Foreign Policy Blogs

There He Goes Again

The ever-unhelpful Senator Inhofe has been repeating his silly mantra that Iran will be in a position to deliver weapons of mass destruction against the United States by 2015. My friend Greg Thielman takes him to task in a recent blog, pointing out that the emphasis of Iranian missile development has been on medium-range rockets capable of striking countries in the greater Middle East. Longer-range missiles will be available in the medium term only if Iran gets a lot of foreign assistance–an unlikely prospect, Thielmann points out, given the international sanctions the United Nations has adopted.

In the real world [as opposed to Inhofe’s], Thielmann concludes, “the Obama Administration’s program for deploying European-based missile defenses to help cope with a potential Iranian ICBM threat by 2020 appears chronologically appropriate. Whether or not it is wise or necessary is another question.” (Whether wise or not also is an important question, I’d add.)

For those with medium-range memories, Thielmann had his five minutes of fame when, as a State Department intelligence chief, he blew the whistle on the alleged Niger yellowcake for Iraq. That yellowcake is back in the news with the publication of a memoir by former vice president Cheney, who remains unrepentant and unreconstructed.



William Sweet
William Sweet

Bill Sweet has been writing about nuclear arms control and peace politics since interning at the IAEA in Vienna during summer 1974, right after India's test of a "peaceful nuclear device." As an editor and writer for Congressional Quarterly, Physics Today and IEEE Spectrum magazine he wrote about the freeze and European peace movements, space weaponry and Star Wars, Iraq, North Korea and Iran. His work has appeared in magazines like the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and The New Republic, as well as in The New York Times, the LA Times, Newsday and the Baltimore Sun. The author of two books--The Nuclear Age: Energy, Proliferation and the Arms Race, and Kicking the Carbon Habit: The Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy--he recently published "Situating Putin," a group of essays about contemporary Russia, as an e-book. He teaches European history as an adjunct at CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College.