The Bear's growl
The Obama administration’s decision to cancel planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic has opened a hot debate. Officials told The New York Times the administration no longer believes radar and interceptor sites promised the two U.S. allies are needed because the chief missile threat, Iran, is thought to be concentrating its efforts on medium-range weapons instead of long-range ones. Critics say the administration simply caved in to the Russians, who claimed they would be threatened by a defensive system — even though the planned installations would not have deterred an arsenal the size of Russia’s. “This is bad news for all who care about the U.S. commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defense of Europe as well as the United States,” writes analyst Nile Gardiner in the London Telegraph. “It represents the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defense installations sends a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.”
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