As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Scaling Back Missile Defense

I had thought this already happened a couple weeks ago:

WASHINGTON -- The White House will shelve Bush administration plans to build a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, according to people familiar with the matter, a move likely to cheer Moscow and roil the security debate in Europe.

The U.S. will base its decision on a determination that Iran's long-range missile program has not progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental U.S. and major European capitals, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The findings, expected to be completed as early as next week following a 60-day review ordered by President Barack Obama, would be a major reversal from the Bush administration, which pushed aggressively to begin construction of the Eastern European system before leaving office in January.

Cue the howls that Obama is a terrorist trying to kill all of us in our beds.

Actually, this is a nod to the Russians, who found the missile defense system provocative. Russia wasn't willing to sanction Iran in the UN Security Council, and the Obama Administration wants their support. So as much as I'd like to think that the White House recognized that hitting a bullet with a bullet is kind of fantastical and untested, as the GAO says in this report, and we shouldn't blow a bunch of money trying to make it work, actually it's more of a political play. Anyway, the Administration still wants to fund regional missile defense sites throughout Europe. Leading me to wonder, if Europe is threatened by short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, um, why can't they develop their own defense system?

I know, that's outrageous, we have to be the world's protector...

...I should say that on balance this is a good idea, as Robert Farley explains. I love this notion on the right that Obama is abandoning Europe - because conservatives have been alone in their proud defense of European values over the years, right?

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