Monday, November 10, 2008

What is Obama's stance on Missile Defense in Europe?

What exactly is President-Elect Obama's stance on missile defense. Back in 2007, when he was still a long shot, he made the following video for Think Progress where he states he will cut funding in missile defense.

Yet, on his website and in the debates, he says that he supports missile defense.

Last week, after a discussion with the Polish President, Obama would not say whether he would continue building the proposed missile defense system in Eastern Europe. This has lead to charges among the right blogosphere that Obama has "surrendered" to Russia. He did nothing of the sort.

Strong supporter of missile defense that I am, I hope that Obama cancels this installation and further changes our policy toward Russia. Russia is no threat to the United States. It is not the threat the Soviet Union was. The Soviet threat was primarily ideological, but Russia has no ideological loyalty from anyone other than some silly Serbs. Rather, Russia is merely acting like past European powers acted, trying to dominate her neighbors. The European Union in both population and economy is larger than Russia.

I admit that Russia's complaints about the missile system are silly. 10 interceptors in Poland would have no impact on the Russian missile force. Yes, the system is faced against Iran, but the cost of relations with Russia is too much. In any event, I think NATO has outlived its usefulness and it is time to make the Europeans pay for thei own defense.

If you are concerned about Georgia and Ukraine, the real way to protect them is to reintegrate Russia into Europe and the West.

President Elect Obama can start by stating unequivocally where he stands on the European missile defense program.


William R. Barker said...

I believe Obama will continue rhetorically supporting "missile defense" and work with the Democratic controlled Congress to continue funding various programs IDENTIFIED as "missile defense."

These programs in reality will be little more than corporate welfare and politics as usual, steering defense dollars to districts/states where such spending benefits Democratic incumbents and of course feathers the nests of the Unions in return for hefty Union donations and partisan supportive activities.

If Obama serves two terms, I'm guessing within or shortly following the period of his presidency the Chinese (perhaps working with the Russians) will close in upon us and perhaps even surpass us in technological as well as in place missile offense as well as missile defense.


Rodak said...

feathers the nests of the Unions

Right. Money is "free speech" only in the hands of lobbyists and corporate overlords.

William R. Barker said...

re: Rodak



William R. Barker said...

Any thoughts, Anthony?


Anthony said...


I read it this morning. Partly the Russians have pushed him into a bit of a corner. It is silly because the 10 interceptors would be useless against a Russian attack, only useful against an Iranian attack (and the Iranians supposedly tested a missile the other day than can hit parts of Europe).

I do think that if the Russians gave him a bit of wiggleroom, he would close the instalation. But he now cannot be seen as backing down in the face of Russian threats.

As a side note, I saw yesterday a FAS report from June that the US has quietly removed our last USAF warheads from the UK. The shelters remain, and we also continue to have a small number of warheads on 2 of our bases and some on allied bases (the deal was that in exchange for the Germans, Italians, etc not producing nuclear weapons, we would base some warheads on their airforce bases, to be given to them in case of Soviet attack).

The question why this is being done quietly is out there. The author of the report thought maybe there still was a default position that nuclear means secret though I think it may be European concerns that we are leaving. The author thought (and I agree) that we are missing an excellent chance to engage the Russians on this.