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Would Obama Give In To Russia On Missile Defense In 2013?

- March 27, 2012

“I, For Example, Don’t Agree With A Missile Defense System”


In The Past, Obama Has Said That He Doesn’t Agree With A Missile Defense System

Obama: “I, For Example, Don’t Agree With A Missile Defense System.” (WTTW11’s “Chicago Tonight,” 1/17/01)

“Obama May Well Be The Only Senator In The United States Who Is Pledged To Cut U.S. Missile Defense System Research By As Much As $10 Billion.” (Thomas Roeser, Op-Ed, “Think Kerry Is Liberal? Get A Load Of Obama,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/20/04)

But When Running For President, Obama Claimed “The Missile Shield Is Appropriate”

In September 2008, Obama Changed His Mind And Told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly That If Elected, He’d Keep The Missile Defense System In Poland. BILL O’REILLY: “Right, okay. United States and Poland -- putting a missile shield in Poland, all right. Putin doesn't like it. Are you going to keep that missile shield in there?” BARACK OBAMA: “I think that we have to make sure that -- I've said this before. The Russians are playing a game when they pretend that this missile shield is directed against all their ICDs.” O’REILLY: “Yeah, it's ridiculous. It's a defensive thing.” OBAMA: “It's a defensive thing.” O’REILLY: “So you're going to keep it there.” OBAMA: “And given what has happened in Georgia, I think that we have to send a clear signal that Poland and other countries in that region are not going to be subject to intimidation and aggression.” O’REILLY: “I just want to get this on the record. You're elected president, you're keeping the missile shield in Poland.” OBAMA: “I believe that the missile shield is appropriate. I want to make sure it works, though.” (Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” 9/10/08)

Once In Office, Obama Cut Missile Defense Funding By $1.2 Billion

Obama Requested Massive Cuts To Missile Defense Spending In His First Budget. “President Obama's FY10 budget request includes $9.3 billion for missile defense programs -- an amount that, Republicans are quick to point out, is $1.2 billion below FY09 levels.  ‘I can't conceive of cutting missile defense when you've got [North] Korea shooting off missiles,’ McKeon said. ‘It's ludicrous to me.’" (Megan Scully, “Republicans to Oppose Missile Defense Cuts in Authorization Markup”, Congress Daily, 6/15/09)

Politico: "Neither The White House Nor Democratic Leaders In Congress Show Any Signs Of Changing Course On Their Proposal, The Most Sweeping Overhaul Of The U.S. Missile Defense Program In A Decade." (John Bresnahan, "North Korean Weapon Test And Missile Launches Gives Ammunition To Opponents," Politico, 6/7/09)

  • While The Democrats Cut Missile Defense Funding, The Military Testified That The Threats From Iran And North Korea’s Missile Programs Were Increasing: REP. TRENT FRANKS: "Do you believe that the threat from long-range missiles has increased or decreased in the last six months as it relates to the homeland here?" GEN. PATRICK O'REILLY: "Sir, I believe it has increased significantly….The demonstration of capability of the Iranian ability to put a sat[ellite] into orbit, albeit small, shows that they are progressing in that technology. Additionally, the Iranians yesterday demonstrated a solid rocket motor test which is…disconcerting. Third, the North Koreans demonstrated…that they are improving in their capacity and we are very concerned about that." (Editorial, "Target: Hawaii," The Wall Street Journal, 6/30/09)

“Lawmakers Are Demanding To Know Why The President's Proposed 2010 Defense Budget Cuts Missile Defense By $1.2 Billion And Does Not Provide Any Funds For The European Missile Defense Shield As Iran And North Korea Defy The International Community With Missile Testing.” (Jennifer Griffin, “Lawmakers Question Obama’s Missile Defense Cuts,” FOX News, 6/16/09)

Obama Killed A Missile Defense Agreement In Europe Aimed At Countering Threats From Iran And North Korea

