03 October, 2007

Think the U.S.-Soviet Cold War is Over? Think Again

Check out the sobering and highly insightful 'must-read' op-ed by Michael Rubin in this morning's WSJ ('Russian Roulette'). Ever wonder why sanctions on Iran have been impossible to obtain and why some of us have therefore thought it foolish to waste time pursuing them at all?

Russia and China have made billions as enablers to Iran's military ambitions. Less than a month after the 9/11 terror attacks, Moscow signed a $7 billion arms deal with Tehran. The Iranian government has paid Russia's state-owned Atomstroiexport more than $1 billion to construct the Bushehr nuclear plant. A 2003 CIA issued report credited Russian, Chinese and North Korean experts for Iran's ballistic-missile advances.

Alexander Denisov, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation said bluntly in 2005, "First of all, we have to count in our national interests. In Syria, we have a huge market, over 80% of Soviet-made arms. The same is true about Iran."...

Any conflict with Iran could drive oil over $120 a barrel. This would likely hurt the U.S. economy, but it would also accelerate Russia's return to a dominant position in the world.

Russian realists relish such a scenario. The Kremlin has converted its multibillion-dollar oil windfall into power and influence. Mr. Putin has increased defense procurement by more than 50% over the past two years. Russia has developed a new class of nuclear submarines and a new generation of nuclear missiles. Moscow leverages money into military strength.
My comments on all that? Try this or this or this for starters. Or this quote from Sir Isaac Newton: "About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up, who will turn their attention to the prophecies, in the midst of much clamor and opposition."