Think Russia has no way to put pressure on the United States? Think again.
The US relies heavily on Russia to furnish the engines that power rockets that deliver both military and civil payloads into space.
This includes GPS systems in cars and cellphones, and even systems that allow ATMs to function. Weather satellites are launched into space via Russian-powered rockets, and military systems such as early missile detection also depend on our friends in Moscow.
In addition, since NASA scrapped the space shuttle program in 2011, the US has to rely on Russian Soyuz capsules to get its astronauts to the space station and to bring them back home.
As the crisis over Crimea deepens and tit-for-tat sanctions go into effect, conventional wisdom has held that the US is holding all the cards. Given the relatively small amount oftrade the US conducts with Russia each year, and its pre-eminent position as the world’s largest economy, Washington has projected confidence as it moves to isolate Moscow diplomatically and economically.The Obama administration is doing a perfectly good job of that, without the Russians' help. To read more, click here.