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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the makes-for-good-tv dept.

The Military 454

Lasrick (2629253) writes In a controversial article last week, MIT physicist Ted Postol again questioned whether Israel's vaunted Iron Dome rocket defense system actually works. This week, he comes back with evidence in the form of diagrams, photos of Iron Dome intercepts and contrails, and evidence on the ground to show that Iron Dome in fact is effective only about 5% of the time. Postol believes the real reason there are so few Israeli casualties is that Hamas rockets have very small warheads (only 10 to 20 pounds), and also Israel's outstanding civil defense system, which includes a vast system of shelters and an incredibly sophisticated rocket attack warning system (delivered through smart phones, among other ways).

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Here we go... (-1, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 months ago | (#47505309)

Here it comes, all the reactionary Jew hatred posts...

No one seems so interested in the fact that Hamas sites rocket launchers, military command and control, and military supplies in private homes, hosptials, datycares, and schools...

The so-called Hamas "Human Shield" gets almost no attention, using women, children, and old men as "shields"...

No mention of indescriminant non-targeting of rockets into both Muslim and Jewis areas of Isreal by Hamas.

Oh, but those "goose stepping" Jews , bent on exterminating every Muslim in Gaza...

Who is it that has the destruction of Isreal as their official main goal? These are the people that want PEACE?

Re:Here we go... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505373)

As opposed to perfect precision strikes on that evil Palestinian hospital? Or is this "jew hating" somehow?

https://twitter.com/search?q=%... [twitter.com]

but there are extremists on both sides, like parts of Hamas, (and similar on the other side, see the "settlers") that want to murder each other. Something tells me your are one of these extremists too.

Re:Here we go... (1, Flamebait)

Cryacin (657549) | about 4 months ago | (#47505499)

Extreme would be to drop a nuke on them. See? Isn't it fun using strawmen to argue your point.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505563)

As often as I've seen people around here use strawmen when claiming not to, this is the first time I've seen someone imply they themselves were using a strawman but failed to.

Re:Here we go... (5, Insightful)

znrt (2424692) | about 4 months ago | (#47505775)

Extreme would be to drop a nuke on them. See? Isn't it fun using strawmen to argue your point.

may be i'm a bit picky, but i'd say robbing their land, expelling them, denying access to water and healthcare, imprisioning them indefinitely with no warrant, and killing them at will or bombing them with white phosphor is quite extreme.

Re:Here we go... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505795)

They didn't steal the land, they bought it. They didn't expel them, the arabs left with the intention to come back with arab armies to steal back what they sold. Those who didn't leave became israeli arabs.

The UN (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505381)

story [thewire.com]
20 rockets were found in a UN owned school in the Gaza strip. The UN is caliming they were not using the building and did not know the rockets were in the building. What happened to the rockets once the UN discovered they were hiding munitions for Hamas in a school? The UN did the only responsible thing possible and handed those rockets over to Hamas.

Re:The UN (5, Informative)

quantaman (517394) | about 4 months ago | (#47505649)

story [thewire.com]
20 rockets were found in a UN owned school in the Gaza strip. The UN is caliming they were not using the building and did not know the rockets were in the building. What happened to the rockets once the UN discovered they were hiding munitions for Hamas in a school? The UN did the only responsible thing possible and handed those rockets over to Hamas.

Interesting, lets read the link then:

So where did the rockets go? Well, according to Israel, they went right back to Hamas. As an official told The Times of Israel:

The rockets were passed on to the government authorities in Gaza, which is Hamas. In other words, UNRWA handed to Hamas rockets that could well be shot at Israel.”

Ok, that sounds damning, but lets read till the end for the buried lede:

On Monday afternoon, Chris Gunness, the spokesman for U.N.R.W.A., denied that the rockets went back to Hamas.

UNRWA did not give the rockets to Hamas. The rockets were taken away by bomb disposal experts that were answerable to the newly formed government of national consensus, which Hamas has left."

So the rockets went to people most likely hostile to Hamas. Now maybe the UN could have done better disposing of the bombs themselves, but a UN bomb disposal mission in Gaza sounds like something that could also go really wrong. Remember the role of the UN isn't to fight for Israel, in that case they're just trying to provide humanitarian aid.

Re:Here we go... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505409)

Here it comes, all the genocidal Zionist support posts...

No one seems so interested in the fact that Israel builds colonies for the exclusive use of Jews on territory that doesn't belong to her...

The so-called Zionist paln of "Eretz Yisrael" gets almost no attention, tossing women, children, and old men into the streets so the area can be "Judeaized"

Oh, but those Palestinian Terrorists , bent on pushing the Jews into the sea.

Who has actually been cleansing the land as part of their official state policy? These are the people that want PEACE?

Re:Here we go... (2, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#47505519)

Here it comes, all the genocidal Zionist support posts...

You don't have a single clue what "genocidal" means, you twisted evil tool.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505589)

I suppose you think the Nazis didn't commit a genocide because they only managed to kill half the Jews. Don't take my word for it, take Naftali Bennett's [unitedwithisrael.org] . Israel is just following up on earlier promises. [theguardian.com] Of course, the plan goes back over 100 years!!

