Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Playing With Fire

Putin seems eager for a confrontation with the West rather than restricting the competition to Europe.

Putin sells advanced air defense missiles to China--complicating the defense of Taiwan and otherwise putting an umbrella over China's coast:

The S-400 has implications not just for Taiwan, but also for India, Japan and the US.

Recognizing that future wars will be missile-centric, China’s potential acquisition of S-400 SAMs would represent an important move because these systems allow for ballistic-missile defense capabilities that it lacks, Easton said. “For this reason, it could lead to an arms race with India, which relies upon ballistic missiles to deter China.”

The S-400 also will cover the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which China also claims as the Diaoyu Islands.

On the bright side, this will provoke Japan and India to increase efforts to match China.

And it will be a few years at least before delivery.

And in the Middle East, Russia undermines our remaining economic pressure on Iran:

Iran and Russia have made progress toward an oil-for-goods deal that sources said could be worth up to $20 billion and enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

Russia would be happy to have Iran go nuclear, make money in the process, and count on us or Israel actually stopping Iran from going nuclear.

Russia seems eager to pressure us away from Europe rather than accept confrontation in Europe while we cooperate elsewhere.

Why Russia thinks more dangerous China and Iran are acceptable to Russian interests is beyond me. We may be the newest threats each looks at, but Russia has loomed over both for far longer. Russia could regret these actions before we do.