22 March, 2014

Putin Puts Obama in No-Win Situation in Iran - The American Interest

Putin Puts Obama in No-Win Situation in Iran - The American Interest:

After all, if Russia did manage to stop the talks dead, the result
wouldn’t automatically be an Iranian bomb. The first result would be to
put Obama into the horrible, no-win situation he has spent his whole
presidency working hard to avoid: where his only two choices are
military action against Iran and accepting an Iranian nuclear weapon. If
(as the White House has continually insisted that he would) he goes for
force, the United States gets involved in another Middle Eastern war,
and Russia enjoys a huge financial windfall as oil prices skyrocket and a
propaganda windfall as the United States (without a UN mandate, which
Russia would take care to block) takes on yet another preventative war
in a Middle Eastern country.

Or, alternatively, the United States endures its most humiliating and
devastating foreign policy defeat in decades, leaving its prestige in
tatters and its global alliance system fundamentally weakened as yet
another of President Obama’s red lines, this one much brighter and
deeper than the one in Syria, gets crossed—with impunity.

Either way, a rational Russian might see gains that would offset the
consequences of an Iranian nuclear weapon—and, again, Russia’s core
strategic goal is to weaken and damage American power as a necessary
step in overturning a post-Cold War order that Putin and his associates