By giving only lukewarm verbal support for missile defense, slashing the overall defense budget, and dealing with Russians and others to signal weak support for missile defense, President Obama will curtail the nation’s and allied missile defense efforts drastically without even mentioning the program.
Already he has reportedly offered to eliminate the European missile defense effort in a some kind of deal with Russia in exchange for Russian help with Iran’s nuclear program.
Consequently, European allies see the U.S. as not really interested in missile defnese any more.
And the Administration has backed away from military planners who suggested the U.S. should shoot down the next long range North Korean missile test.
Despite great strides and successes in the military’s missile defense effort — and even a successful test just last night in Hawaii — missile defense is a likely “bill payer” in the president’s budget scheme….and it will not be debated on its merits in this environment….
Czech’s Pull Missile Shield Plan from Parliament
Rookie Mistake With Russia?
Russian Baragaining Chip Is All Paper
Iran was signed two years ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.cited a top defense official Wednesday as confirming that a contract to sell powerful air-defense missiles to
Russian officials have consistently denied claims the country already has provided some of the S-300 missiles to Iran. They have not said whether a contract existed.
The state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies and the independent Interfax quoted an unnamed top official in the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service as saying the contract was signed two years ago. Service spokesman Andrei Tarabrin told The Associated Press he could not immediately comment.
Supplying S-300s to Iran would change the military balance in theand the issue has been the subject of intense speculation and diplomatic wrangling for months.
Israel and the U.S. fear that, were Iran to possess S-300 missiles, it would use them to protect its nuclear facilities — including the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz or the country’s first atomic power plant, which is now being built by Russian contractors at .
That would make aon the Iranian facilities much more difficult.
It was not clear why the missiles have not been delivered, but the reports cited the defense official as saying “fulfillment of the contract will mainly depend on the current international situation and the decision of the country’s leadership.”
That could indicate that Russia intends to use the contract as a bargaining chip before next month’s meeting between and .
But the defense official said Russia does not intend to abandon the contract, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, ITAR-Tass said,
A prominent Russian analyst, Ruslan Pukhov of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said the missile contract was seen by the Kremlin as primarily a political rather than commercial matter.
“The S-300 contract, and cooperation with Iran in general, is regarded by Moscow only as an instrument of political bargaining with the West and not as a way of realizing the fundamental defense and commercial interests of Russia,” he was quoted as saying by RIA-Novosti.