Readers may remember that around this time last year the BBC News website published items by Jonathan Marcus and Kevin Connolly which suggested to audiences that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system might not actually work.
Jonathan Marcus’ article titled “Israel’s Iron Dome: Doubts over success rate” appeared on March 12th 2013 and that was followed on April 22nd by two items from Kevin Connolly: a filmed report also shown on BBC television news programmes and a written article.
Recently however, the US embassy in Tel Aviv’s chief defence attaché put forward an interesting proposal.
“A U.S. general proposed on Monday that Israel upgrade its anti-missile systems to include neighboring Jordan and possibly Egypt, and an Israeli official cautiously welcomed the idea.
The two Arab countries that have full peace treaties with the Jewish state share some of its concern regarding the disputed nuclear program of Iran and the civil war wracking Syria – both states with long-range missile arsenals.
Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba is also under threat from short-range rockets fired by Islamist militants in the largely lawless Egyptian Sinai – though they have more regularly targeted the next-door Israeli resort of Eilat.
Brigadier-General John Shapland, chief defense attache for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, raised the idea of extending Israel’s anti-missile umbrella in comments to a security conference in the city.
“If we were able to build a regional defense capability in, say, Jordan, that capability could easily defend Israel, Jordan and even Egypt, if you so desired, adding one more layer to your multi-layered defense,” he told Israeli officials and experts gathered at the INSS think-tank.”
Oh dear. It seems as though Brigadier-General Shapland has not been keeping up to speed with the BBC News website’s revelations.