The responsibility for the Iceland Air Defense System (IADS) will shift from America to the government of Iceland on August 15th and so too will the cost of its operation. As the hand over date approaches, many are wondering what role the system will play in the future of world security. Reports from Reykjavik last Friday indicate that even in a time of conflict, it seems unlikely the system will ever see use.
IADS is a network of radars placed in four locations around Iceland. To date, the system has been run by the American government, who has also been responsible for the 12.6 million dollars it costs to operate the system every year.
The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the parliament, Bjarni Benediktsson, told a local newspaper that it is unlikely the IADS will be used, even in a period of armed conflict.
Benediktsson pointed out that under Iceland’s bilateral agreement with America, the safety of Iceland is guaranteed by the U.S. military, who are far more likely to use their own radar systems in a time of attack.
If this is indeed the case, the logic of operating such a costly system seems questionable.