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The Balance Sheet on the Scrapped Missile Shield

So let’s total up what was gained and what was lost by the Obama administration’s decision to scrap the never-built ballistic missile shield in Poland and the

Jul 31, 2020
So let’s total up what was gained and what was lost by the Obama administration’s decision to scrapthe never-built ballistic missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. In favor of abandonment:
  • Russia, a much more important country than either Poland or the Czech Republic, viewed it as needlessly provocative.
  • The thing was never actually built, so getting rid of the plans to build it is fairly cost-free.
  • The thing was more about Eastern European political fears of a resurgent Russia, which are better dealt with through diplomatic means.
  • Iran isn’t dreaming of raining missiles down on Prague or Gdansk.
  • Moving Patriot batteries into Poland is an adequate political substitute for Polish anxieties.
[UPDATE: 6: Oh, and there are alternative missile-defense systems like Aegisthat would be used as a substitute in a couple of years; plus closer-to-Iran interceptors as well
In favor of continuation:
  • Iran might someday at some point acquire this missile capability and then decide what it wants to do is blackmail European countries into giving it all their gold coins.
  • Russia isn’t an important country and even if it were, the United States ought to cherish the memory of when it was cool to provoke it.
Eric Edelman, the second Bush-administration undersecretary of defense for policy, tells The Wall Street Journal’s Peter Spiegel that he saw intelligence reports on the pace at which Iran is making technological progress on long-range missiles. But you know who sees moreintelligence reports on those missiles? Edelman’s former boss, Defense Secretary Bob Gates. If Gates, the model of a pragmatic defense secretary who often discusses the need to reset defense policy around “real” and not “hypothetical” threats, doesn’t see an actual cost to U.S. or allied security, then none exists.
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Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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