"President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday
The letter to President Dmitri A. Medvedev was hand-delivered in Moscow by top administration officials three weeks ago. It said the United States would not need to proceed with the interceptor system, which has been vehemently opposed by Russia since it was proposed by the Bush administration, if Iran halted any efforts to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles."
NY Times: Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter, March 2, 2009
This is one of the first definite signs that the State Department is going to carry more weigh in foreign policy, after eight years of being the the small shadow of the Defense Department. Remember her first day, when she was greeted like a liberator after a long period of tyranny?
I wonder what the Russian reaction will be. This doesn't really fit the "it's an anarchy out there and nobody is profiting from cooperation" frame of mind (dubbed, for some odd reason, "realism").
Ah, and just for the fun of it: a couple of days ago Rachel Maddow noted that everything has happened before, on "The West Wing" (she was referring to Peter Orszag's, the geek overlord of the budget, attempt to light a fire in a blocked fireplace, which is what Sam and Josh attempted with similar results). Well, back on "The West Wing", the defense shield was the pet project of the poster-child realist (Leo McGarry, then Chief of Staff). And it absolutely did not work, which is why consequently, the President was hesitant to fund it with billions of more dollars. It's costly, it does not solve any of the underlying problems, and it might not even work.