Re:Here we go... (4, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | about 4 months ago | (#47505423)

I guess since I used to raise money for Israeli medical research and investments in Israeli industry, that would qualify me as an anti-Semite.

But let's look at what the real anti-Semites are saying -- the Jews who actually live there:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/di... [haaretz.com]
Reaping what we have sown in Gaza
Those who turned Gaza into an internment camp for 1.8 million people should not be surprised when they tunnel underneath the earth.
By Amira Hass
Jul. 21, 2014

A book on Israeli military psychology should have an entire chapter devoted to this sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy: A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.

In contrast to the common Israeli hasbara, Hamas isn’t forcing Gazans to remain in their homes, or to leave. It’s their decision. Where would they go?

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion... [haaretz.com]
What does Hamas really want?
Read the list of conditions published in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them.
By Gideon Levy
Jul. 20, 2014

we should stop for a moment and listen to Hamas; we may even be permitted to put ourselves in its shoes, perhaps even to appreciate the daring and resilience of this, our bitter enemy, under harsh conditions.
Read the list of demands and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them: withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops and allowing farmers to work their land up to the fence; release of all prisoners from the Gilad Shalit swap who have been rearrested; an end to the siege and opening of the crossings; opening of a port and airport under UN management; expansion of the fishing zone; international supervision of the Rafah crossing; an Israeli pledge to a 10-year cease-fire and closure of Gaza’s air space to Israeli aircraft; permits to Gaza residents to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque; and an Israeli pledge not to interfere in internal Palestinian politics such as the unity government; opening Gaza’s industrial zone.

These conditions are civilian; the means of achieving them are military, violent and criminal. But the (bitter) truth is that when Gaza is not firing rockets at Israel, nobody cares about it. Look at the fate of the Palestinian leader who had had enough of violence. Israel did everything it could to destroy Mahmoud Abbas. The depressing conclusion? Only force works.

True, after Hamas started firing rockets, Israel had to respond. But as opposed to what Israeli propaganda tries to sell, the rockets didn’t fall out of the sky from nowhere. Go back a few months: the breakdown of negotiations by Israel; the war on Hamas in the West Bank following the murder of the three yeshiva students, which it is doubtful Hamas planned, including the false arrest of 500 of its activists; stopping payment of salaries to Hamas workers in Gaza and Israeli opposition to the unity government, which might have brought the organization into the political sphere.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505473)

Ha'aretz is a completely left-wing news site. I like how nobody is pointing out the fact that Hamas also attacks Egypt. Hamas is a terrorist organization. They use death to achieve their goals. They are uncivilized. The moment they put down their bombs they can talk about how things aren't "fair." Life isn't fair; that doesn't give you the right to kill innocent people over it.

There are self hating members in any group. That doesn't mean that's an accurate assessment.

Re: Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505527)

Do you call them uncivilized so that you can kill them and still sleep at night? Maybe you are past that point already. May your God have mercy on you.

Re: Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505593)

Do you call them uncivilized so that you can kill them and still sleep at night? Maybe you are past that point already. May your God have mercy on you.

I'm an atheist. But I am happy when terrorists die. I don't need to rationalize it.

May your god shower you with 72 virgins for blowing yourself up. Just please go do it in a Muslim country. Thanks.

Re:Here we go... (0, Troll)

petman (619526) | about 4 months ago | (#47505439)

Will Israel promise that if Hamas puts all its rocket launchers, military command and control, and military supplies neatly organised in easily identifiable military bases, Israel won't simply send a missile to figuratively cook all those eggs being put in one basket?

Will Israel remove the embargo being imposed of Gaza so that Hamas can buy better weapons that they can use to precisely target Israel military installations rather than have to make do with using cheap mortar and rockets that is just as likely to hit civillian targets as Israeli military installations?

If Israel is not willing to do the above, then don't complain when Hamas have to improvise just to have a fighting chance of defending themselves.

Re:Here we go... (2, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | about 4 months ago | (#47505459)

If Israel is not willing to do the above, then don't complain when Hamas have to improvise just to have a fighting chance of defending themselves.

Two points: First, their improvisations are war crimes; second, Hamas are the aggressor. This is not particularly complicated.

Re:Here we go... (-1, Troll)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 4 months ago | (#47505637)

Considering that the Jews are gleefully committing Genocide of Canaan 2.0, I don't get how anyone can say that those willing to fight back against the Jews rather than just lying down and dying are "aggressors" The racist Jews who spit on Christians, drive non-jews from their lands and want to bury all Palestinians into the ground to have their "Promised Land" all for themselves are the aggressors.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505713)

In this "genocide", what percentage of targeted group has been exterminated? How many have been born at the same time? What Israel does might be oppression, "apartheid", invasion, whaetever, but genocide it ain't.

Re:Here we go... (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#47505729)

second, Hamas are the aggressor. This is not particularly complicated.

Israel bulldozes Palestinian homes and builds settlements, Hamas fires rockets into Israel.
"Both sides" is usually a shitty argument to make, but in this case, both sides have been aggressors for decades.

If it wasn't complicated, we'd have peace by now.

