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Is America right to scrap its missile defense plan?

September 17th, 2009
04:14 PM ET

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that plans for a controversial missile defense shield in Eastern Europe are to be dropped in favor of a new system. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/17/missile.defense.shield/art.obama.thurs.afp.gi.jpg caption="Obama is seeking stronger ties with Russia."]

Although details of the replacement are not yet clear, the scrapping of the Bush-era blueprint is likely to be welcomed by Russia, which fiercely opposed the plan from the outset.

The original proposal called for the U.S. to set up a radar site in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland to counter the threat of Iran launching long-range missiles at America's allies in Europe

Obama says the decision to abandon this based on an “updated intelligence” on Iran’s ability to target Europe.

The assessment is a far cry from that of the George W. Bush administration, which believed the threat was significant enough to risk heightened tensions with Russia.

Obama has been seeking a stronger relationship with Russia and better cooperation from the Kremlin to support tough U.N. economic sanctions against Iran if it continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

Do you think the United States is right to scrap plans for a missile defense shield in Europe?

Filed under:  General
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Charlie

    I've always thought the missile defense system was nothing but an expensive, unworkable, boondoggle and I could never understand why we were wasting money on it. Iran for example would never attack us because if they did we would simply destroy the entire country of Iran..and that goes for any country who would think about attacking us.

    So long as we have a massive nuclear strike capability nobody in their right mind is going to launch one or two missiles at us – it's something that just wont happen..

    September 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  2. Andrew Cole

    The system does not work and its too expensive. Well done Mr President!!

    September 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  3. Nicholas Mutalama

    Yes, no doubt. If US has got credible allies in Europe, should it not be their responsibility to deal with Iran? The power conflict with Russia will calm down now due to this latest development. However, the reality is that the Bush Administration had such options on the table but chose not to take them. It is not rocket science to figure out why the Russians got concerned.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  4. stan45

    No. He is doing it to appease the Russians, so that everyone can say he's Mister Nice Guy. Instead of taking a leading role in world politics Pres Obama is trying to make America look like a softy. I would not like to see what he would do if the idiot in Iran or in Korea start launching missles at us.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  5. Ivars

    Wrong signal to Russians, wrong signal to the East Europe. Weakness which may cost dearly after Russia will rebound from crisis.

    Same story as 60 years ago.

    September 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  6. shep shepard

    I believe the real reason for Bush placing the missle defense system on Russia's doorstep was more about establishing land based capability for ground troops, should they ever be needed. All Obama has demonstrated to our allies in the Chez Republic and Poland is that America can't be trusted as a partner. Well, at least the Russians are happy- good going Mr. President. History will look upon this as a major misstep.

    September 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  7. A. March

    Diffusing tensions is a step forward.

    September 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  8. David Martin

    Europeans need to do more on behalf of their own defense. We should also close down and bring back the troops from Europe and Korea. These are costly cold war stategies that are no longer needed.

    September 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  9. Sayan Majumdar

    Judging from practical point of view cooperation between United States and Russia is absolutely essential to decimate international terrorism and contain spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

    It may be prudent for United States to associate Russia in its anti-missile defence plans at least in terms of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) radar coverage and TELemetry INTelligence (TELINT) sharing to tackle the evil intentions of rogue nations; side-by-side enhancing mutual trust and respect with Russia .


    September 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  10. Ken H.

    Is America right to scrap the missle defense plan? Not no, but hell no.
    Obama is going way over his head in trying to appease these rouge nations. This incident will come back to haunt him.

    September 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  11. Edd

    Just 1 more way to spend money we can't afford.

    September 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  12. BobM

    From what I've read Obama is following the advice of those in the Pentagon on this, rather then a pack of neocon's. History has shown us how well their advice panned out...remember how our troops were supposed to be greeted with flowers by the Iraqui's? The Pentagon had it right then too...

