Among the first acts the Obama administration took in the arena of international affairs was to scrap a Bush-era plan to provide Poland and the Czech Republic with interceptor missiles and radar installations.
Many accurately saw the move as a gift to Moscow as part of the Obama White House’s ill-fated “reset” in relations with Russia. Since interceptor technology has existed, the Kremlin has regarded even meager missile defense installations in Europe as destabilizing, since they could theoretically weaken the very pillars of deterrence by neutralizing Russia’s ability to mount a retaliatory nuclear strike. Like so many pronouncements from Moscow, this theory was accepted as the gospel truth by the forever credulous academic left, and Barack Obama dutifully codified it as American foreign policy once he assumed command of the reins of government.
Critics of the Obama administration’s antipathy toward missile defense countered that a massive volley of Russian missiles could not be thwarted by a handful of interceptors. Moreover, Russia was not the nation that the Western powers were trying to deter. Only the threat posed by a small number of missiles launched from a rogue state like Iran could be neutralized by the proposed missile defense installations in Europe.
“I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat,” Vice President Joe Biden insisted dismissively in 2009.
“President Barack Obama will re-engage with Gulf State allies at a summit next week on a proposal for a common ballistic missile defense system that could act as a deterrent to a potentially nuclear armed Iran,” read a CNN report published on Wednesday. The dispatch cited an unnamed U.S. official familiar with the administration’s thinking on regional security matters.
Building up that common defense infrastructure and architecture for the Gulf region will be a key part of next week’s summit which is scheduled to take place at the White House and Camp David, the official added.
The official said that the goal would be for the Gulf states to operate the missile defense system themselves, with the U.S. providing advisory and technical support.
A ballistic missile defense system for the Gulf Cooperation Council is something the Obama administration has recommended for some time, the official noted, and also cautioned that missile defense is only one component of a range of security measures that will be discussed.
This is apparently only one prong of a multifaceted approach to enhancing the security capabilities of America’s allies in an increasingly unstable and chaotic region. Other elements of this strategy will include maritime and border security measures.
Beyond the delicious irony of this administration abandoning its 2009 opposition to exporting missile defense technology to the Euro-Asian theater in order to deter Iranian aggression is the fact that this policy is being put in place in order to curb the Iranian revisionism it has encouraged for years. The fruits of the Obama White House’s years of labor aimed at channeling Iranian military aggression in more productive directions is to belatedly embrace yet another Bush administration policy, albeit a few hundred miles closer to the epicenter of the threat.
Banner job, guys.