Re:Here we go... (0)

SQL Error (16383) | about 4 months ago | (#47505755)

Regarding the present situation, Hamas is clearly the aggressor, launching an unprovoked and strategically and tactically useless attack on Israel. Hamas wants Israel destroyed; Israel doesn't want to be destroyed. Not complicated.

Re:Here we go... (1)

mindstormpt (728974) | about 4 months ago | (#47505793)

+1 Funny

(sorry, lacking mod points!)

Re:Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505773)

Go fuck yourself.

Re:Here we go... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505779)

Well, except you know, where Israel has repeatedly broken international law. You forgot that part.
 
If you view either side as clearly in the right, you're a fucking fool. It's unfortunate that extremists like you tend to speak the loudest since you overshadow the many, many reasonable people affected by the conflict and give rise to the expectations of outsiders that everyone involved is just as bad as you. In fact, most people are victims of you extremists from both sides. You should feel like a terrible person for helping to perpetuate this conflict, and I only hope one day you find that awareness.

Re:Here we go... (4, Interesting)

SQL Error (16383) | about 4 months ago | (#47505815)

If you view either side as clearly in the right, you're a fucking fool.

Israel is clearly in the right.

That doesn't mean that Israel is without fault. Clearly, they're not. But we have one side ready for peaceful coexistence and the other side who wants only the total destruction of their enemies.

The situation is not complicated. That doesn't mean solving it is easy; there are many simple problems that are hard to solve. But we can say for sure that false equivalencies do not help.

Re:Here we go... (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 4 months ago | (#47505465)

Will Israel promise that if Hamas puts all its rocket launchers, military command and control, and military supplies neatly organised in easily identifiable military bases, Israel won't simply send a missile to figuratively cook all those eggs being put in one basket?

That's idiotic. The idea was to get them away from civilian homes, so when Israel does have to retaliate and destroy them, innocent bystanders aren't killed in the process. Promising not to shoot back would be crazy, and your statement massively misses the point...

Will Israel remove the embargo being imposed of Gaza so that Hamas can buy better weapons that they can use to precisely target Israel military installations rather than have to make do with using cheap mortar and rockets that is just as likely to hit civillian targets as Israeli military installations?

You'd have to first explain why Hamas has a military need to attack Israeli military bases in the first place, as opposed to, say, Israeli tanks and aircraft while they are in Palestine. Or why they need to attack at all, since they two are not at war with each other, and Israel could wipe them out in a matter of days if they ever did declare one.

Re:Here we go... (1)

petman (619526) | about 4 months ago | (#47505651)

They're not at war? Are you high? Hamas has declared war on Israel from day one. At this very moment Israel and Gaza is exchanging rockets missiles and bombs and hundreds of people are being killed every day. If, as you say, "Israel could wipe them out in a matter of days", then do it and get it over with.

Re:Here we go... (4, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | about 4 months ago | (#47505791)

They're not at war? Are you high? Hamas has declared war on Israel from day one. At this very moment Israel and Gaza is exchanging rockets missiles and bombs and hundreds of people are being killed every day. If, as you say, "Israel could wipe them out in a matter of days", then do it and get it over with.

Israel are trying to minimise casualties on both sides. Hamas are trying to maximise Israeli casualties, and use Palestinian casualties to their political advantage. It's a perfect example of asymmetrical warfare; the capabilities and aims of the combatants are completely different.

Israel has the military capability to destroy Gaza, just as the US had the military capability to destroy Iraq or Afghanistan back in 2003. But doing so is not in their long-term interests.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505469)

the goal of hamas is to kill Israeli civilians,

also,

  Haj Amin al-Husseini

Re:Here we go... (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#47505535)

Will Israel promise that if Hamas puts all its rocket launchers, military command and control, and military supplies neatly organised in easily identifiable military bases, Israel won't simply send a missile to figuratively cook all those eggs being put in one basket?

Are you so high you don't realize how stupid that sounds? Why would they do such an illogical thing?

Re:Here we go... (1)

petman (619526) | about 4 months ago | (#47505629)

It's as stupid as asking Hamas to put their armaments in military installations where Israel can destroy them as easily as stealing candy from a baby.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505579)

The situation dictates that 'Palestine' should have only policing powers. Military protection should be granted by a neighbour state, perhaps even by Israel.

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505555)

Here it comes, all the reactionary Jew hatred posts...

Here it comes, all the accusations of antisemitism just because someone criticizes Israel...

Re: Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505601)

If I'm a racist for criticizing Obama then yes, you are a fucking jack booted antiSemite for criticizing Israel.

Re: Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505613)

You're not a racist for criticizing the scumbag known as Obama. When did I say that? Enough with the false dichotomies; why not reject both?

Re: Here we go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505633)

I have no idea who "you" are. I do have an idea of who the pro terrorists are and they happen to be the ones calling anyone criticizes Obama, a racist.

I'm sure you do too, but you have keep up appearances.

