Russia ‘stops missile deployment in Europe because of Obama’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Russia held out an olive branch to President Barack Obama today by suspending plans to deploy missiles in Europe, according to a report in Moscow.

An official from Russia's General Staff in Moscow told Interfax news that the move had been made because the new United States leadership was reconsidering plans to establish a missile defence shield in eastern Europe.

Deployment of Iskander short-range missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads, was being suspended in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad in response, the unidentified official said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussia

Posted January 28, 2009 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Branford wrote:

From the Telegraph:

. . . Russia has dropped plans to install missiles near Poland after the Obama administration signalled a change in US attitude to the region, a Moscow military official has reportedly said.

      The official suggested that Mr Obama’s White House had made clear it would not prioritise executing the Bush administration’s plan to install a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. . .

In November, Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s office said Obama pledged to go ahead with plans to build part of a US missile defence system in Poland. But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned Obama that Russia would deploy short-range missiles near Poland to counter U.S. military plans in Eastern Europe unless Obama scrapped the plan.
So what does this do with our relationship with Poland?

January 28, 12:39 pm | [comment link]
2. Katherine wrote:

The new administration apparently doesn’t care about Poland or its opinions, Branford.

January 28, 1:28 pm | [comment link]
3. magnolia wrote:

i think the whole russia-usa issue is much more complex than a simple statement here and there. npr has some pretty good analysis on it, this article in particular i found interesting…

January 28, 1:47 pm | [comment link]
4. Byzantine wrote:

I don’t care about Poland or its opinions either.  In fact, I’m getting pretty darn tired of picking up the tab for Europe’s defense so she can free up her tax dollars to build debauched and dissipated social democracies that don’t reproduce themselves and are helpless against Muslim invasion.  BTW, that’s what is going to topple Europe, not Russia.

In Russia, Muslim militants are squashed like cockroaches, pursuant to her policy of acting in the interest of Russia and Russians.  It sure would be nice if the American government acted in the interest of America and Americans instead of the interests of, say, Mexico and Georgia.

January 28, 2:00 pm | [comment link]
5. Katherine wrote:

Well, Byzantine, simply withdrawing from all foreign involvement of any kind is an option.  We’d need to be prepared to deal with the consequences of disrupted supply markets and the horrors of the atrocities we’d see aired on TV.  But it’s an option, sure.

January 28, 2:12 pm | [comment link]
6. Byzantine wrote:

“... simply withdrawing from all foreign involvement of any kind is an option.”

That is a shopworn straw man.

January 28, 2:28 pm | [comment link]
7. Katherine wrote:

Byzantine, do you mean that you want the U.S. to withdraw from involvement in Europe, but not from other areas?

January 28, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
8. Richard Hoover wrote:

I think Obama plans general military retreat, whether in Europe or the middle east. His tough talk on Afghanistan is just that, and I don’t think he has the disposition or the will , even, to secure the gains made in Iraq. Nor does Byzantine’s spector of Muslim invasion of Europe (or of America, for that matter) cause much sleeplessness in the new White House. I suggest that military disengagement is just another component of his broader plan to build a new America on the ruins of the old, a vehicle for a new type of “justice” which has nothing to do with courts or laws, but is found in his beliefs and commitments.

January 28, 2:59 pm | [comment link]
9. Phil wrote:

Byzantine, missile defense radars in Poland and the Czech Republic are only “picking up the tab for Europe’s defense” in the most strained sense - unless, that is, you think an Iranian nuclear warhead landing in Paris would be of no concern to and have no impact on the U.S.  If you think it should be of no concern to the U.S., I’m not sure how to respond.

January 28, 3:53 pm | [comment link]
10. Byzantine wrote:


If Europe seriously believes it’s under threat of ballistic missile attack from Iran (a whole-cloth government hobgoblin if there ever was one), then Europe can build its own missile defense, and there are a lot better locations than Poland and the Czech Republic.  Britain and France have large nuclear missile arsenals and long-range bombers of their own as well.

Do you really think it that likely that the Iranian government would launch a nuclear strike against increasingly-Muslim Paris?  What facts support such a conclusion?

January 28, 4:18 pm | [comment link]
11. Byzantine wrote:

“Byzantine, do you mean that you want the U.S. to withdraw from involvement in Europe, but not from other areas?”

I mean that the nations of Europe are fully capable of their own military defense.

January 28, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
12. Choir Stall wrote:

...and now, what do the Russians demand in return?
Methinks that this new administration will learn its lessons at the peril of our friends in Europe. But, the Messiah will have a policy for that as well when the time approaches.

January 28, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
13. Phil wrote:

Byzantine, it is well-accepted that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.  To the best that we can ever know, that is a fact.  Another fact, if we’re allowed to judge by their own rhetoric, is that the ruling clique in Tehran hates the West and wants to see it wiped out.  As far as why Iran would launch a strike against increasingly-Muslim Paris, I suppose for the same reason it’s spent the past four years sponsoring attacks against the majority-Muslim, majority-Shiite population of Iraq.

January 28, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
14. libraryjim wrote:

I’m not in favor of total ‘isolationism’, however, it does seem that with all the foreign aid we are sending to Europe, surely they could take stands on their own without complaining that America is neglecting our duty to the world situation, and then turning around and complaining when we DO take action, saying we are imperialistic.

Maybe we need to cut back on the foreign aid and disaster relief and focus on our own situation here for a time?

January 28, 5:01 pm | [comment link]
15. John Wilkins wrote:

According to the NIE, Iran has halted its program.  It may continue at some point, but the Ayatolla has issued a fatwa against developing or stockpiling nuclear weapons.

Iran thinks the US is interested in attacking Iran, and has hostile intentions.  For this reason, it believes that a nuclear weapon will prevent Israeli or US aggression.  Given that we have not invaded Korea, this seems plausible.

I’m not sure why Poland would care about defense.  In general SDI was simply an example of government waste, a boondoggle, a wasteful spending program that merely provoked Russia.

January 28, 5:03 pm | [comment link]
16. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Hi John,

If SDI was simply an example of government waste, a boondoggle, a wasteful spending program…why would the Russians feel provoked at our “foolishness”?

Obviously, they believe that the system will or does work.  In point of fact, the Patriot missiles did a reasonably good job of missile defense.  That is not a surprise, since the Nike missile was a very effective anti-missile system.  The Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Program has also been effective.

The question of should we be deploying our missiles to defend Europe is totally different.  I don’t think that there is much doubt that they would be effective.

In my opinion, Europe should be responsible for the defense of Europe.  Let them use their own Euro’s to pay for their own defense.

Side note:  Europe will become Islamic because of demographics and birth rates, not because of invasion.  If current trends continue, it will happen in my life time.  There is a recent (2006) book about this called America Alone

January 28, 5:28 pm | [comment link]
17. Katherine wrote:

If I thought this were part of a well-thought-out plan by the new administration to pressure Europe into shouldering more of its own responsibilities I’d be happier.  I fear it’s more like rolling over when a bully threatens.  We’ll see in upcoming months what sort of line our country is now taking.  I suspect there may be considerable stress between the President and the Sec. of State on policy.

January 29, 2:50 am | [comment link]
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