them might be quite helpful.

Re:Subject bait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439243)

Uh huh, and you can't even spell Reagan? I guess that proves it, you ARE an engineer.

Re:Subject bait (4, Insightful)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 5 months ago | (#47439311)

Forget Star Wars the movie anyway. Vader royally fucked up on planet Hoth, seemed to have an overwhelming position but for some reason he decides to go on foot to capture Luke & Leia personnally. But everyone manages to escape and the scary star destroyers in orbit don't manage to destroy or stop any ship. The star destroyers are managed by grossly incompetent captains.. But even with such idiots at the bar, victory would have been certain would all the ships and stuff have burnt the rebel place to the ground with a giant laser/blaster/plasma massacre.

As for the first movie, it has manually aimed WW2-style air defences ;). "The rebel fighters are too small for our turbolasers", or something like that.
Star Wars is about resistance/terrorists defeating an evil military industrial empire that suffers from royal fuck ups and ineffective pork barrel weapon projects.

Re:Subject bait (2)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 months ago | (#47438705)

I can't help but picture a sign on the door at the exit of an airport in Israel. It reads "Thank-you for not stirring up ancient inter-tribal conflict".

I think you're post will be as effective as such a hypothetical sign; but thanks for trying. X --+ (Don Quixote's lance and a windmill).

Re:Subject bait (4, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47438717)

Stay on topic and discuss the technical aspects of the missile system, at least that is what should be discussed here.
 

I live in Beersheba. Of the two hundred or so rockets shot at my city in the past week, we had our first casualty yesterday: an 80 year old woman was injured when a rocket fell outside her house. So far as I know (by hearing the different booms of both successful hits and Iron Dome intercepts) this was only the fourth or fifth rocket to get past the Iron Dome into the city. I'll ask my daughters tomorrow morning: they are the ones keeping score of the booms that they hear.

So from a technical point of view, the Iron Dome is very effective.

That doesn't mean that the rockets have no effect on us, even if they are not blowing up our houses. We _still_ have 60 seconds to get ourselves and the children to shelter 2 or 3 times per night when they shoot at us and the alarms go off, so nobody is getting any sleep. All other aspects of life are "get ourselves and the children in 60 seconds" so that means that working is affected, shopping for food is affected, going to the toilet is affected, walking the dog is affected, etc.

We still have it better than the Gazans, though. They do not have alarms, their only warning is pamphlets dropped from F16s telling them to evacuate buildings used to launch rockets at Israel before they are destroyed. Unfortunately, a large part of their populate screems "Shahid" and actually invite the neighbours over to be a part of "protecting" by being in the building before it is bombed. I understand that their values and their culture is different than ours, but I still feel bad for the children who have to be a part of the "be a Martyr" culture, not the "save yourselves" culture. I really do feel pity for them.

I understand that of the 120+ people killed in Gaza in the past week, about 20 were civilians (not militants). Israelis mourn those casualties just as we mourn our own. I understand that there is no 100% effective way to remove the Hamas without injuring the civilians, but that does not belittle thier casualties in any way. As an Israeli and a neighbour of Gaza I tell you: pity the Gazans.

Re:Subject bait (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#47438743)

We _still_ have 60 seconds to get ourselves and the children to shelter 2 or 3 times per night when they shoot at us and the alarms go off, so nobody is getting any sleep

Why don't you sleep in the shelter?

Re:Subject bait (5, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47438793)

The 'shelter' is one of two places:
1) The building stairwell, as it has no outside walls.
2) The underground shelter, which means that we must run though completely unprotected areas to get there.

Note that exactly the "unprotected areas" I mention were in fact completely destroyed when a missle hit in November 2012. Luckily, we were in the stairwell at the time, and now we always run to the stairwell for that reason. Of course, the stairwell will not protect us from a direct hit on the building as the undergroud shelter would, but it does protect us from the missles' shrapnell that land outside the building.

Re:Subject bait (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47439081)

Your posting on /. and not sledgehammering a hole in the concrete/digging a foxhole at the base of the stairwell why exactly?

Railroad ties make decent improvised shelter roofs.

Re:Subject bait (5, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439103)

Actually, we just had another rocket attack while I was composing the previous post.

I don't think that damaging the building structure is a wise move considering the threat. I do appreciate the idea, though. I have taken some precaution and improvised some things which are likely to be of value considering the situation.

  Railroad ties would make horrible improvised shelter roofs. You don't want that falling on your child's head! Rather, armoured concrete (lots of armoured concrete) and dirt (lots of dirt) make decent shelter roofs.

Re:Subject bait (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47439305)

'Improvised' is a key word there.

