Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Putin's Blessing

Russia's Putin is doing his best to get that flexibility that President Obama promised Putin:

After assuring the audience that Russia will work "with whichever president is elected by the American people," Putin turned to the issue of missile defense and declared that if Mitt Romney became president, "the (U.S. and NATO) missile defense system will definitely be directed against Russia."

Putin then slipped in a plug for President Barack Obama's re-election, saying that "in principle" he and Obama could resolve U.S.-Russian missile defense (MD) disagreements. However, he opined that American militarists and "State Department" conservatives would limit Obama's ability to strike a deal. ...

Putin's plug may be the "space" (or quid pro quo) Obama requested last March in Seoul when an open mike inadvertently captured Obama telling then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that if Putin would give him (Obama) "space," he would have "more flexibility" on issues like MD "after my election."

Putin knows that our missile defenses won't stop any Russian attack. Even as planned, it is a thin shield that can't handle a serious attack. Russia has many means to overcome that shield with their existing assets--if nuking NATO is really such an important capability for Russia to maintain. (Huh. This "reset" is getting a bit painful, no?)