An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod

1. Figuring out the Iron Dome:

As I kept reading and seeing television reports last week about how the Iron Dome missile defense system was doing such a good job protecting Israel from Hamas’ rockets, this intriguing story by the highly regarded veteran journalist James Fallows appeared on the Atlantic website.

Fallows points to other reports suggesting that the system’s success might have been greatly exaggerated and, in fact, that in the midst of war, reporters – he singles out this Washington Post story — often get seduced by military officials and weapons makers into overstating how effective some new piece of weaponry has been.

So, there is obviously a lot more work to be done here figuring out just how good the Iron Dome really is.

Beyond that, there’s the business story related to who makes the system. Fallows’ Atlantic story, and the one he refers to in the Post, vaguely refer to American and Israeli’s “contractors.” Who? How much did the system cost and what would it cost to replicate it?

Which raises the bigger question: If the Iron Dome works even partly as well as the Post and others have suggested, why haven’t whoever the contractors are tried to sell it for deployment in other regions endangered by close-range missiles – such as South Korea?