Dropping Missile Defense

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 17, 2009

The Obama Administration has decided to back away from installing missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Coincidentally, this decision comes on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, so, you know, nice timing there.

Ostensibly, this move is designed to better ties with Russia. But what we are getting from the Russians for undertaking this move has yet to be found out. In the meantime, all sorts of bad signals are being sent with the Obama Administration’s decision:

This is bad news for all who care about the US commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defence of Europe as well as the United States. It represents the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defence installations sends a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.

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.

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