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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Krauthammer on Obama's scrapping the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic

I'm playing a little catchup over the last couple of days, as some of you may have noticed. Here's Charles Krauthammer on President Obama's cancellation of the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
On Obama’s decision to scrap the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic:

This is all about the U.S. and Russia. What just happened today is that the United States unilaterally abrogated the security agreement with two close East European allies [Poland and the Czech Republic — so close that they had troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that supported us — at the behest and because of the pressure of the Russians.

Now, number one is the timing. Apart from the merits of all this, the idea that we should renounce, on the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland, a security agreement that we had with Poland [because] of Russian objections is scandalously, indescribably amateurish.

Now, on the merits. If There is a secret agreement between us and the Russians that in return for our capitulation on this issue… the Russians, in return, have agreed in an ironclad way to give us strong support on extremely strong sanctions on Iran and to not send antiaircraft missiles into Iran, which the Israelis have said would precipitate an Israeli attack — if all of that has happened, then you could say this is a cynical deal, but perhaps you could support it the way that you would say we derecognized Taiwan in the Nixon days in order to achieve a strategic advantage in having relations with China.

The problem is there is not a shred of evidence of a deal. And if not, what this is is a capitulation to Russia. This is an earthquake in our relations with Eastern Europe and the beginning of their detachment from the American umbrella.

And it's the abandonment of serious missile defense.

It is a huge, huge setback.
On what the missile defense decision means for Eastern Europe:

This is going to be an historic day in the life of Eastern Europe. We have now declared that Eastern Europe — which had assumed that after the Cold War, had joined the West indissolubly and would enjoy its protection — is now in many ways on its own, subject to Russian hegemony and pressure.

And imagine if the Poles and Czechs are upset about this, how the feeling is in Ukraine and Georgia. The Russians announced earlier in the week that if a Georgian ship is found in Abkhazian waters, which was a province of Georgia, it will be seized. So it has annexed part of Georgia and it has escalated the war of words on Ukraine.
As I noted earlier today, more than anything else this shows how weak Obama is and how unwilling he is to take decisive action to protect American interests.

The lesson here should be obvious to all of the United States' putative allies: At least so long as Obama is in power, America cannot be counted on.

What could go wrong?

Yes, that's Obama with Putin at the top again. This time Obama is pulling up his socks. After what he did last week, he needs to pull up his pants. He got caught with them down.


At 8:16 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The American action in Eastern Europe should have showed Israel exactly how much American promises are worth. Only as good as the President who gives the assurance.

What could go wrong indeed


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