Somewhere inside the labyrinthine mazes of the Pentagon and CIA headquarters, there must be people who really know if we can all relax a bit about Iranian nuclear-tipped rockets.
We aren't among those people, so we have no idea if Barack Obama is playing it straight when he says a neutral technical analysis prompted his decision to shelve plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.
For that matter, we have no idea how urgent it was for George W. Bush to propose that system in the first place.
But this much is obvious: It's no coincidence that this policy reversal comes shortly before Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at this week's Group of 20 economic summit.
The planned missile-defense emplacements in Poland and the Czech Republic have long been a major irritant in Moscow. Obama hopes that backing away from the Bush plan will help "reset" the U.S.-Russian relationship.
That's a gamble based on an optimistic view of Russia's leadership.
Obama is betting that Vladimir Putin, Medvedev and their colleagues want Russia to be a responsible world citizen with a cooperative relationship with the United States and other Western nations.
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