In what must be among the wildest speculations of the Obama Administration, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sought to defend a massive US missile defense system in Europe by guessing that Iran might fire “scores or even hundreds of missiles” at Europe.
The number given is based on estimates of the size of Iran’s long range missile arsenal, and the fact that the best of Iran’s missiles has a maximum range which would allow them, if fired from Iran’s western border, to reach the southeastern tip of Europe.
This would hypothetically allow Iran to really put a hurting on a nation like Croatia or Macedonia, though why on earth this is even a topic of discussion is unclear, as Iran has no conceivable reason for doing so.
Still, this sort of idle speculation is more than enough for the administration to sell the enormously expensive missile defense and its dubious utility, even in the midst of a budget crisis.
Absent from all of this, of course, is that the US hasn’t put its missile defense in southeastern Europe, but well outside of Iran’s missile range, along the Russian border.
Which of course is the other reason for wild speculation about the Iranian “threat.” Russia isn’t too keen on the US putting so many missiles along their frontier, and the Obama Administration is struggling to convince people, beyond all reason, that the missiles have something to do with Iran, not Russia.