Depending on the technology used, most of crete slab is not structural. Just stay away fromt the stair footing and the building parameter and it should only be 10cm or so thick and not seriously reinforced. Stay away from plumbing. Look for the drain cleanout and water supply.

If it's a tension slab you're right, don't touch it.

Re:Subject bait (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#47439115)

What store do you go to for railroad ties?

Re:Subject bait (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47439271)

In America? Home Depot/Lowes/anyplace that has landscaping supplies. They're with the retaining wall masonry.

Re:Subject bait (0)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 5 months ago | (#47438817)

Why the hell are you still living there?

Re:Subject bait (5, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47438825)

Why the hell are you still living there?

It's my home.

Re:Subject bait (1)

ortholattice (175065) | about 5 months ago | (#47438933)

Why the hell are you still living there?

It's my home.

People are constantly losing their "home" for as minor a reason as losing their job and having to transfer to another city. Call me a coward, but I'd move if my city was under long-term, constant attack.

But regardless of your personal motivation, why would you want to traumatize your children by having them grow up in the midst of such fear and violence?

Re: Subject bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438975)

Sounds like another program we can start in the US, any Isreali who wants to come here can, free of charge, first in line, free housing, free job(?) - or actually, you won't have to work or anything. We 'll pay all y'all to come here and then pay you to sit around, or maybe go to school.

Re: Subject bait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439273)

We already did that for the jews... We also hand them land that's not ours to give, cause you know, because.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_the_United_States#Immigration_from_the_Soviet_Union

Re:Subject bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439029)

> I'd move

That is well and good, but it's not their decision. It's their home.

Re:Subject bait (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439061)

I understand your position, I suppose that you live in a land that is not the ancestrial homeland of your people? I.e. a North American of European decent? I understand that it is probably difficult for you to understand my need to stay. I find some aspects of other cultures difficult to understand as well, as I've mentioned above.

I have a personal connection to this land. So does somebody else. Hence, war! I'm sure that the Hamas would love nothing more than for me to pack up and leave.

Re:Subject bait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439297)

The ancestral land of your people is whoever you were pissing off last. The Jews have roamed the entire fertile crescent and have been told to get the fuck out, or got used by those already there in each and every land. Maybe if you didn't think the world is supposed to cater to you, you could spend less time putting up "Tolerance Museums" and more time actually being tolerated.

Re:Subject bait (4, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439399)

The ancestral land of your people is whoever you were pissing off last. The Jews have roamed the entire fertile crescent and have been told to get the fuck out, or got used by those already there in each and every land. Maybe if you didn't think the world is supposed to cater to you, you could spend less time putting up "Tolerance Museums" and more time actually being tolerated.

Actually, that is true of every civilization that had roamed the fertile crescent at the beginning of recorded history. As you can see, we're the only ones left!

Re:Subject bait (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439021)

Ha ha! Well, _technically_, isn't it the palestinian's home? But I suppose might makes right and all that.. ;-)

Re:Subject bait (3, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439091)

Ha ha! Well, _technically_, isn't it the palestinian's home? But I suppose might makes right and all that.. ;-)

I don't know what you mean by "technically", but yes both people call this land home. Hence, war!

Hamas has been shooting rockets at Israel non-stop for years, but only when we shoot back does it become news. Assad kills on average 300 people per day for the past three years, but that is not news. Up until last week, more Gazans have been killed by Hamas rocket launches gone bad than by Israel, but that is not news. 100+ of the 120+ Gazans killed were Hamas militants, that is about 85% militants-to-civilians rate (US in Iraq: 8-15% militants-to-civilians rate, Russians/Soviets anywhere: 2-5% militants-to-civilians rate) but that is not news.

Re:Subject bait (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#47439207)

Assad kills on average 300 people per day for the past three years, but that is not news.

Well, actually, that's been in the news quite a bit

Re:Subject bait (2, Interesting)

guantamanera (751262) | about 5 months ago | (#47439105)

Why the hell are you still living there?

It's my home.

And before 1947 Beersheba was a town of mostly Palestinians. Then in October 1948 [wikipedia.org] the Israeli goverment decided to truck the palestinian's to Gaza. Shortly after having displaced the palestinians their houses got occupied by people from the newly formed Israel. I am sure there are still people alive in Gaza who remember when their house was stolen.
I am sephardi, from mexico. I did the Aliyah and went to israel. I was not happy with what I saw. I found converted indigenous people from Latin america [npr.org] living in the farthest settlements. To me It felt as if they were being used as a shield.

Re:Subject bait (3, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439213)

And before 1947 Beersheba was a town of mostly Palestinians. Then in October 1948 [wikipedia.org] the Israeli goverment decided to truck the palestinian's to Gaza. Shortly after having displaced the palestinians their houses got occupied by people from the newly formed Israel. I am sure there are still people alive in Gaza who remember when their house was stolen.

