Not even close. What I'm suggesting is more like the equivalent of Lex Luthor being a puppet of Brainiac. Luthor would be powerful enough and arrogant enough to believe that he wears the britches in the relationship, but Brainiac is really calling all the shots. And that's a situation/analogy that is highly, highly probable.
I'd be more amenable to this. What I don't what to happen is for Mandarin to end up being some pawn, whose actions have very little weight after a Killian double-cross. Having Killian and AIM revealed as truly sinister but leaving the final confrontation with Mandarin to be a very epic showdown with IM would be what I'd like to see.