Foreign Policy Shadow Play

Should America try to make new allies in the world?


Of course.


Should America alienate longtime friends in trying to make dubious new allies?


Absolutely not. Yet that is what the Obama administration is doing. And it is a perilous course to follow.


In its recent announcement – on the 70th anniversary to the day of the Soviet invasion of Poland – to withdraw a plan for a fixed missile-defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, the administration is doing what other foolish Democrat administrations have done in the past: Alienated certified allies (Poland the Czech Republic and other Eastern European nations) in the hopes of winning closer cooperation with a new global partner (Russia) when Russia is known to be both dubious and devious.


Russia has been protesting this missile defense plan for years since it was proposed in the Bush administration. And while the shield is strictly defensive and is intended to guard against possible missile strikes from Iran on Europe – and the United States, by the way – Russia, which is an ally of Iran with many commercial and military ties, has portrayed it as another challenge to Russian power.


By withdrawing the system, we have angered our allies in the Czech Republic who lived under Soviet domination for more than 40 years. “If the Administration approaches us in the future with any request, I would be strongly against it,” said Jan Vidim, a conservative Czech lawmaker who voted for the shield,


Bye-bye, allies…


Russia used an old tactic of portraying the shield as somehow vaguely offensive in nature. This is another in a long line of diplomatic feints from Moscow that have addressed a growing Russian concern with NATO and American encroachment near its territory. That concern seems to be what prompted the Russian invasion of South Ossetia (Georgia) in the Summer of 2008 – to let the world know that Russia is not pleased with plans by former Soviet satellite states like Georgia and Ukraine to more closely ally with the West through NATO membership.  And now Poland and the Czechs.


What is this world coming to, with freedom breaking out all over!


Russia had planned to counter the Poland/Czech system with the placement of offensive missiles on Russian soil pointed at Poland and the Czech Republic in a clear act of intimidation. But now that Obama has announced he will cancel the shield and replace it with a mobile ship-based system, Russia has played its usual PR game in publicly canceling its offensive Iskander short-range missiles, as if to instigate a collective sigh of relief in the West. And many Americans have swooned in historically gullible fashion.


Obama defense secretary Robert Gates, a Bush holdover, supports the new and more agile ship-based system to defend against what he calls a changing threat from Iran. Gates said that the fixed system would only guard against long-range missiles, while the new ship-based system will guard against the short-range missiles that intelligence reports suggest that Iran is now planning to deploy sooner than expected. But the Poland/Czech radars took into consideration the longer-term threat, and also were intended to be part of an early warning for a US defense system covering the eastern United States. And thus the withdrawal leaves the US less defended, as seems to be the Obama strategy, following on to cuts in other missile defense spending.


The Russian withdrawal of its Iskander threat is more shadow play like that of the Soviets during the Cold War. It harkens back to a Soviet triangulation tactic during the 1980s in which the Soviets treated the mere upgrade of medium-range, offensive US theater missiles –  the Pershings – in Europe as a new assault on Soviet sovereignty. Yet it was only an upgrade to existing offensive missiles to counter upgraded offensive Soviet SS-20s pointed back at Europe.


In short, it was an upgrade of MAD, or Mutual Assured Destruction, where neither side dared strike for fear of a counterstrike and annihilation.


But leftists in Europe took the Soviet bait gladly and ran with it, drawings millions into the streets of the Continent seeking to halt the Pershing deployment with the famous ‘nuclear freeze’ option which would have frozen missile deployment at the then-current stage, giving the communists the advantage – new missiles for them versus older ones for us. Because while the ‘freeze’ purportedly was intended to freeze out upgraded American missiles and lessen tension, the ultimate stated goal was to be the removal of all missiles from European soil. But we know that the Soviets would have reneged on that once their superiority was entrenched. Their first step was to stop the Pershings.


The Soviet subterfuge did not work. America deployed the Pershings and the fall of the Evil Soviet Empire was set in motion by the end of the decade.


When president John Kennedy first met with Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev in 1961, Kruschev was seen as the clear winner in the meeting, seeming large and threatening in relation to Kennedy who appeared small and inexperienced. Today Obama is looming small not only on the national stage with his popularity and credibility falling, but on the world stage as well, acquiescing to any tyrant who seems to want to cut America down to size.


On the national stage, Obama recently received a letter from seven former CIA directors asking him to stop the Justice Department probe into CIA interrogation tactics of terror detainees. This is the experience of decades looming over the inexperience of Obama.


The former CIA directors wrote:


“They determined that prosecutions were not warranted in the other cases… In a number of these cases the CIA subsequently took administrative disciplinary steps against the individuals involved. Attorney General Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute. Moreover, there is no reason to expect that the re-opened criminal investigation will remain narrowly focused.”


“…public disclosure about past intelligence operations can only help Al Qaeda elude US intelligence and plan future operations. Disclosures about CIA collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect America from further attacks.”


Yet Obama continues merrily on his way, alienating allies (the CIA, Eastern Europe) in order to what… Curry favor in the Islamic world? Curry favor with Islamic moderates, of whom the number is shrinking? Ameliorate terrorists and bring them to our side? Please his left-wing base while endangering our nation? Befriend a dubious ally in Russia while alienating a certain ally in Poland and other Eastern European nations?


The Obama administration said it expects more cooperation from Russia now that the shield has been scrapped. But knowing Russian/Soviet history – think Pershings – we should see how America has been undermined by another liberal administration.


After all it was Democrat Jimmy Carter’s Undersecretary of State George Ball who ultimately recommended a path to undermine the pro-American Shah of Iran who was toppled by the Islamic dictatorship we face today and whose missiles we wish to defend against. Said the Shah later in exile:


“I did not know it then, perhaps I did not want to know? But it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out. Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted. What was I to make of the Administration’s sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an adviser on Iran? Ball was among those Americans who wanted to abandon me and ultimately my country.”


And it was Democrat Bill Clinton who refused to surveille and track terror suspects in the US for years, handing George Bush an empty briefing book and leaving the nation unprepared to stop 9/11. Now Obama is standing down again, and the results will not be good.


Obama has said of the CIA probe: “I have no interest in witch hunts.” When you consider that a person’s language reflects what is in their heart, that is a pretty damning defense. Just like the pulling of a missile shield from Eastern Europe at a time when really bad people in Iran, who came to power under another Democrat administration, wish to threaten us. All in all, there is much being said but little being spoken. And none of it seems to be very encouraging.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.