Thursday :: Sep 17, 2009

Obama Scraps Central European "Missile Defense"!


by Turkana

The Wall Street Journal is reporting what would be maybe the best move, yet, by the Obama Administration:

The White House will shelve Bush administration plans to build a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, according to people familiar with the matter, a move likely to cheer Moscow and roil the security debate in Europe.

The U.S. will base its decision on a determination that Iran's long-range missile program has not progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental U.S. and major European capitals, according to current and former U.S. officials.

This is a brilliant move, on several levels, the first and foremost being that "missile defense" is an enormously expensive farce that has yet to come close to being a proven technology. Despite billions upon billions poured into the coffers of its various contractors. Beyond that, though, merely attempting to put even an ostensibly advanced weapons system in Central Europe, in nations that were once part of the former Soviet Union's buffer zone, was seen as a blatant provocation to Russia, thus politically enabling the hard line Putin regime. As explained by the BBC:

Russia saw the US missile plan as a direct threat to itself. In November it moved its own ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, between Nato members Lithuania and Poland - to "neutralise - if necessary - the [US] anti-missile system", Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the time.

Mr Medvedev also said Russia would jam the US anti-missile system electronically.

Now, we are back from the brink. But "missile defense" was dangerous to U.S. interests in even more ways, including that it provided a strong disincentive to Putin and company, when the U.S. sought help in negotiating and pressuring the hardline theocratic militants who currently rule Iran.

This move was so obvious, but the sinister greed of the Bush Administration, and the incompetent or deliberate enabling of the corporate media prevented it from previously happening. There is no doubt that the media soon will be flooded with the usual babble from the usual suspects claiming this somehow undermines our national security. Of course, it doesn't. In fact, by saving billions of our tax dollars, by showing Russia that we are capable of sanity and prudence, and by taking an honest and moderate approach to Iran, this strengthens our national security in ways few recent policy decisions have.

A study by Russian and U.S. scientists published in May by the East-West Institute, an international think tank, downplayed the progress of Iran's long-range-missile program. In addition, Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an expert in missile defense and space-based weapons, said in a speech last month that long-range capabilities of both Iran and North Korea "are not there yet."

"We believed that the emergence of the intercontinental ballistic missile would come much faster than it did," Gen. Cartwright said. "The reality is, it has not come as fast as we thought it would come."

Needless to say, such a factual assessment would have been ignored by the Bush Administration.

Turkana :: 7:44 AM :: Comments (19) :: Digg It!