Podcast: Thomas Karako on Israel and America's Missile-Defense Partnership

The national-security expert tells us how an Israeli interceptor ended up launching from Alaska.

An Arrow 3 rocket. Wikipedia.

An Arrow 3 rocket. Wikipedia.

Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic and Thomas Karako
Oct. 17 2019
About the authors

A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture.

This Week’s Guest: Thomas Karako


This past July, the Israeli military launched its most sophisticated defensive missiles to date through the atmosphere and into space. But the test didn’t take place, as one might assume, in Israel. Instead, it happened somewhere more unusual: Alaska. It thereby represented the latest consummation of decades of military and scientific partnership between Israel and the United States.

The Arrow 3 conveys a kill vehicle that constantly adjusts in order to intercept an incoming missile. In missile defense, this is called a “metal to metal” intercept, and it’s no small achievement: intercontinental ballistic missiles can travel three or four miles per second, and can move from Moscow to New York in 20 minutes.

What has it taken Israeli and American engineers to create such marvels of technology? The answer can be found in this episode of the Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic featuring Thomas Karako, senior fellow and director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In the podcast, Karako discusses the nature of U.S.-Israel cooperation on missile defense, what makes the Arrow 3 system special, and, generally, why this technology is so promising for America, Israel, and the free world.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble, as well as the original Broadway cast recording of Fiddler on the Roof and “Above the Ocean” by Evan MacDonald.


Every Thursday, the Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic will bring to your car/earbuds/home stereo/Alexa the latest in our efforts to advance Jewish thought. For more on the new podcast, check out our inaugural post here.

If you have thoughts about the podcast that you’d like to share, ideas for future guests and topics, or any other form of feedback, just send us an email at [email protected]. We’re grateful for your support, and we look forward to a new year of great conversations on Jewish essays and ideas.

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