In March, 2017, Israel launched a series of air assaults on Syria. One attack near the ancient city of Palmyra brought about a series of events we will deal with today. The implications for modern warfare not only change the rules as we know them but expose hypocrisy at the heart of NATO policy.
This Israeli attack which may have brought about the downing of an IAF F15E aircraft by Syrian air defense missiles was allegedly intended, according to Israel, to stop Hezbollah from transferring advanced weapons to Lebanon. Those weapons would be used to resist an expected Israeli assault on that nation or to be used to retaliate against expected Israeli bombing of Beirut residential neighborhoods as seen during the 2006 war.
Boeing laser plane, given to Israel/Elbit, used on Gaza
One issue, of course, is that there were no Hezbollah units within more than a hundred miles of Palmyra, instead Israel was, as has been the case over and over, flying air support for ISIS fighters under attack by the Syrian Army and its Russian allies.
There is something far more important here. When Israel planned the attack, which is expressed in military terms as the “package,” a key component involved use of Israel’s “Iron Dome” air defense system to support the attack.
What this means is that the Iron Dome is not intended for defense at all. There has long been a suspicion that the reports of Israel using million dollar missiles to intercept small Hamas rockets, which many also believe may have never existed in the first place, are simply “fake news.”
You see, no missile air defense system, if confronted with thousands of rockets, and Israel’s enemies have not just thousands but tens of thousands of conventional warhead guided missiles, can have any real effect. The Iron Dome is useless, a fraud.
Moreover, sources in the Obama administration indicate that without American AEGIS ships offshore coordinating targeting and augmenting with their SM3 missiles, the Iron Dome is ineffective. During the low point of US/Israel relations in 2013, the US removed the AEGIS component from the Iron Dome system and redeployed it to the Black Sea.
There, the US was building, and may have secretly deployed long before announced, an onshore AEGIS system. We will get into this later as it is important. Ships like the USS Donald Cook, mysteriously disabled during a Russian “flyby,” made up an “air defense” system that covered hundreds of miles into Russia. Is this “defense” at all? This is the question we are going to address.
As we get back to the Syria attack and the “package,” it became clear that the Iron Dome was being used not for defense but to supply air superiority for the Israeli attack on Syria. The radars placed on the occupied Golan Heights and other capabilities, in violation of UN accord, look across Syria into Iraq and even Jordan.
Combined with Patriot, Arrow and “David’s Sling” missiles, according to Israeli sources, Israel can protect attacking fighters up to 200 miles inside Syria. You see, when attacking fighter bombers head across the border, the long range missiles, aided by radars set right on the border, are used to negate Syrian defenses, not protect “Israel.”
The first real use of the Iron Dome was to shoot down at least one Syrian Air Defense missile as part of an attack, not a defense.
There is a very critical point to this. This at by Israel changed the official definition of the Iron Dome from an “air defense” system to an “air defense suppression” system. This makes the US fully complicit in its use.
Thus, support of Israel’s formerly termed “air defense” system by the US, if deployed against Syria, as it has been, and against Lebanon as expected, is complicity in a “war of aggression” as defined at the Nuremberg Tribunals and the Geneva Conventions.
Where we see this more clearly is in Europe where NATO is moving troops to Poland and the Baltic States. From here, the Patriot missile system being deployed, Poland for certain, and plans to move systems to the Baltic States as well, can now be seen in a different light.
With NATO armored units moving into the area, and based on Israel’s redefinition and repurposing of Patriot based air defense systems in support of attack, NATO’s missile defense system for Europe is redefined as well.
NATO seeks air superiority over Russia in support of a potential armored attack into Russia itself. There is no other reason for this. Quite frankly, there is nothing in either Poland or Romania, where the Patriot systems will be deployed first, that constitutes a target worthy of attack using ballistic missiles, thus “ballistic missile defense” is laughable. Also note, a Patriot missile can’t shoot down a Russian Iskander, which can easily destroy a Patriot battery and NATO continually complains about Russian Iskander deployments as being aggressive.
Now we can honestly look at why the Iskander exists and what it really threatens.
This explains the standoff tied to Russia’s deployment of Iskander batteries in Konigsberg, and the real defensive nature of those systems, when seen in light of the retasking of air defense missiles for air superiority missions in support of cross frontier ground attacks.
What we also have is missile defense being retasked, and we risk abusing that term, as robotic or “pilotless” aircraft. This is the role they are taking on, as used against Syria recently. If they are used against “enemy” defenses, in this case Syria air defense missiles within Syrian airspace, they could also be used against Syrian or Russian aircraft also flying over Syrian airspace.
This means the presence of long range “defensive” missiles supported by phased array radars mysteriously placed as they generally are, looking at ground targets in enemy territory instead of protecting ground targets at home, changes everything.
Israel’s Iron Dome has now been used to intimidate its neighbors, its radars hardly used or deployed to defend Israel’s cities or its clandestine nuclear, biological or chemical warfare capabilities.
Similarly, NATO, ashore and at sea with AEGIS, stares into Russia with a capability of supporting air attacks to secure a possible blitzkrieg offensive.
What ties it all together is the AWAC aircraft (Advanced Warning and Control), in Israel built by Raphael and Elbit, whose software coordinates air attacks into targets and vectors not just planes, but air defense missiles to support attack, not defense. The Iron Dome is a fully integrated component of Israel’s war machine aimed at Syria for certain and Iran when coordinated with the now admittedly “Israel friendly” Gulf States as well.
Were one to look at the complete systems, either US or Israel, there are more capabilities than simply support for blitzkrieg air offensives, sneak attacks like Pearl Harbor or the Israeli attack, one of the world’s worst kept secrets, on the USS Liberty and Egyptian air facilities in 1967.
To the standard missile radars, bad enough on their own, we add long range “look down” radar from aerostats Israel keeps at over 20,000 feet, that see most of the way to Iran. These highly secret LTA platforms (Lighter Than Air), are powered through tether cables allowing massive radar systems to operate.
In coordination with these, satellite and, when needed, surveillance drones give targeting information.
This system is called “3 Layer ISR,” for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Thus, the system that supports supposed “air defenses” does more than back air attacks. It also coordinates ground attacks and can, if needed, supply high value intelligence to forces on the ground.
Israel’s system would allow them to keep ISIS in both Iraq and Syria fully informed of all moves against them by the US, Iraq or others, it seems to be designed specifically for this purpose. Leaders in both Iraq and Syria including former Prime Minister Maliki of Iraq, claim exactly that.
Similarly, the US systems in Poland and Romania could support clandestine incursions into Russia, particularly Russian Crimea or support military action against Donbass by Ukraine.
What must be noted that the funding and support for these capabilities is hidden under the guise of defense. The missile threats from North Korea of Hamas are, were one to think as an intelligence professional might, quite suspect and are obviously either “sexed up” or perhaps entirely fake as well.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”