Since the speeches on the floor of the UN – the now infamous simplistic bomb cartoon presented by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the issue of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons has been largely “out of sight, out of mind” for the U.S. people. But, in Israel, it remains a major issue, and the Israel Defense Forces have been busy upgrading the Iron Dome system that is the last defense for Israeli citizens in the line of fire of missiles launched by enemies on the borders. In spite of an apparent decline in general scientific research in Israel, the military research and development there is still thriving.
The fact that Iran and Turkey seem to be pulling ahead of Israel in scientific research is at least in part due to investments from abroad. Multiple nations in the Middle East, with the noted exception of Israel, have enjoyed financial and scholastic investments from developed nations, according to Thomson Reuters.
“The researchers note that the rapid progress in the Middle Eastern countries is the result of high investments, new initiatives to construct research centers, collaboration with high-quality universities of developed countries and more. Thus, for example, Saudi Arabia recently inaugurated a science and technology university with an investment of $20 billion. In Qatar, an “education city” was built on an expanse of 14 square kilometers — the size of [Israeli city of] Kfar Saba — boasting six branches of leading universities from all over the world. Not far from there, an $8 billion research center will be inaugurated this year. In Abu Dhabi, renewable energy [and sustainability] research is being studied with the cooperation of leading American universities.
But the highest scientific research activity rate is to be found in Iran. According to the Thomson Reuters report, the scope of Iran’s research activity is growing at a yearly rate that is 11 times greater than the rest of the world’s countries. According to the report, impressive progress exists in 14 Middle Eastern countries (except for Israel that was not tested). These countries include: Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. In 2000-2009 research output grew in these countries, and the number of articles they publish now constitute four percent of the world output, compared to two percent of the output a decade ago. This represents a larger scientific research growth rate than anywhere else in the world.”
Israel’s scientific research at this point is largely limited to defense projects, for what should be obvious reasons. The U.S. continues to support the Israeli military financially, and otherwise. While there may some argument over the costs, it could be argued that aid to Israel is the only foreign aid investment that could have a real payoff. The majority of Israel’s military research and development is based on the needs of the military in the field. That has caused Israel to have a very efficient and responsive defense industry. And they have made successes of previous U.S. failures. Whether it’s the acquisition of Israeli made weapons, or the adoption of some of the IDF practices when it comes to defense technology, the U.S. only needs to choose to take advantage of Israeli innovation, instead of just handing over cash and weapons.
Israel is running war games to simulate an attack on Iran. They are assuming U.S. backing to at least some extent, and that Iran would back down fairly quickly without the help of terrorist elements in the region. Their simulation offers a highly optimistic result for what could happen, since it’s unlikely that Iran’s allies – Arab nations in the region in general – would respond the way Israel is assuming at this point. The fact that they need to do these simulations, and broadcast their results to the world is directly related to the strained relations between Israel and the U.S. during the Obama administration. The fact that they pointed out that the “game” was played assuming the U.S. was an ally implies they are planning for an eventuality where that is not the case. Israel is the only real ally to the U.S. in that region, and if that would change, it would be disastrous for both nations. Granted, Israel would suffer the most, and the quickest – but a return to fuel rationing, and years of rampant terrorist attacks against westerners in the region is not an unrealistic outcome to the loss of Israel as a nation or an ally. And it would be only a matter of time before what Netanyahu foretold on the floor of the
UN – a nuclear-armed Iran would mean the possibility of terrorists using nuclear weapons on U.S. soil. The question should be, why is Israel the only nation other than Iran preparing for war?