Streetwise Professor

April 16, 2008

Facts are Stubborn Things

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:11 am

The essence of Putin’s argument that the American missile defense system in Europe is directed against Russia is that since the ostensible reason–defense against an Iranian missile attack–is palpably implausible, its only possible purpose is to undermine Russia’s nuclear forces. It will be interesting to see how Putin and Russia respond to this intelligence revealed by Jane’s Intelligence Review:

Avital Johanan, the editor of Jane’s Proliferation, said that the analysis of the Iranian site indicated that Tehran may be about five years away from developing a 6,000km ballistic missile. This would tie in with American intelligence estimates and underlines why President Bush wants the Polish and Czech components of the US missile defence system to be up and running by 2013.

I await Russia’s reaction with baited breath. If the reaction is just more denial and vitriol, it will be clear that the Russian position is pure posturing intended stymie the United States, just another part of an obstructionist foreign policy that aims to profit opportunistically from conflict, especially turmoil in the Middle East–turmoil that just so happens to redound to Russia’s economic benefit (via higher energy prices.) Alternatively, if Russia responds to the information seriously, there just may be some hope that Russia will play a constructive role in corralling Iran.

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