Extensive US-Israel Missile Defense Exercise

–by Jordan Rohde

The United States and Israel will participate in a large-scale joint military exercise in 2012 to strengthen the coordination between the two countries’ missile defense systems. The defense exercise, called Operation Juniper Cobra, will prove to be “one of the most complex and extensive yet” between the United States and Israel. The Obama Administration’s commitment to participate reinforces the already strong ties between the United States and Israel and reiterates to the world that the Obama Administration is fully behind Israel.

More after the jump.
The Jerusalem Post reported:

In the face of Iran’s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Israel and the United States will hold a large-scale missile defense exercise in the beginning of next year aimed at improving operational coordination between both countries’ defense systems…

The purpose of the exercise is to create the necessary infrastructure that would enable interoperability between Israeli and American missile defense systems in case the US government decided to deploy these systems here in the event of a conflict with Iran, like it did ahead of the Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.

‘Juniper Cobra shows us how to defend not only with Israeli assets but also with American assets,’ Arieh Herzog, head of the Defense Ministry’s Homa Missile Defense Agency, said on Monday at the 2nd Annual Israel Multinational Missile Defense Conference near Tel Aviv.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Frank Rose discussed the continued partnership between the U.S. and Israel:

Together we can work to protect what our adversaries would put at risk, both now and in the future…. Our mutual commitment to cooperation on missile defense research and development, on deploying proven technologies and weapon systems such as the Arrow, and on gaining operational experience through joint exercises and training, will go far in enhancing Israeli security and our mutual interests, and in further cementing and expanding our partnership.

The Jerusalem Post continued:

Col. Shahar Shohat, commander of the Israel Air Force’s Wing, responsible for Israel’s missile defense systems, expressed hope that the country’s enemies will realize that their investment in rockets and missiles is not worthwhile due to the deployment of new defense systems.

‘This could happen if they understand that we have effective systems and they will not be able to attack what they want to attack,’ he said.

Shohat also praised the effectiveness of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which received crucial support from the Obama Administration. Shohat said:

The presence of the Iron Dome provided a response by intercepting the rockets and gave the leadership room to maneuver and make decisions…