A Goliath and David Partnership: U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Collaboration from 1983 to 2016
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Fogarty, Francesca J.
Ballistic missiles and projectiles such as rockets provide the threat of large-scale damage to not only military but also civilian targets, with potentially high casualties. This technology was widely proliferated during the Cold War era, and many countries continue to develop ballistic technology today. These systems are attractive to states and non-state actors because of their relatively low cost compared to the high level of damage they can cause. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, it has experienced tense relations with its Arab neighbors, which possess ballistic weaponry. Since Ronald Reagan’s 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) invitation for defensive collaboration, the United States and Israel have partnered in the field of ballistic missile defense (BMD). Prior to 1983, Israel espoused a purely offensive-defense strategic mentality, in which it was willing to start wars for the sake of protecting its territory and its people. The creation of BMD systems such as the Arrow Weapon System (AWS), Iron Dome, and David’s Sling has enabled Israel to enjoy a layer of multi-tiered defense against a variety of ballistic threats. The United States, as part of this BMD partnership, has benefited from the technological advancement as well. This paper examines the bilateral collaboration and the mindsets of both the United States and Israel which led to the development of this ballistic weapon shield from the time period of 1983 until 2016.|Key words: United States, Israel, ballistic missile, Arrow, Iron Dome, David’s Sling
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