In the Rain Without an Umbrella

Now that North Korea has put a long-range missile in place for a planned launch next month, it may be time for President Obama to rethink his plan of selling two of our NATO allies, Poland and the Czech Republic, up the river. Earlier this month, in a letter to his Russian counterpart, the President basically offered to scrap our missile defense shield in exchange for the Kremlin's help in attempting to end the Iranian nuclear program. This is a bad idea for several reasons.

First, on its face, it endangers us and our allies. An effective missile defense shield is a valuable tool in the defense of our territory and that of our allies. Should a rouge nation launch a missile or two against the US, it would be shot down and no harm would come to the homeland or our citizens. It is common sense. Why would anyone want to go out in the rain without an umbrella. Think of an Iranian or North Korean missile as the rain and the missile defense shield as the umbrella.

Second, after resisting intense Russian pressure, both Poland the the Czech Republic agreed to host integral portions of the missile defense system. As states formerly inside the Russian sphere of influence, it took immense political courage for the leaders of these nations to agree to host this American military hardware. Last year's Russian military incursion into Georgia was, in part, intended to send a signal to other former Soviet satellite states not to follow the lead of those nations that have become a part of the Western World. Although remote, Poland and the Czech Republic risk the chance of a Russian military invasion of their territory. A more likely response is the deployment of Russian nuclear missile just inside the Western Russian border, well within range of both of these countries.
As currently designed, the missile defense shield does not alter the balance of power between the United States and Russian. This system is not intended to guard against a massive Russian missile attack. It is designed to shoot down one or two rockets from a terrorist regime or a non-state actor. The Russians know and understand this.

Finally, Mr. Obama showed weakness to the Russian leadership by offering this ridiculous bargain. The unsolicited relinquishment of a key defensive system in exchange for the potential of a "promise" by the Russians to help with Iran shows that the President will exceed to Russians demands in exchange for nothing of value.

We are now faced with the two remaining members of the Axis of Evil in the process of testing ballistic missiles and a Commander-in-Chief who cannot see the value of a technology that can shoot them down. I wonder what the President will say to the families of those who die in the event of a ballistic missile attack launched by one of these two terrorist nations. During the campaign, Mr. Obama said that he would stop the development of new weapons systems. This is, evidently, one campaign promise that the President intends to keep.

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