And before _whatever_date_is_inconvenient_for_somebody_else Beersheba was a town of Jews. You can go back as far or as close as you want and find somebody living here. I mention that in my other posts.

I do believe that it was the King of Morocco who moved most of the Muslims out of Beersheba in 1947, with a promise of returning them after the Jews were exterminated. I do know of the forced evacuations at the hand of the Israeli army as well, much as the Jews were forced out of Morocco, Algers, Tunis, Lybia, Egypt, and other nations during the same time frame.

You might want to research other population swaps, both forced and non-forced. I am aware of what was done to the Muslims who stayed in Beersheba, which is nothing in comparison to what happened to the Jews who were forced out of their homes in Muslim states at the same time. Your recollection of history is one sided.

I am sephardi, from mexico. I did the Aliyah and went to israel. I was not happy with what I saw. I found converted indigenous people from Latin america [npr.org] living in the farthest settlements. To me It felt as if they were being used as a shield.

That is an amazing article, thank you.

Re:Subject bait (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47438955)

Because the alternative to violence in Israel could involve seeking a work visa in another country.

Re:Subject bait (-1)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 5 months ago | (#47439217)

Of the two hundred or so rockets shot at my city in the past week, we had our first casualty yesterday: an 80 year old woman was injured when a rocket fell outside her house. So far as I know (by hearing the different booms of both successful hits and Iron Dome intercepts) this was only the fourth or fifth rocket to get past the Iron Dome into the city. I'll ask my daughters tomorrow morning: they are the ones keeping score of the booms that they hear.

You're post was interesting but had so many unfounded logical leaps that the conclusion about Iron Dome effectiveness doesn't follow. I'd be fascinated if you could reply, including your daughters' tallies, but with a precise accounting...

(1) Out of two hundred or so rockets shot "at" your city, how many were on a trajectory that they'd actually have landed "in" your city? Not many because they're so wildly inaccurate? Or most because your city is large?

(2) You mentioned 200 hundred rockets shot at your city. Is this the sum of the tallies of "two different kinds of boom" you mentioned, or does the number come from a different source?

(3) Is the low casualty rate better explained by a high intercept rate by Iron Dome? Or by the inaccuracy of the rockets coupled with the fact that statistically a high proportion of possible landing targets wouldn't hurt someone? Or by the fact that so many people in your city sensibly seek shelter? Or by the fact that the rockets are fairly rudimentary and don't pack much explosive and are unlikely to do damage unless they randomly score a hit almost on top of someone? I suspect that the other factors are dominant and the low casualty rate is therefore not a good guide to the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

(4) If by sound you distinguish an IronDome hit from a rocket that hits the ground, do you assume that all "ground" hits land in your city?

(5) In your tallies, you said you heard 4-5 rockets hit the ground. How many did you hear intercepted by Iron Dome?

(6) Do you think the range of your hearing hit-the-ground and hit-by-IronDome are equivalent?

Re:Subject bait (5, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439333)

(1) Out of two hundred or so rockets shot "at" your city, how many were on a trajectory that they'd actually have landed "in" your city? Not many because they're so wildly inaccurate? Or most because your city is large?

When someone is shooting at you with a rifle, do you not take cover if the bullet will not hit you? How would you even know that the bullet will not hit you?

When a rocket is launched, seconds count. All population centers in the direction of the rocket's travel are warned by alarm. That means that we grab our children and run, no matter if we are working, eating, shitting, sleeping, or anything else.

The nature of this particular question seems very naive. I suppose that you haven't been shot at much!

(2) You mentioned 200 hundred rockets shot at your city. Is this the sum of the tallies of "two different kinds of boom" you mentioned, or does the number come from a different source?

The number comes from a few sources. The army says this many have been shot, the citizen guard says another number, Hamas says another number, we count another number, the neighbours count another number. You'll never get an exact count, but they are all within a few tens of percent from each other. Interestingly, the Hamas numbers seem to be the highest.

Is the low casualty rate better explained by a high intercept rate by Iron Dome? Or by the inaccuracy of the rockets coupled with the fact that statistically a high proportion of possible landing targets wouldn't hurt someone? Or by the fact that so many people in your city sensibly seek shelter? Or by the fact that the rockets are fairly rudimentary and don't pack much explosive and are unlikely to do damage unless they randomly score a hit almost on top of someone? I suspect that the other factors are dominant and the low casualty rate is therefore not a good guide to the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

The low casualty rate is undoubtedly due to the fact that so many people sensibly seek shelter. The high COP of the missiles mean nothing when shooting at civilians, and they do have between 40 - 90 KG of HE, with lots of nasty shrapnel. These are not the pop rockets that were being shot ten years ago. These are Iranian and Soviet designed weapons.

