Did Obama Trade Missile Defense For Iranian Sanctions?
Regardless of the reason, he’s left both Poland and the Czech Republic very unhappy with the announcement today that the US is “scrapping” the promised missile defense shield in Eastern Europe:
The former Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, said: “This is not good news for the Czech state, for Czech freedom and independence. It puts us in a position wherein we are not firmly anchored in terms of partnership, security and alliance, and that’s a certain threat.”
The Polish deputy foreign minister, Andrzej Kremer, saidthat Warsaw had heard from different sources there were “serious chances” the anti-missile system would not be deployed.
Russia, of course, is sure to be quite happy with the plan, although it hasn’t yet reacted to the news.
Mr Obama, who is due to meet the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev next week in New York, says he wants better ties with Russia so that the two former Cold War foes can co-operate on Afghanistan and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation.
He may also have been reassured by Moscow’s growing willingness to discuss further sanctions against Iran.
Not exactly a sign that the US is a solid and dependable ally to the former eastern satellites of Russia. It has been interesting to watch the foreign policy of this administration develop. Thus far, it has certainly made all sorts of overtures to those we haven’t exactly had great relationships with – but for the most part, as in this case, those overtures have come at the expense of existing relationships with supposed “allies”.
For the 600th time – Russia is not our friend and never will be. Cooperation in various areas is fine but it shouldn’t be bought at the expense of our allies’ security or pursued from a position of weakness. While the missile defense shield may have only been a token defense, to those it was promised, it meant a solid commitment from the US to their defense. Withdrawing it without notice makes the US much less of a reliable ally in their eyes and may see them trying to seek some sort of accommodation with Russia now. If the intent of US foreign policy to this point was to keep them out of Russia’s orbit, this sort of move is sure to force them more into it.