Get Putin's attention by reviving the missile defense in Poland
President Obama is in Europe and finding confused allies. Don't expect to see thousands at a rally as we saw in the summer of 2008.
He does have one big card to play. Of course, it would call on him to reverse a decision from 2009, or the days of the "reset" with Russia.
Rebeccah Heinrichs, an expert on nuclear deterrence and missile defense got it right yesterday:
"In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several public figures, most notably former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator Ted Cruz, have called to resurrect a plan to build missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic that President Obama canceled in 2009.
They’re on to something.
The proposed missile defense sites would have protected the U.S. and Europe from Iranian missiles. They were comprised of 10 large interceptors (think bullets) that were to be placed in Poland – too close, too big and too few to affect the Russian arsenal.
Accompanying radar in the Czech Republic would have helped those interceptors “see” a long-range missile launched from Iran and would then shoot at it.
Our allies mostly wanted the site for reasons unrelated to Iran. Poland, fearful of Russian attack and outright invasion, wanted American troops operating an American system on Polish soil. More importantly, it wanted the U.S. to fulfill its commitment to make this happen even though Russia would object.
The U.S. had an ultimatum – and by canceling plans to build that missile site, President Obama chose appeasing Moscow over standing with Poland. And in that one decision, the stage was set – not for Russia “reset” but for Russia to undermine the U.S. in several other global challenges, ranging from blocking effective international action in Iran and Syria to invading a sovereign nation – and, if it is not stopped, possibly even members of NATO.
In other words, Putin won that hand, and several subsequent ones, in this complex poker game that affects global stability.
As pleasant as it sounds to turn away and live our lives oblivious to what may go on across spans of ocean, it simply isn’t the way the world works."
That's right. It's time for President Obama to "reverse" himself and put the missiles in Poland and elsewhere.
He doesn't have to admit the mistake of "the reset" or confirm that he is reversing the 2009 decision. He can simply do it, rally the Europeans and stand up to Putin with strength. It's about time!