The Iron Dome is a factor for the low damage, but the alarms are what is saving lives. Excellent question!

If by sound you distinguish an IronDome hit from a rocket that hits the ground, do you assume that all "ground" hits land in your city?

We can tell by how bad the building shakes and how much damage was done (i.e. broken windows, which we have had at my house).

In your tallies, you said you heard 4-5 rockets hit the ground. How many did you hear intercepted by Iron Dome?

I'll ask my daughters for their current count next time the alarms go off. I'm pretty sure that they are both well above 150 by now. Each volley is a few rockets (6-12), and we've had between 4-8 volleys per day for the past week.

Do you think the range of your hearing hit-the-ground and hit-by-IronDome are equivalent?

I really doubt it. The Iron Dome intercepts are in the air and relatively far from the city, thus they are harder to hear. Plus, they have far less HE than do the rockets they are intercepting. I suppose that we may be under heavier fire than I've thought. I'm not sure that is a perspective that I wanted!

Re:Subject bait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439231)

If you mourned their losses like your own you'd give back the land that America decided to hand you for no good reason, other than the whole "We know what's best for the middle east thing". But a Jew give up land? They'd sooner stand and spout hypocracy about how bad they feel bombing people they themselves displaced. It's like smallpox blankets all over again...

Guess it's time for you to go back to camp, learn to concentrate on not being so self centered. You're god's chosen assholes to the world, that's for sure.

Re:Subject bait (1)

assertation (1255714) | about 5 months ago | (#47438755)

I hereby declare this the best comment of the thread.

Re:Subject bait (4, Interesting)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 5 months ago | (#47439119)

Stay on topic and discuss the technical aspects of the missile system, at least that is what should be discussed here.

The article itself hardly touches on the technical merits of the missile system. It mentions how there are hardly any public releases of technical aspect to discuss, and that the handful of images of the system in operation show intercept angles that are highly unlikely to be successful. The core argument of the article is that the whole situation is nothing more than a PR campaign on both sides.

Hamas fires inaccurate artillery rockets, unlikely to actually hit anything, at Israel, under the hopes Israel counter-attacks and causes lots of collateral damage that looks bad to international press.

Israel produces a defense system and makes precision counter-attacks to prove their technological and military prowess, and restraint in its use, to international press.

Belief (2)

trdtaylor (2664195) | about 5 months ago | (#47438569)

The rockets being sent against Israel are small, sporadic, unguided, and mostly lack the range to hit major population centers (Tel Aviv). On the rare occasions it does hit a building, it won't destroy the building but will gut a room.

If the Iron dome is effective, great. If the belief of the people is it's effective, even better, especially for politicians in power. Pretty much what the article says.

Re:Belief (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438643)

If the Iron dome is effective, great. If the belief of the people is it's effective, even better, especially for politicians in power. Pretty much what the article says.

Dunno, if it's cost-effective anyone else but the weapon vendor.

Perhaps few hundred bucks palestinian ballistic rocket needs to be shot down with a highly precise guided missile which cost is more propably than tens of thousands fold more expensive. And it's not just few missiles they have to spend every day. Someone's got nice business there.

Re:Belief (4, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47438765)

The rockets being sent against Israel are small, sporadic, unguided, and mostly lack the range to hit major population centers (Tel Aviv). On the rare occasions it does hit a building, it won't destroy the building but will gut a room.

I suspect that you're just trolling, but you might just be 10 years out of date.

Unguided missiles have no military value as they cannot be aimed at military targets, that is true. However, unguided missiles are best for terrorizing civilians, and of course those rockets have the range to hit major population centers. I've had about two hundred shot at my city in just the past week. The current rockets are variants of the Soviet Grad and Iranian Fagar 5 missiles. Plenty of range, unguided but with a COP of about a kilometer, and 40-90 KG of HE.

With the Iron Dome with only get a few hits in the city, and due to the alarms the population is in shelters when the rockets do hit. Without the alarms, my children would have been dead in November 2012 when a rocket landed were they were playing outside our building. Tens of apartments across the street from the blast were damaged very heavily, only to be rebuilt because they were in a building with undamaged apartments on the other side. About ten or twenty vehicles were destroyed. Nobody was even injured, because the whole city fled to shelters. No injuries, nothing on the news. We usually like it that way.

If the Iron dome is effective, great. If the belief of the people is it's effective, even better, especially for politicians in power. Pretty much what the article says.

Re:Belief (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 5 months ago | (#47438781)

It's better than nothing.

Any anyone who would make an issue of it has waay too much time on their hands.

If Israelis would just stop terrorism and... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438579)

If Israelis would just stop terrorism and invasion of others country and go out and find their own land where they would live as they want.
Israel murders and occupies others and then they try to justify their terrorism with word of their Gods.

