Friday, September 18, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler American Defense Policy?

Can praise from Vladamir Putin regarding the Obama administration new non-missile defense decision be a good thing?

It is better to renege on an agreement with our NATO partners Czech Republic and Poland that to kiss Russia's backside?

Will this capitulation really help formulate our UN security council position with respect to Iran?

Warmongering gets us nowhere; that's a give. But the missile defense system had a very worthwhile and meaningful purpose. It was designed to protect western and our more recent eastern European partners against more eastern threats, namely Iran. But it goes without argument that it was also there to protect against the Russian bear.
The White House justifies its decision by claiming to have new intelligence showing that Iran's long-range missile capabilities are not as advanced as previously believed. Instead, it intends to upgrade and deploy currently available missile interceptors that are useful mainly for intercepting short- and medium-range missiles, where, it says, Iranian capability "is developing more rapidly than previously projected."
The Pols and Czechs should feel betrayed. So should Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and any other western European nation that could benefit from a modern defense system against a modern or rouge state.
The European switcheroo continues Mr. Obama's trend of courting adversaries while smacking allies. His Administration has sought warmer ties with Iran, Burma, North Korea, Russia and even Venezuela. But it has picked trade fights with Canada and Mexico, sat on trade treaties with Colombia and South Korea, battled Israel over West Bank settlements, ignored Japan in deciding to talk with North Korea, and sanctioned Honduras for its sin of resisting the encroachments of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.

We're reminded of the rueful quip, by scholar Bernard Lewis, that the problem with becoming friends with the U.S. is that you never know when it will shoot itself in the foot.
In nine short months, Obama has made the U.S. untrustworthy. To say the threat is minimal is not comforting. What most would believe is that the technology has proven too complex and too expensive to build and properly test. Or that we don't have any money because of our Keynesian economic policies -- bailouts, economic stimulus and overall industrial socialization programs.

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