JERUSALEM (Aug. 10)
If foreign press reports about an Israeli request for American Lance missiles and Washington’s coolness to the request are true, this is readily understandable in terms of American global thinking. Israel’s foremost military commentator said last night over Kol Yisroel. Gen. Chaim Herzog, former Commander of the Israel Defense Forces, said the range of the Lance is more than 60 miles, not “in excess of 50 miles” as reported yesterday by the New York Times. He added that it can be fired both from the ground and from the air and that its multiple warhead can be armed with either conventional or nuclear weapons. An Israeli request for such a missile, Herzog said, might stem from the fact that no single type of weapon–only an integrated weapons system–is sufficient to counter any one type of Egyptian weapon, such as one of its Soviet missile bases. American coolness toward Israel’s reported request may stem from the following reasons, according to Herzog: The United States advocates an arms balance not only in the Middle East but everywhere: the U.S. would not like, at this time, to be the supplier of a new type of weapon to the Mideast, and the fact that a nuclear warhead can be attached to the Lance would make the U.S. more hesitant to sell it as Washington would be lending itself to easy exploitation by the Soviet and Arab propaganda machinery. The Lance has not yet been used even by American troops.