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The Israeli Aspect of BMD
Strategy by Default

Arieh Stav

Policy Paper No. 41, 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


To what may missile interception, using missiles, be compared? It is like a duel between two gunmen, each of whom is bound by his own set of rules. Gunman "A" may shoot at all parts of the other's body (including the head and heart), while Gunman "B" must hit the bullet leaving his opponent's gun.

Gunman "B" is therefore in mortal danger, while Gunman "A" is not endangered at all. Gunman "A" can use a simple, cheap lead bullet, but Gunman "B" must employ an expensive gun and bullets, possessing the most sophisticated technology. Gunman "A" may fire whenever he wishes, but Gunman "B" must be constantly on the alert.

From the point of view of Gunman "A", this situation presents a tremendous temptation to attack first. Moreover, it is reasonable to assume that following the action of Gunman "A", other bad guys in the neighborhood will look for an easy, convenient and safe way to give vent to their violent feelings and exploit the sudden end of Gunman "B".

Gunman "B" is therefore a hybrid of a creative intellectual and a moral person. However, basically, the impotence that he displays (known as loss of deterrent ability), contributes to escalation of the arms race.

This apparently absurd schematic description implies a series of system failures which combine to produce a structural failure at the strategic level of ballistic missile defense. These failures are discussed in detail in the article.

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

For the complete article (in English), click here.