    September 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  13. stan45 you're the idoit, listen to Charlie

    We will not see a nation declare war on the US in our lifetime. If any of your so called idiots would be so foolish as to try to launch a missile or missiles at us the US would do just as Charlie described, "destroy the entire country". It would amount to a national suicide booming.

    We need to fight the true threat to America; terrorism! If there is a nuclear attack waged on the US it will be done so by forces of evil, not the "axis of evil". We need Russia, the entire Middle East, not to mention our current allies to fight this threat. If in fact this new direction in European defense policy amounts to a political olive branch, then I say bravo Mr. President. Keep the Olive Oil flowing!

    September 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  14. Scott

    stan45 you do realize that neither North Korea or Iran have the capabilities to hit us with any missiles conventional or nuclear. They have both tried and failed to build long range missiles capable of reaching the United States.

    September 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  15. oladimeji

    america of today does not need to continue on such a white elephant project so it good for mr president and the american people for stopping that and going for something that will yield a good result

    September 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  16. Bryan Moody

    I am American and my wife is Czech. We both agree that Obama is appeasing the Russians at the expense of a free Europe. "Appeasement" has an eerie sound to Czechs and Poles. Does the "Munich Agreement" and Neville Chamberlain still mean anything these days? The Russians are power hungry gluttons that historically have proven that Europe is their feasting ground! When will Europe and the US stand up for their own autonomy in spite of Russia's natural gas leash?!

    We must be brave and tell the Russians that their psychopathic Cold War ideology must be shelved. The US and Europe want peace and defense. By all means, please do tell how a defensible Europe and US unfairly makes Russia uncomfortable? So Russia would not even be able to launch multiple head nuclear weapons toward the US Eastern seaboard or Europe... and the problem is where? No more mutually assured destruction! Finally Russia would have to play the game of politics without hiding under red buttons and mushroom clouds. But then again, where would their leverage be? What advantage is there for Russia to have a free Europe?

    Great loss Obama. Thanks for selling us out to wag the dog on health care and to shake hands with Medvedev just to have him stab you in the back next year. Oh yes, it will happen. It always does.

    September 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  17. Peter Fuerst

    This is not smart and peace-creating – on the contrary.This is capitulation to any fierce oppositon against US military force. This will lead to non-confidence in the US willingness to defend others. To what will this lead in South Korea, the Gulf States, Israel, Germany India, Japan, Colombia & more? Disarmament the Obama way?

    September 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  18. john

    Yes it right thing to do we wouldlike to see Nuke free world.Forgert about Bush Amiistration.

    September 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  19. Michael Williams

    America is not only right, but on strategy; the Obama administration has consistency proved that there is a new way of doing things, it does not make you any weaker, it’s even the direct opposite , indeed this is “change we can believe in”. Another plus to Mr. President.

    September 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  20. William Schaefers


    O well the world is suppose to end soon anyway. This time by fire.

    How do you say "We surrender" in Russian?

    I remember. "Obama's changes."

    September 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  21. George

    No quid pro quo ?

    September 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  22. Remylus

    It is amazing how many Americans, especially Republicans, denouncing the healthcare initiative as adding to the national debt, while the previous administration had concerned itself on spending money in petty things. None of us has reason to believe Iran would launch a missile to Europe. So the whole plan about putting a missile defense in Eastern Europe was just another way to spend money. What President Obama needs to do is to find all those nonsense plans (this one is a good start) and redirect the money to provide Americans with basic health care he promises them.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  23. sharif

    Super Job !!!

    we need peace not war

    September 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  24. roman

    No question: our children need less arms and more negotiating skills. Bravo, you're the man, Obama! The world needs more of you.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  25. mathias jean marcel

    People must understand that as time slips , technology is also advancing almost at the same pace . The missile defense system which President Bush projected in Eastern Europe , to be honest that is very old technology which is not even cost effective , that can be compared with designing telecomunication system based on landlines!! if you want i can demonstrate how to shield short , medium and long ballistic missiles in the "smartest" way possible . we all love America and Europe as well , i think it was a conscientious decision for President Barack Obama to scrap that out dated missile defense system.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  26. sandy

    Is what I am reading true? it says US has decided to build a missile defense near the Caucasus (now thats even closer to Russia) instead of Poland and Czech Republic – if it is true, how much would that help the situation..


