American Inaction Has Provoked Iran

As Tehran has gradually escalated its attacks on the U.S. and on commercial shipping—both directly and through its proxies—Washington has responded hesitantly and with minimal force out of fear of provoking escalation and finding itself in a broader conflict. This approach has predictably sent the ayatollahs the message that they can act with impunity, yielding exactly the sort of escalation the White House hoped to avoid. On Sunday, an Iran-backed militia in Syria carried out a drone strike on a U.S. base in Jordan, killing three American soldiers and wounding 34 others. Richard Goldberg writes:

The deadly assault . . . was the 159th Iran-directed attack on American forces in the Middle East since October 17. . . . But these assaults didn’t start on October 17. U.S. Central Command’s chief testified to Congress last year that Iran had directed 78 attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria from January 2021 to March 2023.

These attacks left two other contractors dead and many more Americans injured. Tehran never once paid a price for these strikes. Nor does it today. To the contrary, Biden has rewarded the ayatollah to the tune of $100 billion—including massive revenue from the non-enforcement of U.S. oil sanctions over three years, a $6 billion ransom payment, and a $10 billion sanctions waiver renewed in November.

Biden’s ideological commitment to appeasing Tehran has incentivized these nonstop attacks. . . . His crippling fear of escalation has guaranteed escalation on all fronts—from the October 7 Hamas massacre to Hizballah missiles raining on northern Israel to Houthi strikes in the Red Sea to Iran’s accelerating production of high-enriched uranium to the attacks on American troops.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Iran, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security