President Obama has apparently made an overture to the Russians, and reports are that he's considering trading our missile defense systems in Eastern Europe for cooperation from the Russians on controlling Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. How would you like to be our Ambassador in Poland this morning, when you find yourself summoned to the Head of State's office to explain just why it is he wasted all his domestic political capital in support of the US missile defense architecture, only to have the rug pulled out from under him by the new President? Perhaps our man in the Czech Republic will get a come-around also, wondering aloud why we'd coddle the Russians and play to the elites in Western Europe--you remember them--while the freedom loving people of Eastern Europe are cast adrift.
I realize that international relations is a reflection of national interest, and it is in our national interest for the Iranians not to have nuclear weapons. But have we decided all of a sudden that the Russians are the path to this goal? The world arms market is a veritable bazaar of destruction, and while the Russians are certainly influential, there are others who will step up in their place. Are we placing all our eggs in the Russian basket, potentially only to find that at some point we've alienated our emerging allies in Eastern Europe while Iran makes steady progress toward its own nuclear weapons?