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19 May, 2009 20:16

Will U.S. ignore the expert’s report again?

A panel of Russian and US scientists concludes that the projected US missile shield in Eastern Europe would not act as protection from an Iranian strike and cannot be justified based upon a threat from Iran.

The group determined it would take Tehran at least five years to produce a missile able to carry a nuclear warhead and up to 15 years to be capable of an intercontinental strike.

The Obama administration is now reviewing plans to install the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Moscow has been a strong opponent of the system from the outset, saying it is a direct threat to its national security.

Nevertheless, the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has once again reiterated the administration's commitment to installing the system in Eastern Europe.

Speaking at a press-conference in Washington, Clinton said she had not read this report yet. But she added that the Obama administration was conducting its own review of this policy.

“The idea behind the missile defense was to help both deter and defend against attacks from nations like Iran, where they, too, obtain nuclear weapons with systems of delivery. So, we were obviously taking into account the technical aspects of this in our review. But we will also be taking into account our pre-existing and continuing responsibilities to our friends and allies,” said Clinton.

Hilary Clinton is saying this at the same time that negotiations are planned for a new arms reduction treaty between the US and Russia, where the missile defense systems have been a very hot topic.

If the Obama administration is conducting its own review, possibly ignoring the report done by these experts, and they are taking into account their NATO commitments, then this review might become hostage to political issues.

The experts’ report, on the contrary, is clearly factual, although it may undermine some of the plans of the US President’s administration.

Other important issue that US Secretary of State Clinton raised during the press conference was the announcement of the US providing $100 million in aid to Pakistan. According to Hilary Clinton, the Obama administration is very worried about the situation there, that the country may be balancing on the brink of collapse while the nuclear weapons might get into the hands of the Taliban.

She noted this significant sum would be dedicated to humanitarian issues, because more than two million people already appear to be displaced in Pakistan.

Clinton also made an announcement about a new text-messaging system in which American citizens can instantly donate $5 to this cause by sending a text-message.