Dear Members and Friends,
As world news noted, yesterday morning in Seoul, Korea while meeting Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, our President, Barack Obama was quoted off the cuff at the end of their 90 minute conversation about resolving missile defense issues with Russia.
President Obama stated that he would have “more flexibility”, after his re-election to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but to tell the incoming Russian President, Vladimir Putin that he needs to give him “space”.
This morning in Korea, President Obama deflected his previous remarks by making a joke about it with President Medvedev and stating that missile defense is too complex an issue as it couples with his arms control vision with Russia to achieve bipartisan Congressional support in an election year.
These sets of remarks, one off the cuff and one planned, in regards to missile defense would raise the single question of why the voice and vote of the American public is not considered or relevant? The President should be held accountable by the American public with the contrast of the President’s own words of assurances to Russia to wait until after his re-election on missile defense, when he would no longer be accountable by vote of the American public.
The President’s statements of “flexibility” and “space” brings to question if there are concessions being made, about to be made or already have been made on limiting our nations missile defense capability as not to offend Russia in order to gain trust for further arms control reductions by the President.
Russia has asked this Administration for limits on United States missile defense to include speed limits on our interceptors as well as for classified information of the ranges of our missile defense systems. Concerned with our Military’s capability to defend itself and our country’s right to be defended against not just today’s ballistic missile threats but in the future, the United States Congress has denied this Administration in legislation from limiting United States missile defense and not allowing exchange of classified missile defense speeds and ranges with Russia.
During the 10th Annual United States Missile Defense Conference and Exhibit held in Washington DC yesterday, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency, LTG Patrick O’Reilly stated unequivocally that more than 6,000 ballistic missiles are deployed today from other countries outside of our allies, China and Russia. That four years ago that figure was around 4,000 and only four of these other countries were making their own missiles, now 12 of these countries are making and deploying their own ballistic missiles. These offensive ballistic missile systems are proliferating, getting simpler to operate, more accurate and with longer ranges. It is known that North Korea has developed and tested nuclear weapons. That North Korea is testing, for its 4th time, another long range ballistic missile between April 14th and 16th of this year. It is also known that Iran continues to proliferate, test and deploy its hundreds of ballistic missiles and is still on track to attain an indigenous nuclear weapon.
Millions of lives from these real threats are at risk today including our citizens, American Military Forces, allies and friends in the Middle East and Far East regions.
We have to accept that Russia has and will continue to oppose United States missile defense particularly with President Obama’s own “European Phased Adaptive Approach” to protect Europe and the United States from Iran in which Russia feels the United States system remains threatening to its nuclear strategic ICBM forces both in a Geo Political sense as well as in evitable future modernization of the system over time.
We no longer live in a binary world and the Russian’s will never change their opposition on United States missile defense no matter how much this Administration or any Administration shall seek to compromise.
The American public will always have the right to hold our Presidents accountable and our Presidents should always be accountable to our American public.