Tension between the US and Iran heightened dramatically today with the disclosure that Barack Obama is deploying a missile shield to protect American allies in the Gulf from attack by Tehran.
The US is dispatching Patriot defensive missiles to four countries – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait – and keeping two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia develop a force to protect its oil installations.
American officials said the move is aimed at deterring an attack by Iran and reassuring Gulf states fearful that Tehran might react to sanctions by striking at US allies in the region. Washington is also seeking to discourage Israel from a strike against Iran by demonstrating that the US is prepared to contain any threat.
We are quick to jump on Obama when he makes bad judgment calls and decisions, when we feel he is lax on national security issues, so it is only fair to be just as quick to say kudos for doing something we feel is correct. Protecting our allies has always been an important part of our foreign affairs agenda and this move signals America's intent to continue to do so.
Via Press TV, we see reports that Ahmadinejad is planning to deliver a "harsh blow" to global arrogance on this year's anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which will be celebrated by Iran on February 11th.
The LA Times:
In a speech to the Institute of the Study of War in Washington on Jan. 22, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, offered broad details of the expanded U.S.-Gulf partnerships. He said then that the measures were being driven by a fear of Iranian actions in the region.
In the speech, Petraeus said that two Patriot missile batteries had been deployed in each of four different countries, which he did not name, and that Aegis ballistic missile cruisers were now stationed full time in the Gulf.
Early-warning agreements between various countries in the region, Petraeus said, were enabling the U.S. to create a "common operational picture" for the region to counter the Iranian missile threat.
"Iran is clearly seen as a very serious threat by those on the other side of the Gulf front, and indeed, it has been a catalyst for the implementation of the architecture that we envision and have now been trying to implement," Petraeus said.
In the meantime, the Senate passed Chris Dodd's Iran sanctions package on Thursday, and credit for getting it done has fallen to Joseph Lieberman who mediated the process.
A couple questions obviously come to mind here.
Did the Obama administration catch wind of whatever it is that Ahmadinejad is planning to unveil (think nuclear weapon capability)and is moving to defend our allies from an imminent attack?
Has Obama and his administration officials finally figured out you cannot negotiate with Iran?
Is this latest news Obama's way of preparing the International Community that Iran already has nuclear weapon capability and is preparing to use it?
Last but not least, via NRO and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, is all this a "conscious decision" within the Obama administration to "accept that Iran will become a nuclear-weapons state?"