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Morning Bell: Surrender and Betrayal Do Not Make Us Safer

Posted By Conn Carroll On September 17, 2009 @ 9:17 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

Last month we reported [1] that news outlets in Poland were saying that the Obama administration had made the decision to abandon our anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. Today Czech Premier Jan Fischer confirmed those reports telling reporters [2] that President Obama phoned him overnight to say that “his government is pulling out of plans to build a missile defense radar on Czech territory.”

According to the Wall Street Journal [3], the Obama administration is justifying its decision on their determination that Iran’s long-range missile program hasn’t progressed as rapidly as previously estimated. This despite the facts that [4]:

  • On February 2nd [5], Iran successfully launched a satellite into orbit using a rocket with technology similar to that used in a long-range ballistic missile.
  • On May 20th [6], Iran test-fired a 1200-mile solid-fueled two-stage ballistic missile.
  • On July 15th [7], Germany’s foreign intelligence service, BND, announced that Iran will be able to produce and test a nuclear weapon within six months. BND also stated that it has “no doubt” that Iran’s missile program is aimed solely at the production of nuclear warheads.
  • On August 3rd [8], The Times of London reported that Western intelligence sources concluded that Iran has not only perfected the technology to build and detonate a nuclear weapon, could assemble a weapon in just six months, and could deliver the weapon on Iran’s Shebab-3 ballistic missile.
  • Just yesterday French President Nicolas Sarkozy said [9]: “It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear [weapons] program.”

The only country other than Iran that is happy with President Obama’s decision is Russia. State Duma foreign affairs committee head Konstantin Kosachev told the Associated Press [2]: “The U.S. president’s decision is a well-thought (out) and systematic one. Now we can talk about restoration of (the) strategic partnership between Russia and the United States.” But, in fact, the missile defense capitulation is just one in a long line of Obama surrenders to Russia. Heritage fellow Ariel Cohen explains from Moscow [10]:

All these concessions the Russians pocketed, smiled, and moved on to new demands: European security reconfiguration; additional global reserve currency which would weaken the dollar; and a strong push-back on sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program. …. While the Russians clearly like the better atmospherics, and somewhat toned down the shrill anti-American rhetoric, the Iranians and the Venezuelans, who also received Obama’s “stretched hand” and, in case of Hugo Chavez, a pat on the back, are refusing to play ball. They, like their friends in Moscow, are also pocketing concessions while continuing the mischief.

The decision to abandon the “third site” deployment of 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic violates President Obama’s pledge [11] to support missile defense that is “pragmatic and cost-effective.” Ground based missile defense is effective, affordable, and available now. [12] According to the Congressional Budget Office [13], alternatives to the third site do not provide a comparable level of defense. The CBO concluded that the estimated $9-14 billion 20-year cost of the third site was half of the estimated costs of a sea-based alternative. Abandoning our best missile defense option in Europe only encourages Iran to speed up their ballistic missile program [14] so that they can get their threat in place before a European missile defense system is available.

The Poles and the Czechs know what it means to live under the boot of Russian domination. The third-site issue is of huge symbolic importance to both nations, and if Moscow emerges the victor, with an effective veto over U.S. policy in Europe, it would represent a massive surrender of American strategic influence [15] and a betrayal of two of its closest friends in the region.

Go to 33minutes.com [16] for more on missile defense, the threat posed to us and our allies by nuclear weapons, and the action plan necessary to revive a strategic missile defense system that only America can develop, maintain, and employ for its own defense and the peace-loving world’s security.

Quick Hits:

  • Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) joined the anti-czar criticism of the Obama administration [17] yesterday, sending a letter to the White House asking Obama to detail the roles and responsibilities of all of the czars in his administration and to explain why he believes the use of czars is consistent with the Senate’s constitutional power to offer advice and consent on top-level executive branch officials.
  • Celebrate Constitution Day by reading former-Attorney General Ed Meese’s The Meaning Of The Constitution [18] essay.
  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-MT) health care won’t work for Nevada [19], explaining: “During this time of economic crisis, our state cannot afford to shoulder the second highest increase in Medicaid funding.”
  • According to Gallup [20], 56% of Americans do not believe President Obama’s claims that he can fund his health care plan through cost savings in Medicare and other parts of the existing health care system.
  • The Senate voted 52-45 yesterday to preserve millions of dollars in federal funding for road signs [21] promoting President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/17/morning-bell-surrender-and-betrayal-do-not-make-us-safer/

URLs in this post:

[1] we reported: http://www.foundry.org/2009/08/27/obama-officially-abandons-missile-defense-in-europe/

[2] telling reporters: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090917/ap_on_re_eu/eu_eastern_europe_missile_defense

[3] Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125317801774419047.html#mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

[4] despite the facts that: http://www.foundry.org/2009/08/04/can-iran-build-a-nuclear-weapon-already-another-reason-to-support-missile-defense/

[5] On February 2nd: http://www.space.com/spacenews/archive09/iransatellite_0209.html

[6] On May 20th: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/20/iranian-missile-rattling-underscores-need-for-missile-defense/

[7] On July 15th: http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/07/15/iran-nuclear-bomb/german-intelligence-sources-give-chilling-six-months-weapons-warning.html

[8] On August 3rd: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6736641.ece

[9] said: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804582184&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

[10] explains from Moscow: http://www.foundry.org/2009/09/14/unrequited-concessions-in-chess-is-bad-policy/

[11] President Obama’s pledge: http://www.heritage.org/Research/BallisticMissileDefense/sr0026.cfm

[12] Ground based missile defense is effective, affordable, and available now.: http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/wm2529.cfm

[13] Congressional Budget Office: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10013/02-27-MissileDefense.pdf

[14] their ballistic missile program: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Middleeast/iranbriefingroom.cfm

[15] a massive surrender of American strategic influence: http://www.heritage.org/Research/BallisticMissileDefense/wm2603.cfm

[16] 33minutes.com: http://www.heritage.org/33-minutes/

[17] anti-czar criticism of the Obama administration: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27265.html

[18] The Meaning Of The Constitution: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Thought/wm2616.cfm

[19] Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-MT) health care won’t work for Nevada: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/sep/16/harry-reid-health-care-bill-wont-work-nevada/

[20] Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122969/Many-Americans-Doubt-Costs-Benefits-Healthcare-Reform.aspx

[21] millions of dollars in federal funding for road signs: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/17/senate-dems-approve-road-signs-that-tout-stimulus/

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