Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize President sends Aegis cruisers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East

The New York Times is reporting that the U.S. is escalating efforts to provide missile defense to its reluctant allies in the Middle East.:

The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four Arab countries, according to administration and military officials.

Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait have accepted American Patriot missiles, military officials said.

The deployments come at a critical turning point in President Obama’s dealings with Iran. He is warning that his diplomatic outreach will now be combined with the “consequences,” as he put it in the State of the Union address, of the country’s continued defiance on its nuclear program. The administration is trying to win broad international consensus for sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which Western nations say controls the military side of the nuclear program.

As part of that effort, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton publicly warned China on Friday that its opposition to sanctions was shortsighted.

The news that the United States is deploying antimissile defenses — including a rare public discussion of them by Gen. David H. Petraeus — appears to be part of a coordinated administration strategy to increase pressure on Iran.

The deployments are also partly intended to counter the impression that Iran is fast becoming the most powerful military force in the Middle East and to forestall any Iranian escalation of its confrontation with the West if a new set of sanctions is imposed. In addition, the administration is trying to show Israel that there is no immediate need for military strikes against Iranian nuclear and missile facilities, according to administration officials, all of whom requested anonymity.

By highlighting the defensive nature of the buildup the administration was hoping to avoid a sharp response from Tehran.
So the buildup is designed to allay the existential fears of Israel while simultaneously avoiding a sharp response from Iran?  Meanwhile, Obama sends Secretary of State Clinton to Paris to scold China for its lack of support for Iranian sanctions in the same week that his administration announced  its plans to sell $6.4 billion of weapons and aircraft to Taiwan in compliance with the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

The President's stalled domestic agenda is about to look like a cake walk.

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