In election 2012’s “foreign policy” debate, Iran came up no less than 47 times. Americans got virtually nothing substantial about Iran, while its (nonexistent) WMDs were hawked as the top U.S. national security issue. Now, with the campaign Sturm und Drang behind us but the threats still around, the question is: Can Obama 2.0 bridge the gap between current U.S. policy and Persian optics?
For what would be the third such occurrence in the last year, the Iranian navy claims to have captured a U.S. surveillance drone that flew into its airspace. However, the U.S. government says none of its pilotless planes are missing.
Washington’s tendency to handle the Bahraini monarchy with kid gloves and to defer to the Saudis is ill serving the stability of the Persian Gulf. Risking the radicalization of Bahrain’s Shiite community may be a very bad idea.
The Obama administration is increasing the speed at which the U.S. is deploying military defenses in the Persian Gulf, putting ships and anti-missile systems in the area in response to worries about a possible Iranian missile attack and in an effort to put pressure on Tehran.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who only two years ago supported renewing diplomatic relations with Tehran, has taken the administration’s recent Iran bashing to heart, saying the U.S. will beef up its presence in the Persian Gulf to make sure Ahmadinejad & Co. don’t get any ideas.