The irony of the iron dome : intelligent defense systems, law, and security
Daphné Richemond-Barak, Ayal Feinberg
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Harvard national security journal, Vol. 7, issue 2, 2016, p. 469-525
International law does not directly address intelligent defense systems (IDSs), of which Israel’s Iron Dome embodies the most successful implementation to date. This Article argues that international humanitarian law (“IHL”) should encourage the development and use of systems like Iron Dome by conceptualizing such systems as civil defense. That IHL should incentivize IDSs is not as obvious as it may seem. While incentivizing IDSs would uphold humanitarian law's ultimate purpose (i.e., the protection of civilians), the data suggests that IDS deployment can lead to an increase in rockets and the (re)emergence of violent tactics. IDSs also challenge the prevailing logic of IHL, which is typically focused on protecting the other side and not one's own. However, IHL should choose to incentivize intelligent defense systems for reasons grounded in humanitarian law itself, data analysis on Iron Dome, and offense-defense theory.
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