Re:Here we go... (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#47505675)

The root cause of this mess is that the Palestinians want their land back (after it was taken off them first in the post-WW2 UN partition plan that broke up Palestine into a Palestinian section and a Jewish section and then later further taken by the new state of Israel in various wars)

Re:Here we go... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505813)

The root cause of this mess is that the Palestinians want their land back (after it was bought from them first in the post-WW2 UN partition plan that broke up Palestine into a Palestinian section and a Jewish section and then later further taken by the new state of Israel in various wars)

FTFY

Re: Here we go... (3, Insightful)

LLKrisJ (1021777) | about 4 months ago | (#47505697)

Of course, if you put an entire people inside an area more akin to the ghetto of Warsaw then a real country. An area with an insanely high population density an almost no way in our out for armed forces of their own the what did you expect really?

I am not condoning the firing of any weapon or participation in any combat activity amongst civilians but really... What do the Israeli expect??

On the other hand, where are the other Arab countries when it comes to really help out the Palestinians?

It ll never get solved, this conflict will stay a global source of misery for as long as we live probably.

Re:Here we go... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505739)

> Here it comes, all the reactionary Jew hatred posts...

They are coming because you wrote that, practically a first post even.

It makes me wonder if your goal is to derail any thoughtful analysis of the story.
Isn't that one of the tactics from the recently revealed GCHQ/JTRIG "Disruption Operational Playbook?" [firstlook.org]

Re:Here we go... (1)

aybiss (876862) | about 4 months ago | (#47505749)

Yes, you're exactly right. The best thing the human race could do is turn the entire place into a radioactive crater, then say "off you go, fight over that".

Re:Here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505801)

No worries dude! This is Merica, we'll save them, even if we have to kill every last one of them.

Yes, but... (5, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 4 months ago | (#47505321)

TFA is very interesting & I'm smarter for having read it...

I'm glad people are looking at this kind of thing...it is *one* way to get some unbiased information

So, "5% effective"...

As TFA description reads, the number of Israeli casualties is mostly due to a combination of factors, including bomb shelters and early warnings...

I think the "Iron Dome" people would respond to TFA thusly:

"Yes, but **the program** is effective. "Iron Dome" is our missile defense system, which is one part of our civil defense, which is an entire program of things to keep people safe...if you look at the program in its entirity it's a success"

Re:Yes, but... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505357)

TFA is very interesting & I'm smarter for having read it...

I'm glad people are looking at this kind of thing...it is *one* way to get some unbiased information

So, "5% effective"...

As TFA description reads, the number of Israeli casualties is mostly due to a combination of factors, including bomb shelters and early warnings...

I think the "Iron Dome" people would respond to TFA thusly:

"Yes, but **the program** is effective. "Iron Dome" is our missile defense system, which is one part of our civil defense, which is an entire program of things to keep people safe...if you look at the program in its entirity it's a success"

There's only one problem with that "whole package" sales tactic.

You can get other countries to pointlessly waste billions of dollars trying to re-create this same kind of defense system, including the insanely expensive part that pretty much doesn't work for shit.

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505407)

And missile defense will eventually motivate more lethal munitions.

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505639)

Indeed. What will Hamas be supplied with next?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47505399)

but it is specifically one part of the system.

mostly it works because the rockets never get to hit it(due to being diy rockets of dubious quality), but it is morale booster.

and as morale booster it works. fuck, some tourists are tweeting from over there "good day on the beach thanks to the iron dome ha" which .. is fucking insane. could choose somewhere better, even cypros for fucks ake..

No Access (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 months ago | (#47505631)

He has no access to the system. He has no access to radar logs. He has no access to destroyed rockets, etc. He has some pics and a PowerPoint presentation.

I see.

Maybe (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505335)

Postol has a long history opposing any form of missile defense. While his assessment may well be correct, it should be viewed with considerable skepticism until data from opposing viewpoints is examined against his. Postol's view can be summaraized as: "No missile or rocket defense can work, therefore we should not try."

Re:Maybe (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505471)

Actually his assessment is simply based on a false premise.

What performance characteristics make a rocket defense effective? To successfully intercept an artillery rocket of the type Hamas has been firing, an Iron Dome interceptor must destroy the warhead on the front end of the rocket. If the Iron Dome interceptor instead hits the back end of the target rocket, it will merely damage the expended rocket motor tube, basically an empty pipe, and have essentially no effect on the outcome of the engagement. The pieces of the rocket will still fall in the defended area; the warhead will almost certainly go on to the ground and explode.

The Iron Dome's purpose is not to destroy the rockets mid-flight, its to protect the population centers. If the rocket is damaged and blows up a parked tractor in the farm field, mission accomplished. If the rocket is damaged and falls on an empty farm house, mission accomplished. If the rocket is damaged and falls on a school, ok yeah we can call that a failure.

Re:Maybe (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47505585)

Postol has a long history opposing any form of missile defense. While his assessment may well be correct, it should be viewed with considerable skepticism until data from opposing viewpoints is examined against his. I don't care about that, because someone opposed to missile defense can still have a good argument. I read his post with interest.

Unfortunately, his data isn't very good. He starts with a hypothesis on how the missile defense system works, then proceeds to show that if his hypothesis is correct, it is unlikely that the Iron dome is effective, based on data he analyzed in 2012 and photographs he's seen since then. I shouldn't need to explain why I see that as unconvincing.

There's always room to doubt official figures, but I'd like to see something a little more convincing than that from a story with this kind of headline. It was just a longer explanation of what he said previously, he didn't produce any more data, unfortunately.