    September 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  27. Puca

    Cancelling a system that doesn't work is the right thing to do. As mentioned by other posters, neither North Korea nor Iran have the capability of launching any missile attack on the US.
    The situation is also similar to the events that lead up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, i.e. when the US installed ICBMs on Russia's doorstep in Turkey and the Soviets responded by sending their missiles to Cuba.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  28. dan

    in my opinion the president is right in deciding to scrap that provocative plan near russia's door step.
    the president needs russia's support versus iran and not their anger.

    September 17, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  29. Karl Tantscher

    Please do not forget that Russia never has launched an agression on any country (Stalin's endeavours were the exception, but he was Georgian).

    September 17, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  30. VV Lask

    Well done Obama. President Bush probably started the missile shield program using the same fake intel he used as excuse to start the Irak invasion. I agree with the comment that Europe has to do more by themselves for their own protection. Why don't they spend the big bucks to place these missile shields buying technology from the US? It's time the US uses its dwindling budget more carefully and Obama is doing just that. Anyway If Iran tries to attack any EU power it will in return receive total annihilation, and they know that. It is more wise to focus economic spending on health care and internal issues to guarantee the well being of Americans.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  31. Rafal Roczynski

    This decision could have catastrophic consequences for eastern Europe, especially for countries like Ukraine or Georgia. It not about missile defense system at all, but the way of US retreating under Russia pressure. It's a clear signal for Russia, that they can win with US by political pressure by giving nothing for it. Good Ties for canceling? What Russia mean saying good ties? Clear way to have they own vision for Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine? It's a move of weakness or unknowledge from US.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  32. David

    This was a big mistacke, which will show up soon:
    first in east Europe, then in west Europe and finally in nort America.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  33. Rafael

    Well done Mr. President, expensive and not effective missile system , but maybe rethink or put the money saved on that program on to the F29 raptor program?

    those planes will definitely see some work in the future. (just a thought)

    September 17, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  34. Buddy in Huntsville

    "A Missile Defense system that doesn't work..."
    Hmmm. Let's see...10 launches and 10 destructs on the launch pad.
    Yep! By any 360 view, that sure enough doesn't work.
    Never hit a thing, by golly...
    Zip...Cut $2Billion and now I'm out of a job. Just great, isn't it. I was lamenting to some of my Democratic neighbors last week about my situation and they said my employment difficulty is my fault. What? I should have tried to get a job as a used car salesman or dish washer...nope! Those are for our Latino friends who are out of jobs because the housing boom went bust.
    What's a guy to do?
    "Government is the only answer." Okay, employ me. I applied to Redstone Arsenal for an Operations Research Analyst job. My PhD is in Operations Research...shoe-in, right? WRONG! The government said that I do not meet minimum criteria. Huh?
    Up until the Democrats won, my health care worked just fine. If I got sick then I went to the doctor, got cured, submitted a claim to insurance and paid a deductible. Now, I am out of a job and have no health insurance. Huh?
    I was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. My first job was delivering hand bills for a Democratic Precinct Committeeman in 1956 for $5 a stack. I met Lyndon Johnson when he came through Gary in 1964...I shook Bobby Kennedy's hand in Muncie in May, 1968 just before California... He had my vote.
    Let's see, now...The Democrats have made me unemployed...have not gotten me a job...they have not made my house payment....do I really think they are going to provide me with medical care? Maybe like soylent green...just "Going Home"
    Do I really think they are going to defend this country?
    One Second After.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  35. Juddy Ike

    Juddy: I think Obama is right. I want to ask Americans: Why are you ready to spend billions to defend Europe when you are not willing to spend a dollar to defend and support 46million Americans who have no health insurance. Charity they say begins at home.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  36. Vovka

    American media never tells you that 67% of the Chekhs and 57% of the Poles are against Bush's plans. Google "Ne základnám" for information.

