This morning, the Washington Times published a ridiculous article. Therein in reports that three GOP Senators want to revive the Bush administration’s plans (cancelled by Obama) to deploy missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic… then attempts to paint those Senators and their proposal in the worst possible light by relying on the opinions of Obama administration officials and Kingston Reif, an ardent anti-military, anti-missile defense hack whose lies have already been refuted here on a few occassions. Reif claims that a) trying to punish Putin by deploying those missile defense systems in Central Europe would be “irresponsible” and pointless; and b) the Obama administration did not left Poland and the Czech Republic hanging out to dry when it cancelled President Bush’s plans (when it really did).
Obama admin officials, for their part, claim they didn’t leave Warsaw and Prague empty-handed and that their decisions were made based on supposed intelligence showing an evolving Iranian and North Korean threat. They also boast of their 2013 decision to deploy 14 additional interceptors in Alaska.
This is an utterly ridiculous screed whose purpose appears to be to tar GOP Senators while covering up for the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures. Shame on TWT for publishing it.
Here are THE FACTS:
1) The Obama admin cancelled the Bush administration’s plan to deploy missile defense systems in Europe SOLELY out of a foolish desire to appease Russia (which was adamantly opposed to those systems, and indeed to any US missile defense systems). As we know, and as I’ve been warning for over 4 years now, the Obama administration’s attempt to appease Russia has UTTERLY FAILED, as the Kremlin has given the US NO quid pro quo whatsoever.
2) Had the Bush administration’s plan been upheld and enacted, those missile defense installations would’ve been completed by 2012.
3) Both the Polish and the Czech governments of the time firmly supported the deal the Bush admin had struck with them, fearful of their countries’ security as the deal was signed literally days after Russia invaded Georgia. Milos Zeman has been President of the Czech Republic for only a few months. The Czech President of 2009 was the STAUNCHLY pro-American Vaclav Klaus.
4) When cancelling the Bush administration’s plans, the Obama administration left Warsaw and Prague with nothing but paper promises of an Aegis Ashore system that doesn’t exist and might never exist, and of deployment of such system that might or might nor occur many years from now (if ever)… unless, of course, Obama obtains even more “flexibility” to capitulate to Russia on missile defense issues.
So essentially, while cancelling Bush’s plans, Obama gave Warsaw and Prague nothing but paper promises. And as Obama has demonstrated recently to the Ukraine, America’s security promises are not even worth the paper it is printed on. America is now a country whose word counts for nothing, as it has utterly failed to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, in violation of its international obligations.
5) The Obama admin’s claims, made in 2009 and now, that in 2009 the threat was “evolving” is utterly false. At the time, they falsely claimed that the North Korean and ICBM threat was emerging less slowly than anticipated, which was (and is) not true; additionally, they falsely claimed there was a dichotomy and a zero-sum choice between defending against short-range and long-range missiles. Iranian short- and medium-range BMs, in any case, lack the range to reach Europe (let alone the US). The ONLY threat Iran could ever pose to Europe or the US is with long-range missiles. The DIA and the STRATCOM project Iran will test an ICBM next year.
6) Obama has promised Poland he will deploy SM-3 missiles in that country in 2018 – 4 years from now. That might (and likely will) never be honored, and in any case Obama cannot ensure that it will be, as he will no longer be in office by 2018. There will be a new President who will likely pursue a new policy.
7) As for the Obama admin’s decision to deploy 14 extra anti-ICBM interceptors in Alaska… this was originally planned by the BUSH Administration and cancelled by the Obama admin in its very first year in office, 2009. Their foolish cancellation was not reversed until last year, when the North Korean ICBM threat became so clear it could no longer be ignored. Had they gone forward with Bush’s plans in 2009, those 14 extra interceptors would’ve been deployed long ago.
8) Kingston Reif is not a missile defense analyst, he’s a longtime ANTI-missile-defense activist and an anti-nuclear-deterrence and anti-defense hack. Not one word he says is correct or credible. Quoting him as an authority is like quoting Cindy Sheehan.
9) Guy Taylor falsely claims that “most missile defense analysts agree with the Obama administration”… based on the opinion of just ONE person (Kingston Reif). Just ONE (leaving aside the fact he’s an anti-missile defense activist and not an analyst). ONE person is supposed to represent “most missile defense analysts”? Are you on drugs, Mr Taylor?
10) Deploying additional missile defense systems to Poland would be a GOOD policy. The purpose would be not just to poke Putin (not that it’s a bad thing, contrary to what Reif falsely claims), but above all to bolster Poland’s defenses against Russian ballistic missiles – and Poland is particularly exposed to that threat – and to punish Putin for his blatant aggression by striking where it would hurt him badly. Russia has done virtually everything it could’ve done to stop the deployment of these systems. Failing to prevent their eventual deployment would be a huge loss for Russia – and not just in the sense of prestige.