Re: Maybe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505627)

He's only bitter because what he perceives as a little backward country proved he, an oh-so-smart MIT boy, wrong. Wow, I can feel his rage from here. How long before he goes on a rampage?

Re: Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505689)

From the article and reply, I can sense only your rage. Something against MIT? Jeolousy?

5% 0%. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505347)

It's literally better than nothing.

[anecdote] An employee in an Israeli office of my company happened to be on a business call when the alarms went off and he had to pull over and lay flat on the ground. The callees then witnessed an incredible bang (which, understandably, made most of the listener's pants a bit heavier). Apparently the Iron Dome intercepted a missile in the skies directly above the employee's head. He's lucky to be alive. [/anecdote]. Of course, now he's been drafted into the fight, so he might end up spending his life anyways, but hey, at least he lived to see another day.

So yeah, it might not be the best thing ever, but it sure as hell beats nothing.

Re:5% 0%. (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 4 months ago | (#47505671)

The problem is it is not sustainable. Each intercept missile cost $60,000, a rocket launched by hamas costs $800. Hamas can DDoS the hell of out Israel. All they need is decently trained soldiers and decent supply of rockets.

Re:5% 0%. (2)

SQL Error (16383) | about 4 months ago | (#47505727)

The problem is it is not sustainable. Each intercept missile cost $60,000, a rocket launched by hamas costs $800.

Israel's GDP is the equivalent of about US$250 billion. They can easily afford tens of thousands of intercept missiles if it keeps the population safe.

Hamas can DDoS the hell of out Israel.

DDoS attacks generally rely on multiplier effects, getting someone else to do most of the work for you. Botnets, service vulnerabilities like the NTP reflection attack, that sort of thing. Hamas don't appear to have any such advantage.

All they need is decently trained soldiers and decent supply of rockets.

And if they had three fully-equipped tank divisions and a carrier group, that would help too.

Re:5% 0%. (0)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 4 months ago | (#47505677)

Yea, the important thing isn't if it works or not. The important thing is that the US taxpayers keep paying millions for every rocket that might knock down a Hamas missal. That way Israel can comfortably keep practicing genocide in Gaza and building more "settlements".

Re:5% 0%. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505761)

Well, as a Raytheon shareholder, I approve!

A buys oil from B.
B uses oil money to buy missiles it gives to C.
C fires missiles at D.
D buys interceptors from A to intercept C's missiles.
A bills US taxpayers for cost of interceptors.
(Since D does not have to pay for the interceptors, and C doesn't have to pay for missiles, they have no incentive really to pursue any other course of action than violence).

Only losers here are the US taxpayers, and the poor schmucks being targeted by missiles and retaliatory strikes.

So much for the "Information Age" (1, Informative)

Jeremy Connell (3699021) | about 4 months ago | (#47505385)

A good summary can be found here:
http://www.thereligionofpeace.... [thereligionofpeace.com]

Neo-Nazis In Germany Compare Jews To NAZIS:
http://shoebat.com/.../neo-naz... [shoebat.com]

... and yet nobody has anything to say about the "Happy Holocoust" one-eyed smiley faces getting painted on christian fences:
http://shoebat.com/.../antichr... [shoebat.com]

...or the wholesale massacre of christian communities (which like the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian massacres, has been quite well-documented)
http://shoebat.com/.../muslims... [shoebat.com]
http://shoebat.com/2014/07/21/... [shoebat.com]

Spain is on the list:
http://shoebat.com/.../muslim-... [shoebat.com]

And so is Rome:
http://shoebat.com/.../muslims... [shoebat.com]

Meanwhile, in the land of the free, any intellectual discussion of this topic is prohibited (by shouty neo-commies), under threat of "hate speech" legislation, or being ostracised as a 'bigot', because left-wing viewpoints are by definition 'not up for discussion'.

Re:So much for the "Information Age" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505437)

Where do you live that you haven't gotten any information on IS(IL) stuff? Al Jazeera (english) reports on it daily. I am sure some other news stations are as well, but if you want information from a certain area, might as well look for groups close to the source.

Re:So much for the "Information Age" (1)

Jeremy Connell (3699021) | about 4 months ago | (#47505517)

New Zealand - the media here are strongly biased towards defending Islam, and attacking Christianity, partly because Islam hasn't really become established here, so they see it as just another minority group to add to the left wing coalition against conservative Christians. Most people here honestly don't know the first thing about Islam - its like 9/11 never happened, or they just believed all the conspiracy theories and blame America. We also have a history of anti-US protesters turning into prime ministers like Helen Clark, and essentially its just a way to express their rejection of Christian culture and beliefs, with some anti-authoritarian sentiment thrown in (and fuck-all useful education).

So, have we rescued any of those 200 school girls yet? Are we even trying? Honestly?
Does any western country intend to bomb or otherwise attack ISIS or Boko Haram? (apart from getting heavy on bitcoin)
I think they honestly believe that Islam has been 'hijacked' by 'radicals' (like Goering, who screwed everything up for Hitler)

Re:So much for the "Information Age" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505483)

Another great site is Your Daily Muslim [yourdailymuslim.com] .