    The only point of this two bases was to isolate Russia from Europe.
    Now cold war is finally over. Obama – my hero.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  37. David

    Well done Mr. President you might as well hand over Alaska to the Russians now that Europe wont have a reliable defense system against the Russians they will continue to bully our European allies I wonder whose side are you on? it seems to me like our president is the dummest jerk they could find to put in office im glad i didint vote for this idiot.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  38. don

    YES, we have enough missiles in multiple platforms to destroy this world 100 times over. What I'd like see is the money spent on more armored vehicles and body armor for our ground troops and hey how about a pay increase? It's incredible what we ask of our soldiers and how underpaid and under equipped they are in the field. Meanwhile, we have FAT cat defense contracts going to overly expensive weapons systems that don't work.

    Bravo to Secretary Gates and President Obama. Spending smart doesn't mean weak on defense.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  39. Raul

    Conservatives in America have a chronicle lack of culture
    and that you may see in their comments on this issue.
    We do not need tensions in Europe.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  40. Andrew

    Spend this money on something worth it. Kids, food, medicine, edycation. War machine is nothing but waste of reasources.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  41. Rodrigo Páez

    Thank you Obama for work to peace and saved the money

    September 17, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  42. A.Sino

    Well done Prez Obama! America should concerntrate more on domestic issues. No one appointed (and funds) USA to be the police of the world. Let Europe and for that matter other the countries spend money on their on defense. Afterall they are supposed to be independant nations. Less money on depense means more money on improving living standards.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  43. Eonfluxs7

    The world is supporting you, Mr. Obama.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  44. jim


    September 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  45. manfred L.

    it´s correct to scrap that defence system.with all that money its better to invest in poorer countries so as to halt the refugees from wandering elsewhere for better lives. Reeducate those hostile imams around the globe to be not hostile against other religions and bring them to understand that so or so is islam will one day still to be the stongest religion because islam does´nt permit conversion.all they need is patience.the day will come. No defence can stop such an attack, only way to stop is within them.(the attackers)

    September 17, 2009 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  46. Ray

    FINALLY–we may be getting it right!! Unless we want Russian missiles in Latin America, we should recognize that the cold war is over and the Soviet Union is no more. FINALLY–maybe the government is waking up after a long nightmare and realizing that Russia is as human as we are. NEGOTIATE–after all, it's going to take both Russia and the US to team up to deal with terrorism. And–sidebar–we also need to pay attention to the fact that Russia has vast stores of natural resources. OBAMA HAS IT RIGHT! We need to back off on cold war concepts and drop old-fashioned fears–real world says we need to work together with Russia. Go for it, Barak and Hillary.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  47. eddy

    xlent job by the president ! the missile defense plan proved to be expensive and unable to protect us ! he listened to the experts and did the right move !

    again proven to be a good leader on the national and international scale ...

    September 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  48. Clinton

    The missile system does work, it just isn't 100% reliable yet. Not an easy thing to do when considering that your trying to hit a target moving mach 5+. I disagree that the President should scrap this program, delay it or slow down deployment of a system. The reason that it is desireable to put a system in Europe is because it is easier to strike an Long Range missile during the ascent phase of launch, it is going slower. Another reason is old rules of mutally assured destruction don't apply to the regimes that are seeking missiles that can deliver nuclear payloads to Europe and eventually U.S. They have a habit of only considering what can I take if I threaten with Nukes. Which raises the question of what do we do if they go all in? I would much rather be able to say HAHA shot down your missile than, we will destroy you too.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  49. Charles

    Yeah, this is great Obama. We have seen how well appeasement has worked, considering the munich pact pre ww2. Basically, the US is showing the world that it is no longer brave enough to stand up and defend what is right.

