Saturday, September 19, 2009

Protecting The Vulnerable

The countries of Poland and the Czech Republic are speaking out about Barack Obama's decision to cancel and abandon plans for a Europe-based missile defense system. Several officials, from different countries, in the region have said that the move will improve Washington's interaction with Moscow at the expense of the United States Eastern European allies. They are the allies who have stuck with us since 911 and supported us with troops and other things that are needed to fight terrorism. What a price tag! Obama said that the United States is abandoning plans to build a defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic aimed at intercepting missiles from other countries.
This missile based system was endorse and put forward by former president George W. Bush to defend against missiles launched from what he called "rogue" states such as Iran and North Korea.

Russia was strongly opposed and against the system, saying it undermined its national security interests and could lead to more instability in Europe. Obama has said and made clear that it wants to "reset" relations with Russia, so the two former Cold War foes can cooperate and work together on Iran, fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, and reducing their vast nuclear arsenals. The question is who is really reducing their arsenals. What will it take next to reset our relations with Russia the next time? How can a country with this country that is helping Iran? What is the real goal here?

Poland's National Security Bureau are expressing concerns and alarm about the move, saying the presence of American troops on Polish soil would have increased the country's security. They say Russia will now try to increase its influence and power in former Soviet satellite states, including Poland. Are we going backwards here?

This kind of decision presents proof to the world and our allies that the United States is recognizing Russia's wishes in this part of the world. It is like kicking our allies to the curb. This is just like endorsing what Russia wants. I think we should be very worried about that kind of approach. Nobody opposes better relations between the United States and Russia. It is what we all want. But it should never be done at the expense and security of our allies or in a manner which confirms Russia's unfounded claims to be the decisive force in this part of Europe." This is the same as turning our back on our friends when a bully is looking over them. While Moscow insists that this will lead to more stability in Europe, some analysts and officials in Eastern Europe are not convinced of that. They cite as a reason Russia's brief war with Georgia and also Russia's conflict with Ukraine over natural gas supplies last year as reasons to remain cynical about the Kremlin's goal. We know that Russia always has a motive other than what is on the table when they want something. How long will it take our "community organizer president" to understand this or could there be another reason for his actions.

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