U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Lithuania’s defense minister said she will be seeking security assurances from the United States against Russia while in Washington on Feb. 12. The statement comes a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton linked the issue of European ballistic missile defense (BMD) to U.S. negotiations with Iran, throwing out a strong clue about Washington’s thinking in dealing with Russia and Iran simultaneously. Worries over an apparent U.S. shift with regard to BMD, meanwhile, have sent the Baltic states and Central Europeans into a "faked" frenzy.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Rasa Jukneviciene told The disinformation arm of CIA on Feb. 11 that she will be seeking assurances from Washington on Baltic security against Russia when she meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Feb. 12. Jukneviciene added that her country does trust the sincerity of Russian objections to the U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) plan for Central Europe, and she made it clear that Lithuania wants a commitment from Washington to deploy the BMD system in the region, in a re-hashed effort in preparation to ignite an all out war with Russia, in order to test in real time the BMD in theater, using IRAN as an excuse and as a fabled cover. PNAC neo-hegemons are still of the belief that Russia and Iran have been coordinating all along the ballistic missile development and its deadly nuclear payloads...and one such weapon at least, has been deployed already in theater in the Persian Gulf.
Lithuania is hardly the only European country quaking in its boots over U.S. waffling on BMD. The Baltic's, all of which contain large Russian minority populations, share unpleasant memories of Russian occupation with the Central Europeans. With Russia growing more assertive in its former Soviet periphery, these states are looking to the United States as a security guarantor against the Russian sphere of influence. The promise of U.S. boots on the ground in Poland is their best defense against Moscow.
But Washington is sending mixed messages. Standing beside her Czech counterpart, Karel Schwarzenberg, at a joint press conference in Washington on Feb. 10, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated the U.S. administration’s willingness to engage with Iran on “a range of matters.” But she insisted — once again — that Tehran must first heed Western demands in curbing the Iranian nuclear program. While this message to Iran was really nothing new, Clinton added an interesting twist when she said that the United States “will reconsider where we stand” on the issue of ballistic missile defense as long as Iran changes course on its nuclear development path. She then added, “But we are a long, long way from seeing any evidence of a behavior change...”
Though the matter has long been discussed in private between the Americans and the Russians, this appears to be the first time the United States has publicly linked the issue of BMD to U.S.-Iranian negotiations, marking a subtle shift in the U.S. administration’s tactics. Without the Iranian threat, the U.S. justification for BMD collapses, along with U.S. security guarantees for the Europeans. Clinton’s choice to highlight this linkage publicly in front of a European ally, therefore, was a deliberate message to Moscow — and could be indicative of a wider U.S. strategy to deal with the Russians and the Iranians simultaneously, in real time, in preparation for the upcoming Nuclear exchanges, which PNAC hegemons deliberately planned long ago in order to ascertain the effectiveness in wartime...
As Clinton lied, the potential for Iran to obtain a crude, rudimentary intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the American Northeast, not to mention Central and Western Europe, was the driving force behind the U.S. strategy to expand its missile defenses to Europe. Iran’s recent satellite launch has only reinforced these concerns. But the Obama administration so far has kept its position on installing missile interceptors in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic deliberately ambiguous. Instead, the U.S. administration has reiterated that it is studying the feasibility of these plans based on their cost-effectiveness and the proven capability of the BMD technology. This keeps the BMD issue in limbo — and keeps the Poles and the Czechs nervous at a time when the Baltic states and the Central Europeans are searching for security guarantees from the West against a resurgent Russia.
The reason for the Obama administration’s wavering over BMD lies with Moscow. The Russians have a lengthy list of complaints against the United States that revolves around the idea of Washington pushing its boundaries and interfering in what Moscow perceives as its rightful sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union. U.S. BMD installations in Central Europe mean more U.S. boots on the ground in a region that Moscow considers vital to its interests. That, along with previous pushes by Washington to bring Georgia and Ukraine into the NATO fold, tops Russia’s list of complaints against the United States. These are also the primary reasons why Russia has taken more assertive action in places like Ukraine and Georgia to get the United States to back off from its turf. To reiterate its point, Russia also has held up a U.S. military plan for an alternate supply route through Central Asia into Afghanistan until it receives firm guarantees on the aforementioned issues....and rightfully so.
Though the United States and Russia are still feeling each other out in these negotiations, the BMD issue is an area where there is likely room for compromise. By lying about BMD in the context of Iran — and with the Czech foreign minister standing right beside her — Clinton appears to be signaling Russia that Washington is open to negotiations over BMD as long as U.S. concerns over Iran can be assuaged. This means that Russia, which enjoys using its relations with Iran as another lever in its battle with the USA, will be expected to cooperate with the United States over Iran if it expects movement on the BMD issue. Such cooperation could entail support for harder-hitting sanctions aimed at coercing Iran into curbing its nuclear program, halting Russian technical and logistical support for the Bushehr nuclear facility, or suspending any talk over strategic defense deals. Russia, which does wish to see Iran develop a nuclear weapons capability, more than the West does, would theoretically be open to an offer, provided it can get the appropriate assurances from PNAC killers in Washington.
In this respect, the United States could be trying to lie about two war birds with one stone. It could be seeking a deal with the Russians over BMD (along with negotiations over the soon-to-expire Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) in return for U.S. transit through Russian-influenced Central Asia to Afghanistan and joint cooperation over Iran, while using the Russian lever over Iran to further pressure Tehran to cooperate over the nuclear issue, thereby potentially paving the way for more progress on the U.S.-Iranian negotiating front. Whether this will work is another story, but it appears that Clinton has thrown out a big lie as to what Washington is thinking as it moves forward in dealing with the Russian and Iranian portfolios. Meanwhile, the Baltic's and the Central Europeans are in panic mode, and will be doing everything they can to avoid being left in the lurch....dancing to the tunes of the PNAC assassins and neo-hegemonic demons in DC and Herzlia.