Reports late last month from a top Warsaw newspaper turned out to be essentially accurate. President Barack Obama announced today that the US is in fact going to scrap the Bush Administration’s Eastern European missile shield in favor of one that is smaller, and positioned further south.
President Obama insists the new shield will provide actual defensive capabilities much sooner than the 2007 deal, which would have put a radar base in the Czech Republic and a handful of missiles in Poland at some point in the next decade.
Though the shield was opposed by a significant majority of voters in both Poland and the Czech Republic, their respective governments were outspoken in their support and will likely be irked by the plan’s abandonment. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, long unhappy with US plans to put missiles along his country’s western frontier, has praised the move.
Republican Congressman John Boehner angrily condemned the move, saying it proved that Obama was ignoring the threat posed by some of the world’s most dangerous regimes, and that it would ultimately “empower Russia”
The Obama Administration, and the Bush Administration before them, long maintained that despite being deployed far from Iran and right next to Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad, the shield was a move against Iran and had nothing to do with Russia.
The new plan will be to deploy smaller missile defense batteries off-shore in the Mediterranean Sea. Eventually it is expected that those missiles will be moved to some location in the Balkans or Turkey.
6 thoughts on “Obama Changes Course on Missile Shield”
He is replacing the apparently unworkable 2007 system with what is
being presented as a "comprehensive, proven, and cost-effective" system,
i.e. the almost ready for prime time American-funded Israeli Arrow
system, which will be deployed in Turkey, Azerbadjan and perhaps
Georgia. In the meantime Poland will still get enhanced Patriot missles
which are being sold as ABM-capable as well. It's all still the same,
but even better version of the encirclement and first-strike threat
against Russia (and will be answered to as such) but now more neatly
tucked away from eyes of those spoil-sport Europeans.
guns4everyone is ignoring the reaction of the Russians who are jubilant. Bush's plan was merely disguised as a deterrent targeted at Iran when the actual target was Russia. SDI bases in Eastern Europe were part and parcel of the post-Cold War iteration of McCarthyism that still seeks to encircle Russia via the expansion of NATO. In The Times of India, Medvedev is quoted: "We value responsible approach of the US President for implementing our agreements. I am ready for continuation of the dialogue. Washington's declaration on Thursday shows that there are good conditions on the ground for joint anti-missile action." When Medvedev is praising Obama, it is time to give him credit for repudiating Bush's mania.
indeed, Russians would not be fooled by some cheap ploy to conceal a new stealthier version of a ballistic missile defense SYSTEM, system being the optimum word. Without a frontline radar "listening" post like the one they were planning to put into Czech Republic, detection of a nuclear launch in Russia won't happen quick enough to interecept a missile during launch phase. And that was the whole purpose of this proposed US system, to intercept on LAUNCH, not to specifically protect european territory from incoming missiles, as do Patriot missiles or the Patriot knock-off Arrow system of Israel. Amazingly, this seems to be a genuine reversal of Bushonian policy. The relevant defense contractors involved must be pretty pissed with Obama 🙂
So what did the USA gain from this? Did Russia throw Iran under the bus? I assume the sale of the Russian S-300 Air Defense System to Iran is no longer an option.
On behalf of the 78% of my Czech countryman, I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to our President Obama and his administration on the great courage and common sense.
Our President Barack Obama just scrapped one of the craziest, the most dangerous and illegal agreements in our modern history, the “Missile Shield Agreement”.
This agreement was signed last summer by senile warmongers in Bush’s administration and corrupted Czech politicians, who betrayed Czech people in the fashion reminiscent to a “Great Munich Betrayal of Czechoslovakia” in the year1938.
Once again, the Czech people, against their will, without democratic vote, by dictatorial blackmail, would be sacrificed in the superpower games. This time the stakes were much higher, because the Czech capital city of Prague would be exposed to the first nuclear strike.
All Americans and all peace loving people in the world should applaud to this truly brave decision, and be proud that there is a new world leader, President Barack Obama, with just plain common sense.
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