Letter to President Obama - Israel's Iron Dome

Letter

By:  Ron Barber
Date: March 22, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

March 12, 2013

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to respectfully request that you provide increased funding for the Iron Dome air defense system in your Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request to Congress.

I know you agree, that the safety of Israel is paramount, not just as an important ally and friend to the United States, but for the cause of regional stability and peace in the Middle East. In order to ensure regional stability and the protection of Israel from harm, a robust, multi-layered air defense system must be in place.

The Iron Dome system has proven successful in defending Israel from the onslaught of rockets and missiles targeting Israeli civilians. As we saw late last year in the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, this system is effective and critical to the safety and security of the Israeli people. The Israeli military plans to deploy additional Iron Dome batteries across the country by 2015 and will require a total of between 10 and 15 batteries to adequately protect most urban areas. I believe we must work to support Israel in this mission and provide them with the additional resources necessary to speed up the production of these batteries.

Increasing our investment in the Iron Dome system will also create a unique opportunity to strengthen both of our counties, economically and militarily. While it is imperative that production of Iron Dome not be delayed, bringing together our best resources and standing up a production line for this system here in the United States would expedite delivery of the defense system and develop future redundancy and protection for production lines and support. For the fiscal year 2013, Congress authorized 211 million dollars for the Iron Dome program, and called for the exploration of co-production. This was a crucial investment, but much more is needed.

As the United States continues our long and proud commitment to stand by Israel, I urge your support for increased funding of the Iron Dome defense system and to encourage the exploration of future co-production to ensure we can best protect our friend and ally in times of need.

Thank you for your leadership and for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Ron Barber
Member of Congress