Re:If Israelis would just stop terrorism and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438603)

I see what you did there...

Parent is an anti-Israel libtard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438689)

Why is Slashdot full of libtards?

-Most libtards don't have jobs so they can comment on things they don't understand like energy policy all day as they don't care what the working man pays for energy as long as they feel good about controlling people for bullshit reasons like global warming.

-Slashdot posts stories about solar panels and electric cars that appeal to libtards. Libtards love to push shitty technology on everyone to jack up the price of energy so we have to live in a third world hellhole again all over bullshit global warming.

-Slashdot is very LGBTQ friendly. While this in itself is not a problem this combined with all of the libtards means that straight white men are nothing but targets and I'm fucking tired of this!

-Slashdot has the Anonymous Coward feature which means libtards can show their real racist tendencies.

-Lastly most people here love Obama who is the ultimate libtard. Even mention conservatives and you get modded until oblivion.

 

Re: Parent is an anti-Israel libtard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438873)

Posted under said "anonymous coward"

Re:Parent is an anti-Israel libtard (1)

creimer (824291) | about 5 months ago | (#47439149)

Even mention conservatives and you get modded until oblivion.

As a moderate conservative, I think your post is stupid and ignorant. Stop watching Fox News, leave your mother's basement, and visit the big blue room with the yellow light bulb.

Believe what you want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438589)

You need such complex analysis to demonstrate this theory ? Then you are wrong by default.

If the system didnt work you only need to show the 100s of housed hit in tel aviv.

If all you have is that then believe what you want results are results.

Im sure you also believe American fighter planes and tanks are fake, though Kosovo and Iraq fell in hours.

But surely you have a great indirect analysis of X that tells you for sure that they are fake, though you have never been there and there are no pictures.

The shield is not perfect, but works.

Same like patriot missile, not perfect but it can shoot down missiles in flight.

But, again, if the dome is not stopping the missiles lets wait for Israel to be destroyed.... sure man.

It's hard (3, Insightful)

penguinoid (724646) | about 5 months ago | (#47438649)

It's difficult to find a technological solution to a combination of relatively minor disagreements as to the exact details of the God of Abraham, plus disagreement over land ownership.

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#47438653)

Apartheid. There's an app for that.

Re:Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#47438733)

Do you have a plan for ending the 'apartheid,' or are you just expressing generic dislike of the situation?

Re:Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (2)

itzly (3699663) | about 5 months ago | (#47438795)

Traditionally these conflicts are resolved by one party eliminating the other.

Re:Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (2, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47438811)

You keep using that word. I don't think that it means what you think that it means.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]
http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/... [allenbwest.com]

Re:Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439353)

When South Africa complements you on committing apartheid, it's time to take a good hard look in the mirror.

Ted Postol very bias opinion. (3, Interesting)

bongey (974911) | about 5 months ago | (#47438659)

Ted Postol cannot be, even from being from MIT be considered a realable source for opinion. Postol has a large bias against anti-missle systems, which is down right dumb. The rockets are almost the size of small airplanes, but we don't consider anit-aircraft missles to be completely ineffecitive.

Re:Ted Postol very bias opinion. (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#47438711)

You don't expect a critical appraisal from the vendor, do you? Take his, and everyone else's reporting with some degree of skepticism.

One notable fact that was tangentially mentioned is that one doesn't see any 'hits' in the media. I would think one would be able to see the effect of the missile intercepting the targets at least some of the time. Given the intense media coverage, one wonders. It's certainly possible that by the time the interceptor hits the target it's too small to visual, but there is one hell of a lot of energy involved. Kinetic energy often creates sparkly bits that can be seen.

It is also hard to argue that this ISN'T just one more aspect of the public relations game that is endemic to this conflict. Both sides (as is pointed out in TFA) engage in trying to get the other side to look mean and nasty. It's way more complicated than that.

France built something like this back in the 1930s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438675)

I believe it was called the "Maginot Line".

France built something like this back in the 1930s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438723)

I believe it was called the "Maginot Line".

Except that the Arabs haven't managed to find an Ardennes forest.

Re:France built something like this back in the 19 (1)

assertation (1255714) | about 5 months ago | (#47438729)

Almost. They never finished it. The Nazis were able to around it.

Re:France built something like this back in the 19 (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47438881)

Well, really France's mistake was assuming that during war the Germans might actually respect international boundaries. Either that or they simply forgot what happened only 30 years earlier.

Re:France built something like this back in the 19 (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47439111)

They remembered too well what had happened 20 years earlier and prepared to fight WWI again. Right down to the incompetent leadership sitting in chateaus sipping brandy.

Plan B had a punchline: 'Table for 250,000 misure?'

