Obama's message to the Russians: Let's make a deal
I hope that this effort succeeds:
Russian cooperation is essential if the U.S. and its allies are to reach a diplomatic solution that averts a potentially disastrous confrontation with a nuclear-capable Iran. In this game of strategic chicken, the U.S. is betting that the Russians are no more enthusiastic about the prospect of Iranian nukes than we are, but that they view the deployment of NATO missile defenses in Eastern Europe as the greater long-term threat.
(New York Times) WASHINGTON — President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday.The letter to President Dmitri A. Medvedev was hand-delivered in Moscow by top administration officials three weeks ago. It said the United States would not need to proceed with the interceptor system, which has been vehemently opposed by Russia since it was proposed by the Bush administration, if Iran halted any efforts to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.
The Bush administration's full throttle efforts to deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic have provided President Obama and his national security team with a strong hand to play. So far, it looks like they're playing it wisely.