Skip to comments.Despite billions spent on missile shields, US troops were defenseless when Iran attacked
Posted on 01/16/2020 9:20:03 PM PST by Zhang Fei
In the early morning darkness of Jan. 8, several thousand U.S. troops huddled in Saddam Hussein-era bunkers in western Iraq as 11 ballistic missiles rained destruction on parts of the sprawling al Asad air base Iran's promised "harsh revenge" for the killing of its top general, Qassem Soleimani, in a U.S. drone strike five days earlier.
The night sky lit up, and the bunkers shook as two waves of missiles struck over an hour and a half, sending a shockwave through the air and rattling some American troops who were above ground standing watch.
Even with the benefit of an advance warning of the attack, there was little the troops could do but duck and cover and hope it would not be their day to die.
"All is well!" President Trump tweeted when the attack was over. "So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!"
But despite well over $350 billion spent in the past three decades, when they were most needed to protect U.S. forces and potentially prevent an escalation to all-out war, America's vaunted missile defenses were missing in action.
From the tours the military gave reporters two days later, it was clear that while a warning from the Iraqis gave the United States time to disperse its forces and lower the risk of casualties, the fact that no one died or suffered more than a concussion was also due in large part to sheer luck.
It was also apparent that there were no defenses against ballistic missiles protecting the U.S. troops at the base despite the rising tensions with and direct threats from Iran, which possesses a formidable arsenal of both ballistic and cruise missiles.
A request by the Washington Examiner for an explanation of
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
Iran tried to shoot down a cruise missile and hit a plane. Or at least that was their excuse.
Blame rests on the Democrats entirely.
Their irrational opposition to missile defense
has delayed and stymied America's missile
Jamie McIntyre joined the Washington Examiner in 2016 as senior writer covering defense and national security. His newsletter, Jamie McIntyres Daily on Defense goes out each weekday morning to thousands of national security professional and opinion leaders. An internationally known journalist with more than 40 years of experience, he served as CNNs military affairs and senior Pentagon correspondent from 1992-2008 and Al Jazeera Americas national security correspondent from 2014-2016. McIntyre began his career in radio in 1976 at WTOP, the all-news station in Washington, and was a newscaster for NPRs "All Things Considered" from 2011-2014. He holds a bachelor's degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where he also serves as an adjunct instructor.
Sounds like the Examiner is hiring liberals now.
You’re right. Missile Defense works pretty well. But in order to work it has to be deployed, manned, supplied, guarded... With the pressure to get out of Iraq it would be hard to justify putting more assets and personnel in country, increasing our footprint there.
Let me give you a clue. Those systems are incredibly expensive and the tech involved highly classified. Israel deploys them in their own country to protect their civilian population.
To expose that tech in a highly unstable area to protect combat troops is never going to happen.
Only a clueless civilian would make such ludicrous an argument. The people deployed to such areas are trained combat troops. The risks of deployment to danger zones is what they signed up for, are trained for, and fully understand the risks of.
Not a one of them would agree to expose such advanced and classified technology to protect them.
In fact, they would give their lives to protect such from falling into the hands of any enemy.
The idiot who wrote this article hasnt a clue about the implications of what he advocates for. In fact, his article screams loudly to his ignorance.
Wasn’t able to read the article.
I read that they hustled missile defense systems over there when the threat evolved, but the attack came before they were operational.
Not as defenseless as they were in Benghazi I bet!!!
We need to get our guys out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria pronto. There is no public support for missions in these places and no clear mission to fulfill besides perpetually patrolling perpetual belligerents, which is not America’s responsibility and experience hath shewn leads to poor outcomes.
[Only a clueless civilian would make such ludicrous an argument. The people deployed to such areas are trained combat troops. The risks of deployment to danger zones is what they signed up for, are trained for, and fully understand the risks of.
Not a one of them would agree to expose such advanced and classified technology to protect them.]
Correct. Those people were sacrificed for a political agenda.
That happens almost weekly in Israel. Those systems are under joint development with the USA and Israel.
Israel has an incredible array of missile defense systems TO PROTECT CIVILIAN POPULATIONS because they have at least 50,000 missiles aimed at them.
This writer is very disingenuous and deceptive, if not downright deceitful. Better than any ballistic missile defense around military installations in the Iraqi desert was the certainty of complete and total destruction had any American been hurt or killed.
I’m sure those troops had some perfectly fine underground bunkers available.
i would add consideration of the possibility that the calculus had already been made that the specific circumstances did not warrant deployment of such an expensive system. using a complex system incurs its own risks, such as risk of capture and reverse engineering, or reverse deployment, or deployment incurring civilian or friendly casualties, and/or that alternative and more cost effective, safer methods had been found and employed— such as bunkers.
most everyone at a desert military base imho needs bunkers. if bunkers can do the job, then why throw extra costly and unnecessary hardware at a problem that has already been solved?
Correct. Under no circumstances would such a system be deployed under those circumstances. Ever. The risk of Tech exposure (the primary concern) and cost, given the Risk Benefit Analysis makes this a Never Going to Happen scenario.
The author is a clueless, ignorant fool with no military knowledge or experience.
He simply had to provide some content to earn a check and he chose this topic.
One he’s totally clueless and about.
But, it satisfied his contractual agreement with the “news” source to provide a certain amount of content per month/week/day.
make military pensions switch to 401K's and stop rewarding people for grinding it out in something they do not love nor cherish and get people to work in the military because they love their country.....what a concept...
the military/industrial complex is not loyal to our country....
“It’s pretty amazing that all this money has been spent on research but so few systems have deployed”
Every month a new development comes along that freezes the deciders.
They keep thinking about saving that budget request for when the Holy Grail is finally found.
And current systems are extraordinarily expensive. A full-on commitment is 10X what’s been spent so far. Or more.
And best case with current tech is about 75% effectiveness when you fire two.
It’s prudent to wait another year or two before tripling down.
Because it could end up being lasers or other directed energy weapons.
Besides, everyone knows the best Defense is a good Offense.
I guess so. The whole article makes it sound like our poor little soldiers are quaking in fear, hoping they wont die today. Give me a break!
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