Coming soon to a neighborhood near you

At the Hudson Institute site, Anna Mahjar-Barducci notes recent reported developments in South America that should be of concern to the United States:

Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources [footnote omitted], according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.
At a moment when NATO members found an agreement, in the recent Lisbon summit (19-20 November 2010), to develop a Missile Defence capability to protect NATO’s populations and territories in Europe against ballistic missile attacks from the East (namely, Iran), Iran’s counter-move consists in establishing a strategic base in the South American continent – in the United States’s soft underbelly.
According to Die Welt, Venezuela has agreed to allow Iran to establish a military base manned by Iranian missile officers, soldiers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Venezuelan missile officers. In addition, Iran has given permission for the missiles to be used in case of an “emergency”. In return, the agreement states that Venezuela can use these facilities for “national needs” – radically increasing the threat to neighbors like Colombia. The German daily claims that according to the agreement, Iranian Shahab 3 (range 1300-1500 km), Scud-B (285-330 km) and Scud-C (300, 500 and 700 km) will be deployed in the proposed base. It says that Iran also pledged to help Venezuela in rocket technology expertise, including intensive training of officers.

We’ve had the Monroe Doctrine, the Roosevelt Corollary, the Clark Memorandum, and so on. We’ve even had a missile crisis in which the response of the United States drew on the Monroe Doctrine in its response. Does the United States have any foreign policy doctrine that applies to the developments in Venezuela? It certainly should, and I hope someone is paying attention.


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