Re:So much for the "Information Age" (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 4 months ago | (#47505591)

Citing the site thereligionofpeace.com for anything about muslims is like citing Stormfront for anything about blacks, jews, and sundry non-whites. It makes you a bit of a loony.

If you require the system to act NOT as designed (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505387)

His perspective is that success requires in-air destruction of the warhead. That is not what the system is designed to do. No system has successfully hit warheads in the air with any frequency. Second, Postol (and Lloyd and others) assert that the falling warheads aren't large enough to do damage. But mortar shells do substantial damage and then contain, even using Postol's numbers, perhaps 1/20th the TNT. That's enough to blow big holes and kill a lot of people. Where are the holes? Where is the structural damage to buildings? Where are the casualties?

Re:If you require the system to act NOT as designe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505443)

The casualties are on the Palestinian side.

Re:If you require the system to act NOT as designe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505515)

The dead terrorists are on the Palestinian side.

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:If you require the system to act NOT as designe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505529)

The dead terrorists are on the terrorists side.

There. Fixed that for you.

Fixed that for you.

Re:If you require the system to act NOT as designe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505641)

The dead terrorists are on the dirka-dirka-stani side.

There. Fixed that for you.

Fixed that for you.

Fixed it again. Sherpa Sherpa Bak-Allah. Mohammed Jihad!

Definition of a successful intercept... (5, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 4 months ago | (#47505425)

It seems that Ted Postol defines a successful intercept as one where the opposing warhead is completely destroyed in mid-air and doesn't count a rocket being damaged enough to be knocked down over an area where it can detonate harmlessly. He also relies on personal and public photos and reports to draw his conclusions. This would miss a good portion of the rockets fired as most are fired at night, when photographing rockets and interceptions are much more difficult.

I'm not going to argue that he is right or wrong. It just seems to me that his extrapolations are not based on enough factual evidence to draw a conclusion with any amount of confidence.

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

What he actually said... (3, Insightful)

Normal_Deviate (807129) | about 4 months ago | (#47505623)

I did RTFA, and he makes two real claims. His primary claim is that the iron dome system must be failing, because when the interceptor approaches the target from anything other than head on, the interceptor will fire its warhead at the wrong time. He implies that this failure is an inevitable consequence of geometry, but I don't see it. If you actually look at the diagrams, the interceptor has just a good a shot when approaching (say) from behind as from in front. In fact the odds look better to me from behind or the side, as the crossing speeds are lower and the shrapnel fan might actually run down the length of the target. The interceptor just needs to fire its warhead at a different moment. But his diagrams all show the warhead firing at the wrong time, for reasons that are not made clear.

Is the iron dome system smart enough to account for basic geometry? I would think so, since the problem is pretty simple, and the approach angle will be known by the radar even before launch. But I don't really know. And I don't think he does either.

His second claim might be more credible. He says that in hundreds of pictures of intercepts, only one clearly shows detonation of the incoming rocket. I don't know if this is true, and I don't trust his claim. But if it is true then it cries out for explanation.

Re:What he actually said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505679)

The intercept is very often over populated areas. There are lots of pictures of rocket fragments falling in populated areas. He also errs on the explosive content: wikipedia says that a Fajr-5 rocket has 90Kg of HE warhead. While the damage of 915Kg of metal falling from the sky is extensive, it is very local.

Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (4, Insightful)

willy_me (212994) | about 4 months ago | (#47505669)

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

The rockets generate more psychological damage then physical. As far as weapons go, they are rather pathetic. All the iron dome really has to do is to make those it protects feel safe. If statistics have the potential of damaging this feeling of safety then you ca be assured that they will be kept secret.

The other purpose of the iron dome is to limit the desire to fire the rockets in the first place. If one thinks their efforts are in vain then they are less likely to follow through. If Israel can convince members of Hamas that their rockets are not working then there will be fewer rockets launched at Israel.

Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505767)

Actually, an effective system would DETER attacks.

Instead, Iron Dome seems to perpetuate the conflict.

Need to find a way to deter attacks.

A one-state-solution would be my suggestion.

See for yourself ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505789)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeBQty_YaxY .. thats enough for me.

Please put up or shut up (4, Insightful)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 4 months ago | (#47505435)

Why should anyone believe a person with a clear agenda, no access and no evidence?

Wake me up when you have actual data to collaborate your (conspiracy) theory Israel's estimates are lies.

Israeli's collect the rockets and rocket parts they are able to find. The answer is knowable and evidence obtainable. Have you even tried?

Re:Please put up or shut up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505541)

What's with all the vehement defenders of Israel? Even the people who criticize others for playing the "race card" are quick to accuse anyone who criticizes Israel of antisemitism...

Re:Please put up or shut up (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#47505811)

Why should anyone believe a person with a clear agenda, no access and no evidence?

That was my thought too... except I'd have added "and whose report contains so many assumptions, incorrect statements, and weasel words that even if I was inclined to believe the guy I'd be skeptical".

