Onlookers at Gush Dan Iron Dome battery 370.
(photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
During last week’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Israelis and the world at large witnessed the unprecedented success of the Iron Dome air defense system. After all was said and done, Iron Dome operators successfully shot down more than 87 percent of incoming grad, katyusha, and qassam rockets over Israeli urban centers, saving countless lives. However, this new capability may cost Israel its grand strategy for achieving a lasting peace with defensible borders in the long term. Ultimately, the Iron Dome’s success may have limited the Jewish State's ability to act against militant groups, inciting such groups to execute more innovative methods of attack, thus making a sequel for Pillar of Defense ever more imminent.After witnessing the tactical, operational, and strategic advantages the Iron Dome provided during eight days of heavy rocket fire, the debate over how the system affects Israel's grand strategy continues. One of the more compelling arguments against wide scale use of the Iron Dome is rooted in the nature of the war that is fought between Israel and Palestinian militants. Israel, like many Western countries, fights post-heroic warfare, characterized by the disinclination to make sacrifices, or to endanger innocents. On the other hand, the actions of Palestinian militants can be differentiated as heroic warfare, due to the high level willingness to target civilian population and yes, even to die for their cause.