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Friday, September 18, 2009

Sen. James Inhofe Says Obama Missile Defense Decision Leaves U.S. "Naked" to Possible Attack from Iran - Video 9/18/09

Here is video of GOP Sen. James Inhofe today saying the decision by President Obama to scrap a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic has "pulled the rug" out from under some of our staunchest allies, and argues it leaves the United States "naked" and vulnerable to long-range missile attack from Iran for five years, from 2013-2018. Inhofe said "Iran and Russia are celebrating" Obama's decision.

Obama decided to scrap a promised missile shield system already agreed to by the Bush Administration to be placed in Eastern Europe to guard against Iran and to signal determination to protect former Soviet dominated areas of Eastern Europe from future Russian aggression. Obama's decision sends the wrong signals to everyone.

That fact is borne out by reaction from Russia's Prime Minister (essentially a Dictator) Vladimir Putin, who is already pushing for further U.S. concessions on the heels of Obama's decision. Rather than making Russia more cooperative, Obama has only emboldened Russia by showing weakness:

“I expect that after this correct and brave decision, others will follow,” Mr Putin said in a speech in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The measures should include “the complete removal of all restrictions on the transfer of high technology to Russia, and activity to widen the membership of the World Trade Organisation to Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus”, he said.

Mr Putin’s comments provide ammunition for critics who say that rather than earning Russia’s goodwill, the US climbdown may have emboldened Moscow’s hawks to push the US further. “Anything that looks like a concession can be viewed by the Russian side as a sign of weakness,” said Masha Lipman of the Carnegie Moscow Centre.

Russia on Thursday denied the US step to scrap missile defence plans was part of a quid pro quo, and Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister, the same day reiterated Russia’s opposition to sanctions on Iran, the area where the White House was hoping for flexibility.

The coming weeks will show if Russia will continue to take a hard line on Iran or work with the US by twisting arms in Tehran to win concessions behind the scenes. The Moscow newspaper Kommersant yesterday quoted an anonymous source in the ministry of foreign affairs, saying the US was asking Russia not to go ahead with an agreed sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, and to support a “tough resolution” against Iran by the UN Security Council in exchange for its decision to scrap missile defence. . . .MORE


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