US officials are looking forward to trumpeting the illusory threat posed by the Iranian military once again next month when the Pentagon launches a “mock-Iranian missile” for the military to practice shooting down.
The $150 million test will involve shooting a fake missile from the Marshall Island and then trying to destroy it. Officials say the “Iranian attack” will be challenging for the missile defense system.
Yet Iran’s missile arsenal has a decidedly limited range, capable of hitting Israel and the tip of Europe with its Shahaab-3 missile, but nowhere near the capacity to launch a missile at California. Even if Iran somehow controlled the Marshall Islands, which are about halfway between Iran and the United States, they still wouldn’t have a missile that could go that far.
Iran’s “threat” is an important message for US officials as they try to convince the public that the nation needs to be attacked. The fact that this drill involves an impossible attack from a mythical Iranian missile suggests the $150 million cost is more a public relations stunt than anything to do with legitimate security.