Final Word from Monday, October 22, 2007

Remember when Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. can't be expected to let anyone veto U.S. security policy? Well, strike that. According to the FT and Int. Herald Tribune, the U.S. has made major new concessions to Russia about missile defense. The most important is a promise to deploy the system on the basis of threat, with the U.S. and Russia to decide jointly on the nature of the threat. Given that Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Iran doesn't present a nuclear threat, this promise gives Russia an easy veto - if it chooses to use it - on deploying the missile-defense system. This doesn't mean a deal won't eventually be struck, though, because Moscow could accrue other benefits from working with Washington. Kowtowing to Russia at such a late date weakens the U.S.'s position, but it improves the CR's. It increases the odds that the CR's European partners will finally sign off on the missile-defense plans.[Czech Republic Financial Times International radar Poland Nato EU]


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