Did you know that there is a White House meeting scheduled for tomorrow, April 15, 2014, about the “Open Skies” treaty? The meeting is supposed to resolve (read, Obama gets his way again) an inter-agency dispute over a request from Russia with respect to the Open Skies treaty.
Why should we be concerned about this? Because it concerns US security, and because it provides Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama with yet another opportunity to sell us out to the Russians in the name of “reset,” or “flexibility,” or whatever he calls his foreign policy this week.
First, the Open Skies treaty. It was signed in 1992, and permits each signer to conduct short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over any others signer’s territories to collect data on military forces and activities. Satellites can provide the same information (usually in greater detail), but not all of the treaty signers have such capabilities. Observation aircraft must be equipped with sensors that enable the observing party to identify significant military equipment. The treaty went into effect in 2002.
Now we get to the heart of the matter. Russia has asked for a spying equipment upgrade for planes that will fly over the US, one that would result in a large increase in Russia’s spying capabilities. Obama wants to approve the request. Hence the meeting. The Defense Department and the House Intelligence Committee are against permitting the upgrade, especially in view of Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. But the White House and State Department favor it. Sources say that Obama is likely to side with the State Department. It’s also interesting to note that Obama has been “less than forthcoming” regarding information requests from the House Intelligence Committee.
Is this another attempt by Obama to “reset” relations with Russia? Obama has a history of this kind of action. The chaos in Kiev, Ukraine, the deteriorating conditions in Syria, and the failures with Iran are the results of Obama’s “reset” with Russia and Putin. On Tuesday, February 18, George Will said:
What we are seeing in the Ukraine, what we’ve seen in Syria and what we will see again in Iran is a complete failure of what I think was the centerpiece of the president’s foreign policy and that is the reset of the relations with Russia. They are not helpful with regard to Iran. They are positively pernicious in Syria. And Putin is obviously bolstering the government in Ukraine. … I don’t know what reset was supposed to mean but I know I can’t see any of it that it has helped.
Or is Obama just being “more flexible?” In 2012, in Seoul, Korea, Obama was caught on camera assuring out-going Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the US presidential election.
Will Obama overrule his own defense and intelligence officials in order to placate Vladimir Putin and Russia? How many more “resets” can we take?
But that’s just my opinion.
Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.