Re:France built something like this back in the 19 (1)

assertation (1255714) | about 5 months ago | (#47439205)

Neither.

I learned about the wall on a History Channel documentary.

Nobody was an idiot back then, everyone knew Hitler was a problem. The wall wasn't finished because France was exhausted in resources from WW I. French politicians and people simply didn't want to pay for it.

Obligatory star trek quote (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 5 months ago | (#47438699)

"The notion of transwarp beaming is like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse."
– Montgomery Scott, 2258 (Star Trek)

why he thinks that (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#47438707)

It's important to understand why people claim things, instead of just taking them at face-value.

After reading the article, his reasoning is that the Iron Dome is mostly chasing the rockets from behind, and therefore cannot be effective, because a rocket cannot effectively be caught from behind, or from the side. Furthermore, previous anti-missile systems (the patriot) have had their success rate exaggerated.

I have no idea if that is reasonable, but it's why he thinks it.

hitler tried to solve this problem... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438771)

we need to take up where he left off and try again.

Iron dome is NOT supposed to detonate the warehead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438779)

The Iron Dome rockets work just as designed: the system selects those missiles that are likely to hit populated/industrialized areas, and explodes near them to change their route. That way, the Qassams and other missiles from Gaza join the rest that falls in un-inhabited areas.

Trying to detonate the warehead would be dangerous in the sense that it increases the likely hood of missing the projectile completely.

I've always thought that the best way for Israel (0, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#47438799)

I've always thought that the best way for Israel to deal with the Muzzy threat is to send in the tanks and bulldozers. Just flatten the area the rockets came from. Offer peace if the other side stop attacking (of course in the case of the Muslims that would be against their religion) but otherwise go in with full strength.

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (1, Insightful)

Maxwell (13985) | about 5 months ago | (#47438907)

They do that occasionally, and are universally condemned for it. Remember Israel is not allowed to defend itself. They have to just accept 100's or rockets a day lobbed at them and not react. If they do fire back, and go as far as to warn the targets, Hamas gathers their children and brings them to the target creating mini-martyr's and generating huge sympathy, especially from the west.

They have a standing offer: it Hamas stops the rockets, they stop theirs. Not difficult, unless your Hamas

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (0)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439131)

They do that occasionally, and are universally condemned for it. Remember Israel is not allowed to defend itself. They have to just accept 100's or rockets a day lobbed at them and not react. If they do fire back, and go as far as to warn the targets, Hamas gathers their children and brings them to the target creating mini-martyr's and generating huge sympathy, especially from the west.

They have a standing offer: it Hamas stops the rockets, they stop theirs. Not difficult, unless your Hamas

Regarding Hamas bringing children to the buildings designated for destruction: you should realize that their values are different than yours and mine. We value life, they value heaven. If someone is killed in war, then themselves and 300 of their family are guaranteed a place in heaven:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

Some people like to laugh and say that 72 virgins are waiting for them. That's ridicule, but not far from the truth depending on whose writing you are reading, but it is not in the Koran.

So yes, they do invite neighbours and children when a building has been marked (and warned) for destruction. But that is not cause for ridicule but rather a difference in values between them and you and me.

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439279)

fuck your absolute moral relativism

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (1)

gtall (79522) | about 5 months ago | (#47439337)

Hmmm...so we are to attribute some sort of ethereal "values" to encouraging your kids to whacked on the basis that someone wrote down in a book over 1000 years ago that they'd go to Heaven for it? Sooooo...what's the point of the kiddies being here in the first place. How come Allah doesn't just whack their asses at birth and cut right to the chase?

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 months ago | (#47439387)

Like I said, their values are different than yours and mine!

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (2, Insightful)

LavouraArcaica (2012798) | about 5 months ago | (#47439145)

It's not defense, it's a rampage. Almost a genocide.
You should remember that Israel (which have one of the best armies in the world) is fighting against a ethnical group without army.
If anyone else in the world did that, We could call it a massacre, a butchery or even a genocide.

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (1, Insightful)

Vapula (14703) | about 5 months ago | (#47439389)

Palestinians have an army...

Not regular army but a terrorism/guerilla kind of army...

If you count the prices of the missiles launched at Israel, you'd have enough to get food to most of the Palestinians, to repair most of the buildings, to create medic centers, schools, ...

And they prefer to create martyrs than go to a safe place when Israelian raids come... They want to get the whole world destroying Israel... They want to use US against Israel...

They prefer to choose war, to kill the Jews that are thought about as worse than dogs by the Muslims. Quran and other clearly say "you may not trust a non-muslim"... If you're Christian, better be warned, we are the next target on the list... well, maybe after agnostics...

