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Obama's hi-tech weapons plan for Gulf sees US reverting to type [View All]

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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 08:21 PM
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Obama's hi-tech weapons plan for Gulf sees US reverting to type
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Pouring billions of dollars' worth of the latest hi-tech military hardware into the volatile heart of the Middle East looks at first glance like an act of extreme recklessness. Like George Bush before him, Barack Obama is stoking an unpredictable conventional arms race in a region that is already primed to explode.

But if Obama, the self-styled champion of change, is extending and escalating the weapons buildup begun by his bellicose predecessor, it's because he has an ever more persuasive reason to do so. That reason is Iran or, more specifically, the increasingly threatening regime headed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his pugnacious sidekick, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right).

The general principle underpinning the US and Arab missile deployments in the Middle East, detailed in reports from Washington today, is as old as warfare itself. The maxim, Si vis pacem, para bellum, meaning "If you wish for peace, prepare for war," is usually attributed to the Roman writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus. Now the 21st-century people's tribune currently occupying the Oval office has adopted it as his own.

The immediate cause for alarm, meanwhile, as seen from Washington, London and the Arab Gulf, is Iran's refusal to freeze its suspect nuclear programme, as demanded by several UN security council resolutions. An informal 31 December deadline set by Obama and the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for substantive progress passed without a serious response from Tehran.
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