Launching Your Seed Corn
Iron Dome is good -- very, very good -- but it has a voracious appetite:
One factor Israel may have considered in agreeing to the recent cease fire with Hamas was a possible shortage of Tamir missiles (used by the Iron Dome system to shoot down rockets). The problem was that Israel was not sure how many long (over 20 kilometers) range rockets (that could reach larger urban areas) Hamas had left. Hamas had managed to about a thousand rockets in a week, with most of them hitting unoccupied areas, or being intercepted by Tamir missiles. Israeli aircraft had made over a thousand bombing raids on Gaza, hitting hundreds of rocket storage sites. But the rockets appeared to be stored in small quantities all over the place. Israel won’t say what their count was of Hamas rockets destroyed by air strikes, but it was apparently less than the 12,000 rockets Hamas is supposed to have.[Emphasis added]
This has to factor in to any Israeli decision to go to war against Iran. Hamas (to the south) and Hezbollah (to the north) would certainly join in the fun -- and quickly deplete Israel's stockpile of Tamirs. At $90,000 per missile, that puts a real crimp in the IDF's ability to keep Israeli civilians safe for the duration of a protracted conflict. And don't think the Mullahs and jihadis don't know it.
This reminds me of Nasser's plan to strangle Israel in 1967. He put the massive Egyptian army in the Sinai, forcing the IDF to mobilize and suck thousands and thousands of productive men and women out of the Israeli economy. Eventually, Israel would have to settle on terms favorable to Egypt, as their economy imploded.
Of course, that little gambit got shot to hell when the IDF struck first and destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground and beat their army back to the Suez in a lightning campaign.
It would seem that the Iranian/Jihadi alliance is trying the missile version of Nasser's gambit. This time around, it's civilian Jews being held hostage -- along with the economy. The stakes are somewhat higher now, yes?
It will be interesting (ahem) to see how the Israelis raise them.