Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What Can Russia Do?

The Washington Times is running this AP photo of Vladimir Putin at the controls of a Russian bomber
This story about Russia's opposition to the use of force in Iran raises the question I first heard in Moscow, from an American diplomat, when I told him that my students weren't very happy about American actions in the Ukraine during the Orange revolution, which they saw as anti-Russian.

"What can Russia do?" he asked, rhetorically. "Their military is tied down in Chechnya, they don't have the troops."

Now Russia is objecting to another American initiative--this time military rather than political--while our troops are tied down in Iraq. Russia basically supplied the Iranians with their nuclear capability. And I think the outcome in Iran may hinge on the answer to the same question: "What can Russia do?"