Doubtful (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505453)

My parents are both in Israel. I go there frequently. Since the start of the rocket attacks I have talked with them daily. I can tell you Iron Dome works. Otherwise there would be far more destruction to property. Yes there are bomb shelters. I can tell you in Tel Aviv many people don't bother to go to them when the sirens go off. My dad says more people get hurt running to the bomb shelters because they trip/fall/etc. than from bombs.

Iron Dome is highly effective. Without it there would be not only significant casualties but also significantly more property damage. In fact my dad reported seeing an actual missile intercept over our building in Bat Yam.

I'm sure Iron Dome has it's flaws but the fact of the matter is the system has been saving lives almost daily for years. One other thing I am not sure if Slashdot readers are familiar with: The rocket attacks aren't a thing that happen every year or so. They are in Tel Aviv. In cities like Ashdod or Ashkelon they are a daily or weekly occurrence. You don't hear about it on the news but they have been going on for years. Iron Dome is continually operating and defending against these threats.

Despite all of this the problem remains: Rockets are being fired into a sovereign country. I don't think the US would build and use such a defensive system is say, for example, Mexico launched rockets into the US for years. I don't think there would be a Mexico after around one month. To that end the (hypothetical) US solution here is far more effective than Iron Dome. Sadly I think the only long term solution here is for Israel to use its full military might against the attackers.

Iron Dome is clearly a conspiracy! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505489)

Don't tell anyone, but Iron Dome causes autism because it contains gluten! It's all part of a secret Illuminati plot, of course...

(Seeing as I live in Rishon Le Ziyyon, and watch interceptions every single day, and hear the distinctive sound of an interception (as opposed to a rocket hitting a building) several times a day, I reckon that the esteemed Mr. Postol would do well to loosen up his foil hat a bit)

Re:Iron Dome is clearly a conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505545)

Seeing as I live in Rishon Le Ziyyon, and watch interceptions every single day, and hear the distinctive sound of an interception (as opposed to a rocket hitting a building) several times a day, I reckon that the esteemed Mr. Postol would do well to loosen up his foil hat a bit

Same exact observations in . This article makes no sense.

Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (4, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | about 4 months ago | (#47505491)

The way he defines success and failure is framed to say all missile defense fails [redstate.com] .

Iron Dome uses a combination of a proximity (radar activited) fuse and fragmentation. Sometimes the interceptor destroys the warhead. Sometimes it causes an explosion of the propellant which destroys the warhead. Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isn’t destroyed the interceptor failed.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see the immense flaw in this logic: if someone fires a missile at you and you aren’t hit that is good news.

Re:Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505569)

The minute russians build missile defense systems, there will a widespread consensus that they work.

Re:Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 months ago | (#47505663)

Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isnâ(TM)t destroyed the interceptor failed.

That assumes that a certain degree of accuracy is needed by the incoming missile. If the target is "somewhere within a 10 mile radius" and the missile is knocked off course by a couple of miles, then the missile is likely successful.

Re:Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#47505665)

Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isn’t destroyed the interceptor failed.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see the immense flaw in this logic: if someone fires a missile at you and you aren’t hit that is good news.

These are unguided rockets, not cruise missiles. They aren't targeted at a person or home, they are targeted at entire neighborhoods or city regions. If a rocket is heading to a neighborhood across town and iron dome disables the rocket and forces it down in your neighborhood, is that a "win"? destroying the warhead limits the damage, but even falling rocket debris can cause injury and damage.

If the 5% figure is right then it takes around $1.6M worth of $80K interceptors to stop each $800/rocket. Is that worth to price? Does a 10kg warhead routinely cause millions of dollars of damage and/or human casualties?

yuo Fail It? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505559)

You're tokld. It's

Meanwhile... (1)

TranceThrust (1391831) | about 4 months ago | (#47505595)

an Israeli from Tel Aviv estimates the success rate at 90%, which is thus high that some civilians actually go out and see the interceptions, instead of going into the shelters. Of course, Tel Aviv is farther away from Gaza and possibly has less rockets fired at them, but the difference in ground reports and what is reported here is staggering. Maybe these scientists need to dial back and first get some more data, instead of just looking at a couple of videos and/or photos.

On topic, the argument makes no sense (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 4 months ago | (#47505603)

The professor is saying that if the warhead is no destroyed the intercept fails. That's nonsense. If you knock it off course or cause it to fall off target then it succeeded.

Furthermore, the statistics seem to suggest that SOMETHING is stopping the missiles because we have fairly reliable figures on the number of missiles fired and the number of missiles that landed in populated areas. We also have stats from previous bombardments... comparing the two we can see a huge difference. So why is that? Is the suggestion that the israelis are lying? Its possible. But there's no evidence of that to hang an argument upon. And even if they were doing it for the sake of argument there is no data to define the extent of that deceit. Its all theoretical.

Re:On topic, the argument makes no sense (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 4 months ago | (#47505653)

Are the rockets even targeted? And if they are, are they accurate enough that knocking it off course is a good thing?

Re:On topic, the argument makes no sense (1)

aybiss (876862) | about 4 months ago | (#47505765)

Well, they constantly claim that the rockets are targeted at schools or whatever - are they just pushing them there themselves?

