Thursday, September 17, 2009
Missile Defense Shield in Poland
By: Ryan Jaroncyk, THL Contributor
As the U.S. cuts back on its own national missile defense, the Obama Administration has decided to install a U.S. led, global missile defense shield in Central & Eastern Europe- but a different one than that proposed by George W. Bush in 2007.
Proponents of the missile shield claim that the missile defense system will shield U.S. forces, as well as its European allies, from potential attack by Iran, terrorists, or even an increasingly bellicose Russia.
Many proponents feel Obama's new plan doesn't do enough, even claiming that he has "scrapped missile defense" in Europe, which is untrue- he has scrapped Bush's missile defense proposal, and replaced it with a different plan that focuses on Iran's present short and medium range capabilities.
Let's consider the following issues.
First, the U.S. is running a $1.6 trillion budget deficit. How can we afford to build, install, and fund a missile defense project in Europe?
Second, Germany and France have technically moved out of recession with recent, positive GDP growth. Why can't these E.U. giants fund the project?
Third, Poland is running a massive budget deficit of its own. Why would we reward financial irresponsibility with more assistance? Shouldn't Poland get its own financial house in order so that it can defend itself?
Fourth, Poland signed up for a $21 billion credit line from the IMF during the economic crisis. Can't it utilize some of these funds to build its own missile defense?
Fifth, installation of a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe will surely ratchet up tensions with Russia. Russia will certainly counter with provocations of its own. If the plan is implemented, expect Russia to offer more nuclear technology to Iran, strengthen relations with Cuba & Venezuela, and conduct more naval exercises in our neck of the woods.
Sixth, why are we building up Europe's missile defenses when we are reducing the size and scope of our own? Shouldn't defending American soil from potential rogue, ballistic missile attacks be a higher priority for the American government?
Seventh, we have a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) epidemic in the U.S. military due to ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why not devote the money to providing better medical and psychiatric care to our veterans instead of paying to subsidize Poland?
Perhaps it is time for America to quit extending welfare payments to Europe. We've got enough problems of our own to address, and Europe is perfectly capable of footing the bill to defend itself.
What do you think?