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439177)

Virtually nobody would complain if Israel fired paint bombs that flag everyone in the area with a UV-sensitive dye that they can use to track them down, arrest them and then release anyone that has no possible connection to the event, before giving the rest due process in an independent (to avoid bias from years of history with each other) court of law. That is not what is happening. Instead, Goliath is stomping ten Davids every time one David throws a rock, and a hundred if it's a credible throw (e.g. a rocket). Nobody is ignorant of the fact that Hamas and others are playing the media card as hard as they can (just like the IDF tweets about how a neighbourhood woke up to a fire and three injuries, without comparing it to the other side). Israel still manages to come out the bad guy.

Now... Israeli Jews have a standing offer: if Israel stops killing children, the rest of us stop seeing antisemitism as merely being good sense.

See how that doesn't really fly?

When you attack a bunch of civilian children because you're unable to isolate the individuals, you legitimize being treated at a group level without regard for individual lives yourself. And with a majority of Israeli Jews now stating they're enlisting to kill Arabs, where they (a decade ago) used to enlist to challenge themselves or any of the other decent reasons for enlisting, while people drag couches and popcorn up on Golan to watch the bombing of Palestine as entertainment, legitimizing that mode of reasoning is not a particularly good move for Israeli Jews.

Hamas is a label, one applied to anyone it might be convenient to slap with that label.

You will find provocateurs, hooligans and other troublemakers in any group. Or outside the group, but included in it by enemies of the group for convenience. And you will find people who are too sick and tired of seeing their friends and relatives bombed to bits or shot or burned to death to really give a fuck anymore, and who have nothing to lose anyway. In effect, you cannot stop the occasional missile. What you can do, is lower tensions, build relations and be the adult party in the conflict (palestinians aren't adults... their life expectancy does not support an adult population). Or, at the very least, you can try to be porportional about your retaliation.

That would earn Israel a lot more sympathy. And, frankly, they could use it... cuz the Holocaust card is not just spent, but overdrawn by now.

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439165)

Um, no. Sending bulldozers into Palestine is exactly what caused them to start shooting rockets in the first place. Israel basically had a simple choice: treat Palestinians like human beings or try to invent crazy technology to defend themselves. It is amazing that those fascists continue to choose the 2nd.

Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (1)

gtall (79522) | about 5 months ago | (#47439323)

I think at this point the Palestinians are rather like the Black Knight of Monty Python. There's nothing you can do short of killing every last one that won't result in the remainders claiming "we was robbed" and declaring Holy Jihad in the name of Muhammed and Allah.

This Allah character is a weird dude in Islam. He is supposed to be so other that he only communicates to humans through angels and them mostly in dreams...which of course is only tailor made for every two-bit Imam and Mullah to declare a visitation in a dream in which all the Jews were seen to be dead by the hand of...yadda, yadda, yadda.

Personally, I think if Allah had any balls he write in clear Arabic over the entire sky what the hell he's after. Short of that, he's just a figment of imagination.

Propoganda runs both ways. (5, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#47438831)

From TFA in the Bulletin: "Regular readers of the Bulletin are well aware of the long history of inflated claims of missile defense efficiency."

Regular readers are also well aware of the extreme and longstanding bias (running back to the 1960's) of the Bulletin's editors against missile defense (because even a partially effective defense weakens their case for nuclear disarmament, their true goal) and the long history of inflated "criticism" that purports to claim that it cannot possibly work. This... is just more of the same. They don't actually have any numbers or anything resembling hard data - just the opinion of expert(s) whose bias on the issue is well known.

Chain of reasoning (1)

Cold hard reality (1536175) | about 5 months ago | (#47438875)

Nuclear weapons are bad
Missile defense reduces the need for nuclear disarmament
Working rocket defense might be seen as strengthening missile defense
Therefore, working rocket defense it bad
Therefore, Iron Dome doesn't work

It works quite well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438895)

My family is all over Israel and I was just there visiting when the barrage of rockets started (incidentally before the killing of the three teens). I can say Iron dome works quite well. My father just told me he actually saw a rocket right near his building get intercepted. Had it not been there would have been untold damage to life and property.

I'm not sure how the original article can say the technology is anything other than a success. It's a defensive measure and as such it works well. Sadly Israel really needs to be allowed to take more offensive action or else things will simply continue in this steady-state for the foreseeable future.

Re:It works quite well. (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 5 months ago | (#47439051)

Sadly Israel really needs to be allowed to take more offensive action or else things will simply continue in this steady-state for the foreseeable future.

Their quarry is systematically marginalized and trapped in a small area. A concentration camp if you will. The only thing that can be done to "take more offensive action" is to ramp up the current extermination program.