Obama Scrapped Plans For A New Missile Defense System In Europe, “Drawing Immediate Cheers In Moscow And Criticism Elsewhere.” “President Barack Obama's decision to drop plans to deploy a ballistic-missile defense shield in Central Europe -- drawing immediate cheers in Moscow and criticism elsewhere -- is a gamble by the U.S. that scaling back its defense ambitions will improve security in the long run.” (Peter Spiegel, "U.S. Shelves Nuclear-Missile Shield," The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/09)

The Deal Was Made To Scrap Missile Defense In Europe In Order To Secure Russia’s Approval For Sanctions Against Iran. “The Administration's likelier motive for scrapping the interceptors is that it hopes to win Russia's vote at the U.N. Security Council for tougher sanctions on Iran. Maybe the Russians have secretly agreed to such a quid pro quo, though publicly they were quick to deny it following yesterday's decision. And as Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov has noted, Vladimir Putin's Kremlin benefits by keeping the Iranian crisis on a low boil, because the threat of a Middle East crisis drives energy prices up while putting U.S. interests at risk. Russia also likes spooning out dollops of diplomatic help at the U.N. in exchange for material Western concessions. This time, the concession was missile defense.” (“Obama’s Missile Offense,” Wall Street Journal, 9/18/09)

  • Obama Told Medvedev He Would Delay Deployment Of U.S. Missile Defense System If Iranian Nuclear Efforts Were Suspended. “President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday. … It said the United States would not need to proceed with the interceptor system, which has been vehemently opposed by Russia since it was proposed by the Bush administration, if Iran halted any efforts to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.” (Peter Baker, “Obama Offered Deal To Russia In Secret Letter,” The New York Times, 3/2/09)

Obama’s Compromise Undermined The Entire U.S. Nuclear Shield And Strengthened The Kremlin’s Hand. “The U.S. decision also undermines the credibility of the U.S. nuclear defense umbrella. The Bush Administration sought to develop a global defense posture in part to reassure allies that they don't need their own nuclear deterrent, even as rogue regimes seek nuclear arms and the missiles to deliver them.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Missile Offense,” Wall Street Journal, 9/18/09)

  • As A Result Of Obama’s Action, “In Eastern And Central Europe…The United States May No Longer Be A Reliable Guarantor Of Security.” “In Eastern and Central Europe, there has been fear since the administration canceled long-planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that the United States may no longer be a reliable guarantor of security.” (Robert Kagan, Op-Ed, “Allies Everywhere Feeling Snubbed By President Obama,” The Washington Post, 3/17/10)
  • Obama Administration Missile Defense Cut “Will Be Hailed By The Kremlin As A Big Victory.” “The U.S. move on the shield -- due to be announced later on Thursday but already flagged by Czech and Polish officials -- removes at a stroke the biggest outstanding obstacle to bilateral relations between the former superpowers and will be hailed by the Kremlin as a big victory.” (Michael Stott, "Demise Of U.S. Shield May Embolden Russia Hawks," Reuters, 9/17/09)

Obama Told The Outgoing Russian President That “After My Election I Have More Flexibility”

“In A Private Conversation About The Planned U.S.-Led NATO Missile Defense System In Europe, President Obama Asked Outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev For Space On The Issue.” (Brianna Keilar, “Open Mic Catches Obama Asking Russian President For Space On Missile Defense,” CNN Politics3/26/12)

President Obama To Russian President Medvedev: “After My Election I Have More Flexibility.”  PRESIDENT OBAMA: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.” PRESIDENT MEDVEDEV: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…” OBAMA: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” MEDVEDEV: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” (Jake Tapper, “President Obama Asks Medvedev For ‘Space’ On Missile Defense — ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility,’” ABC News, 3/26/12)

Obama’s Message To Russia On Missile Defense: “Let Me Get Reelected First…Then I’ll Have A Better Chance Of Making Something Happen.” “In their joint statement to reporters here, President Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev spoke carefully about continuing discussions on the sensitive issues of European missile defense. But in an unscripted moment picked up by camera crews, the American president was more blunt: Let me get reelected first, he said, then I’ll have a better chance of making something happen.” (David Nakamura And Debbi Wilgoren, “Obama Tells Medvedev Solution On Missile Defense Is Unlikely Before Elections,” The Washington Post, 3/26/12)

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