Re:On topic, the argument makes no sense (1)

Begemot (38841) | about 4 months ago | (#47505821)

Even if they are not precisely targeted they can hit something by mistake. Also, Iron Dome is set up to intercept only rockets that have chance to hit a real target in Israel. For instance if Hamas launches a rocket towards some Palestinian target (by mistake or deliberately), the Iron Dome won't stop it.

What about this video evidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505609)

You know, those videos where rockets are hit, are those the 5%?

From my personal and up-close experience (1)

Begemot (38841) | about 4 months ago | (#47505617)

... it works for about 100%

and my point is: without clear evidence, both this and Postol's statements are equally Ill-founded.

Ted, shall we compromise on (100+5)/2?

Stop this Insane War against Israel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505643)

Those opposed to Israel's right to exist and who are also shelling Israel and supplying weaponry for the attacks against Israel, STOP. Cease Fire or Cease to Exist. You hide behind children and attack Israel and blame Israel for responding to those attacks while {{You Blow Up Your Own Children Blaming Israel for their right to defend themselves.]] STOP THIS WAR NOW

Re:Stop this Insane War against Israel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505701)

Those opposed to Israel's right to exist and who are also shelling Israel and supplying weaponry for the attacks against Israel, STOP.

It's probably safe to say that the war won't end until the Palestinian aggressors/terrorists are dead. I think everybody should be behind Israel on this. Terrorism is never a way to accomplish goals. Giving the Palestinians any help for their tactics is simply going to encourage more terrorism from radical Islamists all over the world.

wrong approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505687)

he first assumes that only a head-on engagement can be successful, and all other engagements are failures. then, he counts how many engagements are head-on, and how many are otherwise, and finally comes up with a failure rate. if his initial assumption is wrong, then his calculation at the end is wrong. i'm not at all confident of his initial assumption, and he spends so little time on it.

why doesn't he instead gather pictures of engagements, gather more pictures of rocket impacts, then calculate a failure rate from there? this would be a more straight-forward approach, and he wouldn't have to rely on assumptions that are difficult to confirm. israel won't share iron dome missile specs with him, will they?

Take a system with 90% success rate, change succes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505715)

Iron dome designed to protect an area. If the artilery rocket is prevented from hitting that area it is a success.
Redefining success is a nice trick but it misses the point.
If a single shrapnel hit the rocket in mid flight it will rotate the rocket enough to change its ballistic flight and go into a stall.
True that in this scenario the warhead is still armed but it is not essential to success if it didnt reach its intended target area.

Re:Take a system with 90% success rate, change suc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505759)

Actual Israeli again.

I think it's important to also point out that just because Iron Dome hits a rocket doesn't mean we're safe. Everyone here knows the difference between a hit and an Iron Dome interception. In both cases there are very audible, but different booms. In both cases, danger. Many times after an interception, there are many other loud thuds and booms from falling pieces of metal, and many people have been injured or nearly injured by shrapnel.

Iron Dome keeps us safer, but you still have to go to a shelter even if the hit rate was 100% because there's a very real danger you can still be killed by the aftermath of an interception.

Rocket damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505735)

Postol says that the Hamas rockets are small and can't do much harm. But that's proven false by past Israeli experience.

In the 2006 Israel-Hizbullah war, about 40 Israeli civilians were killed by rockets from Lebanon. In the last couple weeks, exactly one Israeli civilian has been been killed by rockets from Gaza. What's changed between 2006 and now? Iron Dome has been developed.

Also, that Israeli civilian was a Bedouin. Bedouin are nomads who live in the countryside. Iron Dome does not attempt to intercept rockets heading for the countryside, because interceptors are too expensive. Is it just coincidence that the only Israeli to be killed by rockets was part of the minority who live in areas not protected by Iron Dome?

Or look at another incident. A single Hamas rocket hit an Israeli ranch and killed 30 cows [algemeiner.com] . I don't care too much about the cows. But a cow is bigger than a person, one would expect more than 30 people to die if that rocket hit a collection of people. Nothing like that has happened. Why not?

Israelis see with their eyes that this conflict is different from past conflicts in terms of the damage done by rockets. Is it so strange to attribute that change to the new technology that has been developed?

some things are public record (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505745)

property damage is compensated by the zionist government. All claims are matter of public record.
It is easy to verify the ammount of rocket hits based on the claims and their sum.

Actual Israeli - Iron Dome Works (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47505751)

Controversial is putting it controversially kindly. I may not be a physicist from MIT, but as an Israeli being shot at daily and many times before this conflict started, I can assure you that I see Iron Dome actually works. I guess all the pieces of metal I've seen fall from the sky several times in front of mine are just my imagination as well, and the various times I've seen rockets intercepted literally over my head. I suppose when I've personally seen rocket cases shredded to pieces, it was because they blew up by themselves in the sky. I also suppose the ones that did hit were just another variety that don't magically blow up in the sky. Clearly, I'll have to go enroll in MIT and study harder to understand what is happening right in front of me.

I can assure you that without Iron Dome, there would be a lot more damage in Israel. In Israel, it's like a God right now and is the most immediate form of protection we have from a very real and current existential threat. It's important to note we also have other missile interception systems, including the old Patriot missiles which have shot down a few drones this past week.

Really, such idiocy is dangerous.

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