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Iron Dome Success Sparks Defense Spending Initiative

Israel's Iron Dome Defense System
Israel's Iron Dome Defense System

In the wake of Pillar of Defense success, Iron Dome spending may balloon from $210 million to $680 million.

Congress wants to at least double the Obama administration’s funding request for anti-missile cooperation with Israel. Obama asked Congress for $99.9 million in 2013 for “Israel co-operative programs,” which include operations like the long-range Arrow anti-missile system and the short-range David’s Sling.

The U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year recommended adding $168 million to that request, and the Senate recommended adding $100 million in its own National Defense Authorization Act. The bill separately authorizes new funding for Iron Dome, the short-range anti-missile system Israel used to deflect most rockets targeting populated areas that were launched from the Gaza Strip during its recent conflict with Hamas terrorists.

The Senate recommends $420 million for Iron Dome, double the $210 million the Obama administration is expected to request, and the House recommended $680 million. Those amounts will be reconciled by a conference committee.

Funding for cooperation on missile programs like Arrow and David’s Sling is not considered assistance because it benefits U.S. as well as Israeli defense development.

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