Iran Missile Defense Shield Good First Step

Baker Spring /

A picture shows the test-firing of a new medium-range surface to surface missile, named Sejil-2, at an undisclosed location in Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully test-fired the new missile, drawing a warning from Israel that Europe too should now worry about the Islamic republic's ballistic programme.

The Obama Administration is finally doing something that is likely to lessen the threat posed by an aggressive Iran. It is following the lead of the George W. Bush Administration and looking to expand missile defense capabilities in the Persian Gulf.

This step has many advantages for the United States and its allies in the region. Reflective of a “protect and defend” strategy, it offers a defensive solution that highlights the aggressive intent of Iran. The alternative is to give the Iranians a first strike option. It also does not require the global consensus that has been holding up the imposition of effective sanctions against Iran. This is not to say that this step should substitute for the diplomatic effort to impose sanctions on Iran, only augment it. Third, it provides direct reassurance to U.S. friends and allies in the region and strengthens security ties there. Fourth, it will lessen the pressure on friends that do not have nuclear weapons to seek them in the future, and also will lessen the likelihood that allies who may have nuclear weapons will be put in a circumstance where they would be compelled to use them. (more…)