In an unwanted “first,” Israel turns out to be the first country in history to face a massed attack by intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs). Ballistic missiles are launched upward at an angle, like mortars, and reach high altitude before coming down in a parabolic or orbital trajectory. They therefore pose a different problem for anti-missile defenses, because they come in very fast, accelerated by gravity. IRBMs are harder to maneuver because of their high speed and momentum, but Israel also must plan for highly maneuverable cruise missiles, the modern version of Hitler’s World War II V1-type robot planes, filled with high explosive and incendiaries.
Israel’s enemies can’t compete with its air force, so they have shifted to massed ranks of computer-controlled missiles. Recent news reports indicate that Syria (the recipient of yet another love and peace outreach by Obama) has now sent SCUD-type missiles to Hezb’allah, which currently controls Lebanon. In Gaza, Hamas is rumored to have long-range missiles as well, and a state-of-the-art anti-ship cruise missile was used in the Hezb’allah war of 2008 to blast an Israeli navy frigate. Thus, Israel is surrounded by hostile nations with ballistic and cruise missiles, including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. SCUDs carry a half-ton of high explosive. In another year or two, the Iranians will have a nuclear device, and even now they could launch dirty nukes, which use conventional explosives with radioactive metal.