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Truth Through Combat

Missiles and Anti-Missile Missiles

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20090302/120375219.html

Two possibilities should be considered: 
  • Deception on the part of the U.S. — that it will continue to develop a missile shield while telling the Russians they have stopped. 
  • Deception on the part of the Russians — that they will string the Americans along in order to give the impression that they are helping with Iran.
Observations:
  • A lot will hinge on who moves first: if the U.S. is expected to withdraw its missile emplacements from eastern Europe, then it will need assurances that Iran will be handled. But how could Russia give such an assurance? 
  • If Russia moves first, then what guarantee will there be that it has successfully tamed Iran? What guarantee will the U.S. accept? 
  • The U.S. apparently made the offer. It must know that it will never have satisfactory proof that Russia has done enough to keep Iran from developing the weapon. So, why would it make the offer? Is it to paint the Russians into a corner? 
  • If the Russians say no, then they look like they’re backing Iranian aggression. 
  • The Russians have to say yes, but they don’t have to actually do anything. They can collude with the Iranians to string the Americans along. 
  • Best-case scenario for the Americans — they cancel a relatively cheap weapons system while getting improved relations with Iran. It also gives the U.S. a better image among Europeans. 
  • The offer makes the U.S. look weak in Russia. The Russians know that the Americans have the weak hand by virtue of the paucity of guarantees the Americans would have of Russian/Iranian cooperation. So, what are the Russians thinking? Knowing that the U.S. knows it has the weak hand empowers Russia to make inroads into the Ukraine and Georgia. This should give it the small edge it needs to break the stalemate over control of gas delivery into Europe. 
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