Sunday, April 5, 2009

Obama to Build Missile Shield against Iran Threat

President Barack Obama confirmed today in Prague that the US will move forward with a plan to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe against the threat posed by Iran.

“Let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies,” Obama said. [AFP, 5 April]

Obama called on Iran to limit its nuclear program for peaceful purposes and agree to rigorous international inspections.

"We want Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations, politically and economically. We will support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections. That is a path that the Islamic Republic can take," Obama said.

"Or the government can choose increased isolation, international pressure, and a potential nuclear arms race in the region that will increase insecurity for all."

It is becoming apparent that the emerging Iran policy in Obama administration is centered on accepting a limited uranium enrichment program, with low level enrichment, and rigorous IAEA inspections, but tough economic and political sanctions if the Iranians fail to accept the compromise limiting the country’s nuclear program.


Anonymous said...

Please on't tell me you are also fooled by Obama smooth rhetoric.
America is bankrupt! Stay the course and watch and prepare fot them Zionist crazies

Nader Uskowi said...

I do not believe we can analyze complex political situations by repeating the phrase “Zionist crazies.”

Kemjika said...

wow, this seems to be another case where Obama is literally following BUsh, and doing something politically that US probably shouldn't be doing. Note this: That ABM shield in Poland will never see the day of Light. Putin will make sure Russia destroys it before it is fully functional. If it does come to fruition, the US can forget help from Russia in the US with regards to dealing with Iran.This is really a surprising move i thought Obama would not continue...

Anonymous said...

He left some wiggle room in the speech by mentioning in several different ways that the system must work before it is built. Since, by all accounts, the missiles don't really work, I think he can drop the plan whenever it's diplomatically or politically convenient to do so. But, being in the Czech Republic and all, he felt obligated to make mention of it, since the Czech government expended considerable political capital in convincing their people they should participate. He needed to acknowledge that the CR's contribution was valued, I think.

But the system remains trade bait in negotiations with the Russians. Since the Iranian missiles are more "IRBM" than "ICBM," the US Navy's SM-6 missiles are quite capable of intercepting them from positions in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Perhaps this is why the USN has, of late, been asserting quite loudly their right to navigate in the Black Sea, against the Russian objection that the Black Sea should be open only to the navies of those nations that border it.

Never forget the importance of US domestic politics and, in this context, its service politics as well. Aegis/SM-6 is a NAVY program. The Ground-based Midcourse Interceptor missile is an ARMY project. The Airborne Laser is an AIR FORCE project. This is why the GMI keeps getting funding even though the Navy system is much more successful. Pentagon funding politics dictates that everyone gets a share of the money.

US domestic politics dictates that as a program becomes controversial it is that it be funded as an expression of "will." Thus, the GMD program gets ever more funding not because it works, but precisely because it doesn't work. Voting for a system that doesn't work shows just how enthusiastic you are about the concept.

Since Iran has neither ICBMs or nuclear weapons, this is really more of a story about the US and Europe and Russia in which Iran is an object around which the plot turns.

Anonymous said...

If we want to say to Iran, don’t develop nuclear weapons because if you develop them then everybody in the region is going to want them and you’ll have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and that will be dangerous for everybody — if we want to say that to Iranians, it helps if we are also saying, “and we will reduce our own,” so that we have more moral authority in those claims.

The US has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal. Reducing it by 10% makes no strategic difference nor changes any of the dynamics of US power based on menacing the world with the possibility of total annihilation. Note how he morphs from ‘disarm’ to ‘reduce’ when it comes to US power!

The Iranians know that having no nukes means the US will sponsor invasions such as when we helped Saddam attack Iran. Iran also complains, the US never mentions Israel’s nukes. Any talk of disarming anyone has to include that hyper-military state.