• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Missile Mayhem

    A picture taken on April 9, 1992 shows a Russian S300 missile burning away from its pad in Priozorsk during a training launch. Russia on December 22, 2008 denied that it was delivering sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, following reports it was about to supply the weapons to the US arch-foe.

    When is a negotiation not a negotiation? And a rejection not a rejection? Apparently in the Alice in Wonderland exchange of notes and replies between the United States and Russia.

    President Obama sent a secret letter to the Russian president suggesting if Iran did not have a nuclear and ballistic missile program the United States wouldn’t need to build a missile defense shield. The Russians replied that they had no interest in trading anything to prevent the United States from building missile defense sites in Europe. They were just dead-sent against it. Once the letter became public both rejected the suggestion that they were negotiating over missile defense as a bargaining chip.

    That left most analysts like myself speechless–did they really believe anybody believes this was anything but a clear rebuff to the new president? As I told the USA Today, “I’m not sure what the administration is doing. You can’t negotiate away something that doesn’t exist. It’s just nutty.”

    To our dismay, the administration follow-up was even stranger. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would weigh a number of factors in deciding whether to proceed with a missile-defense system, “including whether or not the system worked and the cost of the system.” By sending signals it does not take missile defense seriously, the White House is only encouraging the Iranians to speed-up their missile and weapons programs and the Russians to demand more quid pro quo in any negotiations with the United States.

    Yet, folks continue to believe the administration “hitting the reset button” rhetoric means something. “Michael Mandelbaum, a professor at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said Obama’s “charm offensive” is not likely to work with Iran, Syria and other U.S. adversaries. But pursuing it with Russia, he said, is the right course….If we could trade these (missile) deployments for serious Russian pressure on Iran” to stop its nuclear ambitions, he said, “that would be a very good trade for us.”

    Hello, the Russians have already said “No!” to this. And with good reason…they are selling nuclear technology and air defenses to protect nuclear sites to the Iranians. Even if the Russians said “Yes” the Iranians would say “No.” They have no interest in giving up their weapons program as a favor to the Russians. And even if the Iranians said “Yes” it would take years to negotiate a verification system to prove they really were disarming…and in that time could covertly build missiles and nuclear weapons…and if we stopped building missile defenses now we would be caught with no defense.

    I wish the folks at the White House would spend even five minutes watching 33 Minutes, our documentary about the missile threat. If they did they might be less inclined to dangerous diplomacy that leaves America and its allies hostage to foreign missile threats while folks in the administration engage in talks that will likely only make us less, not more safe.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Missile Mayhem

    1. Rhonda Fl says:

      What is happening to this country??

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      “Michael Mandelbaum, …said… If we could trade these (missile) deployments for serious Russian pressure on Iran” to stop its nuclear ambitions, he said, 'that would be a very good trade for us.'" WHAT? Please help me out here. Wasn't it Russia that lost track of their nuclear arsenal when the Soviet empire disintegrated? With the Russians current state corruption, the Obama administration is somehow going to trust them? Let's see if I can be PC with a line from The Unforgiven, "Don't pee on my shoe and tell me it's raining".

    3. Franklin's Lock says:

      The administration’s handling of this has been embarrassing to the U.S. and undermines our ability to talk with our enemies and support our allies. Russia and Iran now perceives they can push Obama around if he will act like this. He has lost his leverage with both of them. In addition, Obama left all the Western Bloc countries vulnerable with this tactic. He turned his back on our allies, the Czech Republic and Poland.

      http://franklinslocke.blogspot.com/

    4. Kurt, Colorado says:

      This is very naive and Carter-esque on the part of BO.

      DIPLOMACY 101: Every country's self-interest is their top priority.

      It is Russia's self-interest to have a weakened Europe and strengthened Iran. Our interests are completely the opposite. A wiser course of action is to tell Russia we're going full-out on missile defense to defend Europe and then attempt negotiations. This may force Russia to rethink its priorites.

      Just like his socialist domestic ambitions, BO's foreign policy is proving to be sophmoric and naive – and dangerous.

    5. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Correction: The movie line I quoted earlier was from The Outlaw Josey Whales, not the Unforgiven. As you can tell, I'm a fan of Clint Eastwood westerns. And if he views this, my favorite line "I always did like tatter tots" is from his Texas Ranger role in A Perfect World. Speaking of which….

    6. James Carafano James Jay Carafano says:

      Thanks for the all comments…if folks across the heartland understand that this dumb diplomacy…why can't folks in the White House figure that out?

    7. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      The beltway demagogues will sacrifice truth in exchange for celebrity, power and stolen treasure. That's right, the misappropriation of extorted (personal income taxes) revenue. Theirs is a flag adorned with a skull and cross bones. Their ship doesn't offer rescue but only mayhem in the midst of an economic storm and enemy threat.

    8. Barb -mn says:

      Talk about man-made global warming…

    9. Pingback: Obama Officially Abandons Missile Defense in Europe - RENEWtv: Renewing America. One Episode at a Time. Hosted by Billy Hallowell.

    10. Pingback: Obama Officially Abandons Missile Defense in Europe | Conservative Principles Now

    11. Pingback: Obama Officially Abandons Missile Defense in Europe | Tea Party of Northern Colorado

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×