Thursday, September 17, 2009

East Europe Grumbles About Downgrade in US Ties

This is a follow-up to the "Obama Backs Away From Missile Shield in Europe" article. While some people are calling Obama stupid, I don't think that of him at all. He is clearly trying to drive a wedge between us and our allies. All in his effort to weaken America.

East Europe grumbles about downgrade in US ties

PRAGUE – Scuttling a missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland helps smooth relations between the U.S. and Russia. But at what price?

Some of America's staunchest allies are the East Europeans — and on Thursday, they expressed dismay at what many see as a slight after decades of their support for the U.S.

Among them were some famous names, including Lech Walesa, the former Solidarity leader and Polish ex-president. "I can see what kind of policy the Obama administration is pursuing toward this part of Europe," he said ruefully, adding: "The way we are being approached needs to change."

For most of the past decade, cozy relations with Washington were practically a given across the "new Europe." George W. Bush famously courted the region after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and leaned on it for troops to fight alongside U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Barack Obama took office undecided about Bush's plan to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and sophisticated radar in the Czech Republic — a system designed to shoot down long-range missiles that might be fired from Iran or elsewhere in the Middle East. Building had not started in either country.

The Czech installation was planned for the Brdy military installation 55 miles (90 kilometers) southwest of Prague. The Polish site was slated for a former military air base near the town of Redzikowo, about 115 miles from Russia's westernmost edge.
Obama has been reaching out to Russia, which had expressed outrage at the notion of missiles being pointed in its direction from a region that was firmly in the Soviet orbit just 20 years ago.

On Thursday, Obama announced he was shifting the plan from Eastern Europe to other locations. He and other administration officials said they have concluded that Iran's medium- and short-range missiles pose a greater threat and require more flexible technology.

Obama's decision got a positive reception in Russia, hailed by President Dmitry Medvedev as a "responsible move."

Link to Article

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