Hard to tell if it's working. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#47438917)

Here's the promotional video from Rafael [youtube.com] , the system's maker. If the Iron Dome launchers are in a position to hit incoming rockets when they're still in boost phase, they're clearly effective. When they hit, the ascending rocket's flare disappears. Israel has Iron Dome launchers both forward postioned near Gaza, for boost phase defense, and near cities, for terminal defense. For terminal defense, it's harder to tell if they worked. The incoming rockets are just falling at that point, and success requires blowing up their warhead, not their rocket engine.

Videos show the missile's warhead exploding. That's triggered by a proximity fuse. There's a spray of shrapnel from the warhead; it doesn't have to be a direct hit. Whether that sets off the incoming rocket's warhead isn't visible from the videos of terminal defense.The Patriot missiles used in the Gulf war were able to hit incoming Scud missiles, but often didn't detonate the warhead.

Re:Patriot Missiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439343)

What you say is true about needing to get the warhead during terminal phase. It should be easy to tell, though. The incoming rocket's radar track should continue uninterrupted on a miss, or be deflected or break up on a hit.

The Patriot had a terrible success rate in Gulf War I: At most 4 kills in 42 engagements. At the time, the US was claiming 41 kills. Note that those 4 kills aren't confirmed, just no reported damage on the ground. Some could have just been misses by the SCUDs, or ones that broke up during reentry.

The Patriot II has a pretty good kill rate against friendly aircraft.

Another Tale from Israel. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47438989)

I live in Tel-Aviv. Even though we don't get as much heat as the Ashdod or Beer-Sheva dwellers, we do get our fair share of alarms and attacks. This is the second article I'm seeing in two days regarding the alleged ineffectiveness of the system, and how we're all just being bamboozled by our evil government (The second article was posted in a local Israeli newspaper, but its idea was mostly the same). Honestly, I find this utterly silly. I mean, we simply don't get any ruined houses or anything. You can't hide something like that. If the system works so bad, why is Tel-Aviv essentially unaffected by the attacks? All we get is debris falling out of the sky (Which is far from harmless, but at most it dents a car or something. That's not a rocket hit). This seems like some disgruntled "missile expert"s very lame attempt at solving some very unnerving cognitive dissonance.
Maybe he should simply come over and observe the system, get some ideas and stuff.

What is the motivation? (1)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 5 months ago | (#47439107)

I don't know why Israel would try to exaggerate the success of Iron Dome. I think that the opposite is true - the less successful the system is, the more sympathy people will have for Israelis under bombardment.

Kosher Meat Harvest Yields Bumper Crop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439135)

The Iron Dome may be fictional but the latest war in Gaza is yielding tons of dead Palestinians for Israel to grind into Kosher sausage.

Target Selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439141)

I watched a long video a while ago about the Iron Dome Missile Defense System. The most impressive thing was the target selection system. Their radars and computer systems estimate the trajectory and impact point of each incoming rocket. Using GPS, it ignores those rockets that will impact in empty fields, unpopulated areas and so on. Only the rockets destined for targets that threaten people at home or at work are selected for counter attack. That's pretty darned impressive and the United States should continue its investment and support of this system, for Israel's sake and our own. (from: Jim Lynch, Grand Island, NY, USA)

Financial issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47439183)

A major problem with Iron Dome is the cost. In addition to the cost of building the system, each interceptor missile costs about $50,000, about 50 times greater than the cost of a Qassam missiles which it destroys. Granted, Israel has a lot more funds than the Palestinians, especially since they receive so much financial backing from the US, but still, maintaining this system could cause budget shortfalls, leading to cuts in other crucial areas.

Critics like to criticize (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 5 months ago | (#47439211)

Critics do not like to assist in making things better.

how about an objective view? (5, Insightful)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#47439223)

seriously, this is just bullshit on par with fox news.

"We can tell, for sure, from video images and even photographs that the Iron Dome system is not working very well at all," Postol said. "It—my guess is maybe [it hits a targeted missile] 5 percent of the time—could be even lower. ... And when you look—what you can do in the daytime—you can see the smoky contrail of each Iron Dome interceptor, and you can see the Iron Domes trying to intercept the artillery rockets side on and from behind. In those geometries, the Iron Dome has no chance, for all practical purposes, of destroying the artillery rocket."

"for sure," really? how about some actual numbers instead of speculation?

No there there... (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 5 months ago | (#47439379)

This is why I have a tendency to dislike "skeptics".. from my experience they too often tend to commit same errors in reasoning as their opposition. Only by virtue of operating from a safer default position do they end up being on the right side of objective reality.

How does one ramble on about lack of data driving a position and concurrently while admitting ignorance and having no data yourself go on to commit the very same error?

If you want to point out news articles on the effectiveness of Iron dome are misleading public by invoking implicit assumptions not actually made...this would have been great if only you just stopped there.

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