recommended reading

Could Israel safely deter a nuclear Iran?

Iran's Shahab-3 missile is launched by the Revolutionary Guard

Iran's Shahab-3 missile is launched by the Revolutionary Guard // Ruhollah Vahdati/AP File Photo

Whatever their current disagreements on the reasonableness of further sanctions, Washington and Jerusalem have now both indicated that they may be willing to use military options against Iran. After all, sanctions have apparently not convinced Tehran to abandon their nuclear efforts, and rejecting the military option altogether could leave Israel vulnerable. At the same time, what would have to be a stunningly complex and operationally unprecedented preemption, and at this conspicuously late date, could easily result in catastrophic failure.

Assuming that nothing else works, then foregoing a defensive first-strike would mean that Israel would have to live with the protracted uncertainty of a potentially nuclear Iran. Unless Iran's leadership remains consistently rational, thus valuing its own national survival above all else, then Israeli nuclear deterrence would be only more or less effective. With this likely in mind, Israel has been expanding and upgrading its network of active defenses.

An improved Israeli interceptor called "Block 4" contains new software designed to intercept Iran's Shahab and Sajil missiles. Israel is also correctly concerned about Iran's newest version of the Conqueror rocket. The centerpiece of Israel's active defense plan for Iran remains the Arrow anti-ballistic missile program, which was recently tested successfully. Iron Dome, a complementary system, is intended primarily for intercepting shorter-range rocket attacks. Still under development is David's Sling, which would be intended for use against medium-range rockets and cruise missiles. Still, no system of ballistic missile defense could ever be so reliable as to preclude a corollary strategy of deterrence, especially if the incoming warheads were biological or nuclear.

Read more at The Atlantic.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.