Iran Poses New Threat to Region and World
by RIKI ELLISON
November 15, 2008
Earlier this week, Iran launched a two stage solid fuel ballistic missile with a range of 1,200 miles making U.S. troops, bases, and allies in the Middle East most notably Israel vulnerable to threats, intimidation and influence from Iran and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This display of provocation intended to engage the new administration under President-elect Obama follows the similar tactics of the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev who set a precedent less than a week ago by threatening the deployment of ballistic missiles on its border if the new U.S. administration does not withdrawal from the agreements that would deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.
The Iranian ballistic missile proliferation, demonstration and development – coupled with their quest for nuclear weapons – create an extremely unstable region that extends beyond the Middle East and into Europe.
Countries within the region will be forced to react to equalize the status quo and maintain stability. Their limited options are, to rely upon and request American security, match and deter the ballistic missile inventory of Iran, launch pre-emptive military action, or become nuclear.
Iran's technical development of two stage and solid fuel boosters with its ballistic missiles extends their range and technology today and in the future to influence, deter and threaten Europe and critical U.S. bases stationed in Europe.
It is clearly apparent for President-elect Obama and his new administration to have flexibility, tools and options to deal with Iran to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East. The current investment in missile defense capabilities must continue to be developed, tested and deployed from the European third site to the U.S. and regional missile defense assets to ensure security and stability for the Middle East.
Missile defense will supplement current and future diplomatic and threat reduction efforts as well as give insurance for protection and stability in case of failure of these efforts.
"The power holders in the new American government are trying to regain their lost influence with a tactical change in their foreign diplomacy. They are shifting from hard conflict to a soft attack," Hossein Taeb said, Deputy Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
To be effective with soft power you need hard power assets in place.
Missile defense is a hard power asset.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Riki Ellison isFounder and President of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), whose mission is to help make the world safer by encouraging the development of a missile defense system that would protect against ballistic missiles of all ranges.