    Wake up world. Our "sanctions" against Iran and other nations that are attempting to acquire nuclear weapons are not working. They do not care, because we are too cowardly to actually do anything. Just like in WW2, Europe is too cowardly to do anything (again, consider the Munich Pact), and now that the US has proven itself too cowardly, well let us just see where the world goes.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  50. comfi

    Way to go mr president. Bush admin was creating a lot of tension around the world. Its time to build those relationship, after all there was no reason for such an expensive project. Iran has failed to build long range missiles so why waste money on something thats not neccessary. Its like building an ark when there is never gonna be a flood.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  51. Jo Bloh

    As usual if its politicaly expediante the US dumps its allies. It basically shows that the smaller powers are just pawns to be traded off to the bigger ones.

    You have a large western allie who is making great strides, and we have just dumped them. Yes there be a while where we refused to admit it, but in the end thats what it is.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  52. George

    Charlie assumes that people with power, invariably, have a sound mind!

    September 17, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  53. David Callard

    I have an open mind about the need for this technology; perhaps we need it, perhaps we don't but I have always wondered why the interceptors had to be sited right on Russia's doorstep. Surely if we ever need to shoot down Iranian missiles there are better places to locate the interceptors, e.g. Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, or even Israel – the most likely target of an Iranian attack, always presuming that the Iranian regime has a suicidal death wish in order to hasten the arrival of their Messiah!

    I also totally agree that it is high time for the Europeans to spend more on their own defence instead of always sending the bill to Uncle Sam then criticising practically everything the US does to maintain global security. That is not fair.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  54. jesee

    Good Job...Its a good way to start...let not forget that this is the descision of a team of experts...not just a single person 's call. how much was this project going to cost.???? Sorry for the Poles and the Czech's... but were are looking at the survival on the entire human race not just one group...if relations between us and russia should deteriorate, then im sure other meaures will be taken......for now everyone should just sit back ...relax and enjoy the flight....and yes history will tell.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:12 am | Reply
  55. Natasha

    I admire president Obama's wisdom and courage to do the right thing.This is a sign of strength, not weakness and I'm telling you this as a Russian person. It's obvious that Russia is not a threat and Russians want peaceful relationship with the US just as much as Obama does.The world needs to feed their peoples, not the cold war paranoia. So, well done president Obama ! Hope they work out the defence system that will be beneficial to everybody, and not just to Poland's ego.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:13 am | Reply
  56. Stacy

    Bad move! Why should we back off of the missile shield? So Russia will discourage Iran's nuclear program? Iran has shown no bend in their stance on the nuclear program and has just vowed to have closer ties with Venezuela. Russia is now selling short-range missiles to Venezuela. At the same time Russia is handing out passports in Crimea, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia with plans, no doubt, to annex them at some point in the future.

    It's nice to have a President that has a more tactful approach to foreign policy, but I fear this is a big mistake.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:39 am | Reply
  57. Don

    The US needs to stop being the world's police. Let other countries take care of themselves. Are we going to start running their governments next? Feeding their people? Paying for their education? We need to start looking out and taking better care of our own country. How moronic is it that we cut money to our own health and education, the future of our country, yet we build missile shields for other countries on another continent???

    September 18, 2009 at 12:39 am | Reply
  58. agnes irvine

    History shows us that the cuban missile crisis . Which was near total disaster for all of us.. Was caused partly by the usa installing missiles in turkey . We don,t want to travel down that path again....

    September 18, 2009 at 12:46 am | Reply
  59. Joey

    What's all this talk about "appeasement" and "losing to the Russians"? It's a missile defense system! Is there an imminent threat of Iran or Korea launching missiles considering one had to photoshop it's test launch pictures and all the other one could do is lob missiles over Japan. No. And more importantly, does it work? No.

