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No Room for Error in
a Minuscule Country –
The Case for Enhanced Anti-Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBM)

Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto

Policy Paper No. 31, From the books:

Ballistic Missiles –
The Threat and
the Response

Arieh Stav (ed.),
ACPR Publishers and
Yediot Aharonot (Hebrew), 1998
ACPR Publishers and
Brassey's (UK) Ltd. (English),

The Threat of Ballistic Missiles in the
Middle East:
Active Defense and

Arieh Stav (ed.),
Sussex Academic Press and
ACPR Publishers, 2004


The opinion of analysts and lawmakers is that the world is a more dangerous and unpredictable place today than during the Cold War, more so in the Middle East than anywhere else. Fundamentalist or other totalitarian rulers, with norms and ethics unacceptable in the modern world, possess and are ready to use a large and rapidly growing arsenal of biological and chemical weapons and their ballistic missile vehicles, with nuclear weapons to follow shortly. Although the Middle East Arab/Iranian unconventional arms race is a quest for Islamic/oil hegemony in the area...for the time being, the probability is very high that Israel, the Infidel-Jewish-Western intruder will be the one to bear these weapons’ initial onslaught.

Eighty percent of Israel’s population and wherewithal are crowded within the radius of lethality of one or two nuclear devices or four Anthrax biological warheads, meaning that two-four hits will result in Israel’s ceasing to function as a state, an open prey. Israel’s survival depends on its deterring or otherwise preventing an "ABC" missile attack with as close to 100 percent success as is humanly possible. The maximum probability of deterrence/defense, in the absence of political prevention or military preemption choices, is achieved by a four link chain of action: intelligence, air power (in the widest sense of the word), Boost Phase Interception (BPI) over the launching sites and over target, reentry interception before the target is hit.

While intelligence, air force and reentry interception receive a fair amount of attention, it seems that BPI does not, although, being a stand off weapon that destroys the missiles over their launchers, it should be the first priority system. The delay in BPI development may result from the U.S. obligations under the old AMD (anti-missile defense) agreements with the USSR, or the requirement for an air transportable, field maintainable ABM system that may be deployed wherever U.S. forces are sent, to face a variety of situations. For countries like Israel, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, whose mainland is threatened by Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBM), the BPI system required is a fixed base system, to be used as a strategic anti-missile defense. For Israel, with its small area, this is a survival imperative.

Whether the delay in BPI is caused by unclear concept definition or technological shortfalls, it is suggested that, given the urgency of mass destruction weapons already facing U.S. allies and friends, and considering the fact that the U.S. "Airborne laser" (ABL) system (if successful) will be more complementary than competitive with the Israeli "Moab" anti-missile missiles equipped UAV’s (if successful), the U.S. should broker the formation of a friendly interested parties consortium that will share the burden and accelerate the BPI on time development, manufacture and deployment.

For the complete text of this article in Hebrew, click here.