Obama Scraps Missile Defense Shield

Under pressure from Russia, Obama has scrapped plans for a European missile defense shield. Ah, the comfort of vulnerability. Who cares if Russia is led by some crazy, narcissistic dude, with a Napoleon complex, riding around on a horse with no shirt on? Who cares that Iran is clearly, clearly seeking nuclear weapons? Who cares that the world is full of crazies hell bent on our destruction? Screw it, it's too hard dealing with Russia, we'll just fold on this one.

Iran’s ruling mullahs have the largest arsenal of ballistic missiles in the Middle East; simultaneously, they are working overtime to develop nuclear weapons. This poses an increasing threat to Israel (Tehran’s explicitly stated goal is to “wipe Israel off the map”), to the U.S. (a “world without America is attainable,” Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said), and to Europe as well (the softest targets are often the most tempting).


To defend Europe — and American troops stationed there — against the possibility of a missile attack from Iran would require a “Third Site.” The U.S. currently maintains one ground-based missile site in Fort Greely, Alaska, and a second at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The Third Site would be in Poland (ten missile interceptors) and the Czech Republic (a radar installation). This would provide “the fastest and most cost-effective protection against the long-range missiles that Iran is projected to have by 2015,” noted Lt. Gen. Trey Obering (ret.), former head of the Missile Defense Agency, and Eric Edelman, fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis, in a recent op-ed. They noted, too, that such interceptors have been thoroughly tested.

Nevertheless, as I write this, well-informed sources on the Hill tell me that on Thursday President Obama will officially kill the Third Site. Why? Apparently because Moscow objects — even though the interceptors, while sufficient to block a limited number of Iranian missiles, could not possibly threaten Russia.

The Kremlin’s objections almost certainly stem less from its security concerns than from its ambitions for regional domination. What, if anything, Obama will get from the Russians in return from this capitulation remains to be seen.

Russian officials are not the only opponents of missile defense, however. Also making this a controversial issue is a curious coalition of what might be called the ideologically misguided, the incorrigibly naïve, and the terminally myopic.

In the first category are those who believe that most of the problems in the world are caused by the U.S. and Israel, and that the cure is therefore to “address the grievances” of those who hate us, rather than protect ourselves from them.

Members of the second group have convinced themselves that leaving ourselves vulnerable and promoting global disarmament would set a moral example that such autocrats as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Vladimir Putin, and Hugo Chávez surely would follow.

In the third category are the businessmen — mostly in Europe — who sell Iran’s rulers whatever weapons components they will pay for, as well as the university administrators — many in America — who train Iranian nuclear scientists because not to do so might be regarded as discriminatory.

Other opponents of missile defense note that during the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union avoided nuclear conflict thanks to a doctrine known as MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction. But as someone who reported from both the Soviet Union and the Islamic Republic in its early days, I can tell you that while the U.S.S.R. was an “evil empire,” it was not an irrational one. Russian Communists saw no prospect of a nuclear Armageddon transporting them to a paradise inhabited by black-eyed virgins; few were willing to sacrifice their lives so that other Communists might triumph. The same can not be said of the various species of militant jihadis. Would there have been any way to deter those who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon eight years ago this month?
Read more of Clifford D. May's article at the National Review Online.


Orgindex said...

Vladimir Putin the best variant of the president for Russia. Soon elections and I am obligatory буде to vote for it. Whatever spoke, but Putin one of the most influential figures in the world.
Good luck.

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