    So why bother? Good on you Mr. President.

    September 18, 2009 at 1:00 am | Reply
  60. A. March

    The focus is misplaced. The real problem is with Israel/Palestine. Solve this problem by enforcing existing UN Resolutions and the real or perceived threat from Iran, and even Al Quaeda, will be difused.

    September 18, 2009 at 5:28 am | Reply
  61. Jonghana

    I see Obama spearheading the downfall of America.Am sad its all going to be on the head of a blackman.

    September 18, 2009 at 9:21 am | Reply
  62. Purnell

    This is the other shoe in the Russian dustup in Georgia.

    In other words – we are taking the perfectly logical step of not implementing a useless and expensive weapons system and the Russians will take it easy on Georgia. I thought Bush announcing he wasd going to implement was a really moronic super-power chess move. For people who think it makes us look weak – I suggest you play dominoes as Chess is too complicated for you. If you don't have any dopminoes I suggest you import some good Vietnames edominoes – they never fall.

    September 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  63. mathias jean marcel

    To a lay audience it appears as if President Barack obama has yielded and appeasing the Russians , however to a technological point of view the opposite is true.The truth is , there are better missile interceptors which does not even need any designated geographic location on the ground .People should avoid eccentric way of expounding political matters .

    September 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  64. Bryan Moody

    The Czech and Polish conservative parties have both come out saying that they believe their confidence in Washington to follow through plans is greatly harmed. Eastern Europe now knows that they are alone and once again being courted by the Russian sphere of influence.

    Great job OBAMA! Part of that plan was about building long term ties and presence in the region! We could have always put in better missiles later!

    Someone above pointed out how a high percentage of Poles and Czechs didn't want the bases and the numbers are true. These people object only to the operation not being a NATO operation and to having simply U.S. troops (foreign occupiers) on their land. Easy fix for Obama if he wanted to. Include NATO and all is well.

    Take care Europe... you're all on your own now.

    September 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  65. erwin or irvin

    hi there

    ibelieve that there is a need of reviewing the world.the two major powers were adversaries when i was a kid but after they collapsed and there was a void of power that after was revealed with other nations trying to assume the empty void.
    Nato almost becamme EU versus US except of britain and some other countries.Most countries do not share the same opinion that the US has if Russia is willing to help its like having a mass power that might scare some countries.
    But my question was what about Germany what happened to their army.are they allowed to have a full capacity has there pleased?
    Develop new wepons?
    UK US Germany and Russia has the main motors in military ways is problably the most advisable.also don´t forget that the public doesn´t like long wars.
    And whats the rolle of other countries of europe?
    Spain,Portugal,France,HOlland,and Nordic countries.
    and don´t forget also how uckrainia is gonna respond to the alliance of US and Russia.
    why not form a major earth league.
    remember that the russians were also victims of terrorism perhaps america and russia could cooperate in that has well.
    remember that they had for instance two buildings of moscow destroyed has well the concerts and the sub-way .
    could it be that they are interconected like comming from the same organization?
    the modus operandis resembles the same that in us but it commes from the caucasus that means that there is a big part of the world that stands against nato still or better us and uk.
    so in a period of need the allies should make an effort to grow military speaking and at the same time perform hugh humanitarian assistance.
    how to accomplish that economically?
    the state covers all or is it the privates that assume the main role in deliverance.
    In times of crisis is hard to run the state economically speaking because there are investiments to be donne and taxes don´t want to be raised but that leaves the state without money how to proceed?
    Invest on the militarys industries as well.
    Major investement requires new troops and that means that besides the pay those troops need all to used.
    that goes against public opinion and also raises the question of what to about the iran issue for instance?
    what about north korea do they have oil near their coast or not?
    and what about i stoping here because i could see a million things

    yours faithfully,


    September 19, 2009 at 12:57 am | Reply
  66. pete

    On hindsight this so-called "missile defense" was nothing but a non-subtle provocation to Russia, consistent with neocon policy of bringing in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia and others into NATO and thus partially encircle Russians. I wonder if they were still playing "The Great Game". The missiles were irrationally placed, since if they were to defend against Iran then they would have to be placed in Turkey or the Caucasus. It was plainly a hostile action against Russia.

