Sunday, February 8, 2009

Joe Biden promises more investment in missile defense, hints at possible military action against Iran

Is this the carrot or the stick? I can never remember.

It probably would have mattered more had the Iranian Parliament's Speaker still been in the room when Biden was talking.

Anyway: the good news for the defense industry is that we're apparently going to continue building missile defense systems to protect Israel. (Must be Israel, since even on a good day Iran could not lob one of its outmoded rockets further than the general direction of Europe.)

Here's the story:

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a clear message to Iran, saying Saturday the U.S. was willing to talk but will act to isolate and pressure Tehran if it does not abandon its nuclear ambitions and support for terrorism.

In a wideranging speech to international leaders and security experts, Biden said the U.S. will strive to act preventively and avoid having to choose between the risks of war and the dangers of inaction.

But Biden held out the option that the U.S. could take pre-emptive action against Iran if necessary to stop crises before they start. The U.S., he said, will "continue to develop missile defenses to counter a growing Iranian capability, provided the technology is proven and it is cost effective."

At the same time, Biden said that if Tehran gives up its nuclear program and stops backing terrorists, there will be meaningful incentives.

"We will draw upon all the elements of our power — military and diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement, economic and cultural — to stop crises from occurring before they are in front of us," he told the gathering in his 25-minute address.

During much of the morning Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani was in the room, but according to a participant inside the meeting, Larijani left the room during a break and did not return for the Biden address. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak about Larijani's activities.

1 comment:

George Phillies said...

The Iranians got a satellite into orbit. They could inescapably therefore -- ignoring that the last time Iran started a war was about when we were still an English colony -- launch retaliatory strikes against any target in the world.

Orbital mechanics can be your friend.