America is inconsistent. Rice assures the Russians that missile defense in Poland and Czechoslovakia is intended against Iranian ballistic missiles. Why not station it in Negev, Israel, then? At the same time, the US fakes a tough stand against Iranian nuclear program. Can’t lie both ways. If America is determined to disallow nuclear weapons to Iran, then there’s no need for missile defense. Rice is correct that ten interceptors in Poland is merely a gesture, unable to counter the monstrous Russian arsenal of ballistic missiles. Like much else that America does in the area of foreign relations, missile base in Poland and radar base in Czech is PR. In this case, a languid attempt to irritate Moscow. The current Russian leadership is way smarter than the Soviet gerontocracy. Russia won’t answer in kind, with hyper-expensive ballistic missile defense of its own, but step on peripheral conflicts with America, such as Iranian nuclear build-up. Ideally, the ballistic bases in Eastern Europe are intended as a trade-off, to be canceled in exchange for the Russian acquiescence to sanctions against Iran. If so, that might work. Neither sanctions, nor Russian pressure would, however, distract Iran from its very feasible nuclear path.

Iran offered the world an interesting chance: mutual freezing of nuclear programs. Israel failed to act on similar offer from Egypt to ensure nuclear-free Middle East, stock her existing weapons and continue clandestine production. The US has enough nuclear weapons. It makes sense to stop. The current situation of the nuclear club prohibiting new contenders is not sustainable. The examples of India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, and scores of other countries on the verge of nuclear technology show that the whole world would soon go nuclear – unless the world agrees to freeze nuclear development. America has advanced conventional weapons capable of defeating any enemy in short war, and could produce enough low-tech weapons to sustain protracted war. It’s time to concentrate on the ways, acceptable to other countries, to end nuclear proliferation – even if reciprocally.