Today, the administration announced their intentions to abandon the plans for a European-based missile defense system, moving instead to a much heavier reliance on sea-based anti-ballistic missiles.
Now I can already hear some say, "Why should I care? It's Europe." Well, for starters, it's not just about Europe.
A senior GOP Senate aide said that the effect of the administration's switch to short- range systems, such as the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), was that the program would no longer have any capability to defend the U.S. homeland and would only be able to protect parts of Europe.So, in essence we lose the first line of defence against a ballistic missile launched against the East Coast. And we do have assets in Europe worth protecting.
"The important fact here is that if you go with the land-based SM-3s, you don't protect the United States," said the aide. "It changes the nature of the debate," the aide continued. "Why should the U.S. spend 6 or 7 billion dollars just to protect Europe? That's going to be a completely different argument."
"The Cable," Foreign Policy magazine
But the overall message is even worse - we have essentially abandoned those Eastern European nations (Poland and the Czech Republic espescially) that have been bullied by Russia ever since this plan was announced, and have withstood it because we asked them to. The United States has abandoned them, and the Obama administration has deliberately stuck a knife in their backs.
What signal does this send to Ukraine, Georgia and a host of other former Soviet satellites who look to America and NATO for protection from their powerful neighbour? The impending cancellation of Third Site is a shameful abandonment of America’s friends in eastern and central Europe, and a slap in the face for those who actually believed a key agreement with Washington was worth the paper it was written on.But is gets better, as this also provides another example of the Obama administration's historical blindness. For you see, today is the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland in 1939.
Nile Gardiner, The Telegraph
Meanwhile, former Polish President Lech Walesa said he was deeply disappointed by the new US administration's plans. "The Americans have always only taken care of their own interests and they have used everyone else," Walesa told Polish news station TVN24. He said Poles must rethink their own view of America and start thinking about their own interests.
Lech Walesa, Der Spiegel interview, September 17, 2009
The blog Closing Velocity has much more.
The Obama administration needs to have a more intelligent global strategy than merely doing the opposite of whatever Bush did. Grow up, boys and girls. You have just placed millions in greater jeopardy than they were before, and severely damaged our relations with Eastern Europe. And please - try to remember history began before 1960.
Notes: For More Information
P.S.: Why do I feel worse, not better? ("Biden: Iran Not a Threat." And in other news: "IAEA Says Iran Can Build A Bomb.")
P.P.S.: Still not feeling better. Again from the Telegraph: "Analysis: Barack Obama's missile shield decision will be cheered in Russia." Swell. One more give-away.