    Now of course neocons, nazis and other such are screeching and frothing. Funny, given that Obama said he will place a truly effective defense in Turkey. Why the angst? Aren't they manly enough to admit they wanted America to fight their war against Russia?


    September 19, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  67. Luke K. Myintthu

    It is bad for now if it does not follow by actions of including Russia of Democratic government system into NATO.

    NATO should change name to ULHRDT (United League of Human Rights and Democracy Trust).

    ULHRDT should work on:

    1. To include only the nations which are of democracy, ruling by people.

    2. To promote human rights within nations of ULHRDT.

    3. To build missile defense system for nations within ULHRDT.

    Why? Evolution of people's will (to avoid wars and to respect all humans). Umm... it is not like second world war, nations are looking for colonies countries or colonies people.

    If NATO starts to stand up and defend for human rights and democracy, ULHRDT will have a great chance to securing the people in ULHRDT's nations as well as be able to build up economic, social, and military alliances around the world, not defeating the dictators by invasion, but by the outstanding attractions towards people under undemocratic or inhumane government systems to rise up for their freedom of will that is good, humane, moral, and civilized and to respect human rights and democracy around the world.

    Winning or losing in the war is not the most important outcome. The most important result is how many people realize that the war waging for them is for their freedom from fear and to raise their voice of hope around the world. If not a lot of people do not realize this, it is not worth for waging war for them, it is better to protect ourselves by our own means.

    History is written by the people of certain times and history itself changes by different people of different times.

    Eventually, Respect for Human Rights and Authentic Democracy will prevail around the world!

    September 20, 2009 at 6:20 am | Reply
  68. David Callard

    Now that the Russians have nothing to complain about over this issue I

    September 20, 2009 at 8:15 am | Reply
  69. David Callard

    Now that the Russians have nothing to complain about over the interceptor missiles on their western flank I certainly do expect a much more co-operative attitude re sanctions on Iran. Russian support would be invaluable. I tend to Charles' observation about the cowardice of the West in general when it comes to facing up to existential threats. Look at Afghanistan. For all our tragic blunders there if the calls to give up and walk away are acted upon I believe it can only lead to more tragedies like 9/11, very probably leading to a truly global conflict. However hard it may be to perceive the implications in a given situation I believe freedom and democracy need vigilant defense. Surely a reading of history does indeed illustrate that short term opportunism in domestic politics over foreign affairs issues can easily lead to greater catastrophes bearing a terrible price. War is the greatest human tragedy, which is why we must do all in our power to prevent its spread whenever it appears, anywhere.

    September 20, 2009 at 9:11 am | Reply
  70. D. Holder

    "MAD" or Mutually Assured Destruction worked well between strategic equals during the Cold War. The principle was simple; you launch at me and we both go down. In today's world we are more at risk from briefcase-sized bombs in terrorist hands than we are from tactical or strategic missile strikes from nation-states. So we now have "ARD" or Assured Retaliatory Destruction. Any state stupid enough to launch against US interests, or stupid enough to harbor the terrorist viruses who dream about it, will become a parking lot glowing in the dark; getting what it deserves. No need for a Bush-style missile defense shield just to feed billions to the military-industrial complex.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:34 am | Reply
  71. Carleddy Saint Jean

    People must understand that as time goes by, technology is also advancing at that same pace or even faster . The missile defense system which President Bush when he was in office that was projected in Eastern Europe ,was a very old piece of technology which was not even cost effective for people. Which why i think it was a conscientious decision for President Barack Obama to scrap that out dated missile defense system because it also provides more different types and kinds of strageys and counteracts other countries as well.

    October 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply

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