I read the Jerusalem Post a few minutes ago, always keen to see what’s happening in the lands of the East and was wowed by the upgrades to Israel’s sophisticated missile defence systems.
They have received heavy investment from the United States to develop their countermeasures and the results are amazing. This year saw the redevelopment of the Iron Dome project, a unique all-weather system that has already stopped thousands of Hamas rockets from detonating on Israeli soil since its unveiling in 2011.
The project has received heavy criticism in recent years for its alleged ineffectiveness in stopping rocket attacks from outside the Israeli borders but the new improved system appears to be much more focused in its ability to seek out and destroy armed rockets. The Iron Dome is one part of the joint US-Israel project in which the US has pledged astronomical amounts of money in support of the Zionist state.
So what does all this money get you?
Well, Israel’s military development is well documented (apart from their nuclear weapons development which is highly classified) and they possess a range of offensive and defensive technology making them a superpower in the Middle East and one of the leaders in military advancement. As well as donations, Israel dedicates about a fifth of its GDP towards defence. Their investment is likely to be significantly higher than ours but then again, their immediate need for defence requires more investment.
After reading more about the Israeli’s defence project, I found the Arrow project to be quite interesting, a revolutionary system that can intercept missiles from space.
Our defence budget for the UK (including foreign donations) is roughly £50 billion but we are not being shelled constantly by angry Palestinians. We are high on the table of defence spending and if you look at the size of the country and its territories versus the amount we dedicate to defence, you can see that it is a sizeable figure. But when you look at the annual GDP of the United Kingdom, the amount the Government spends on other things such as Pensions and Welfare, not to mention the hideous amount of interest charged on debt relief loans one can see that defence accounts for about 5% of national expenditure.
But it is still a large amount of money. More than enough to provide adequate defence systems. It must be a case of misappropriation of funds, the money being channelled away into other projects that leaves our island open to the very real threat of aerial assault.
How come Israel has a tactical multi-layered defence system and we have…..well, what do we have apart from the Trident program and a handful of aircraft and battleships?
Okay, I admit that we need a Navy; being an island and all, we are surrounded by coastlines. The Trident system has been threatened with redundancy due to an alleged overspend on this vital defence system. The Trident system is outmoded and needs replacing. It has been estimated in excess of £30 billion to replace the current class of Vanguard submarines. Dreadnought class submarines are the evolved class and Britain seems to be split as to whether renewing the project is worthwhile. It seems as though a decision has been made, though as these submarines are now in production.
Yet the running costs of the new systems alone would be staggering, critics say and would put a serious dent in the economy, eating up most of the defence budget. The true cost of the program would apparently be closer to £205 billion.
The argument is, do we need a nuclear weapons system at all? Theresa May certainly thinks so and I agree with her. For such a small and now fragmented colony as the British Empire, we need something to keep us safe but is the cost of maintaining such hardware necessary when maybe we should be thinking of defence rather than offence?
UK scientists are always working towards making more destructive weapons, same as any other country with nuclear weapons manufacturing capability. Seems a shame to be granted the privilege to legally manufacture WMD’s and not exploit it, same as the other nations in the nuclear stakes. The very real threat of nuclear destruction prevents other countries from attacking our small island or one of its offshoot colonies. If we had no Trident, we would need to invest heavily in defence, same as the Israeli’s and it would need to be groundbreaking technology capable of neutralising today’s aerial threats.
One of the reasons for opposing Trident is that the US will support us in the event of an invasion, or so the critics hope. Ultimately, it’s up to NATO what to do if Britain comes under attack and the wheels of diplomacy grind slowly.
But Israel seems to have a nuclear deterrent as well as their highly evolved interception systems. Why can’t we have both?
It comes down to funding and appropriation of funds. Here’s how the Ministry of Defence divvy up their budget:
The UK’s arsenal is indeed mighty but its defence systems are lacking, in my opinion and seem limited to the Trident system, the naval fleet and the drone variants. These systems are not immediately effective in the event of an attack and it is likely that Great Britain would suffer catastrophic casualties before a counter-strike was initiated. The systems would likely not intercept a sophisticated ICBM armed with nuclear warheads but are highly effective against other types of supersonic missile.
Russia and America lead the way in anti-ballistic missile defence with systems capable of intercepting nuclear armed ICBM’s (although the race to overachieve and penetrate one another’s defences is always on). Israel’s Arrow and David’s Sling projects are highly evolved, the Arrow 3 being developed to counter nuclear devices and also destroy satellites. America, Russia and the rest of the world’s systems can be found below.
Britain has a fleet of naval destroyers equipped with countermeasures but compared to other countries, it is not fully equipped to tackle a nuclear threat. And let’s face it, if any bomb falls on Britain, it’s likely to be atomic.