In a statement released today, Senator Ted Cruz said a new government report detailing further delays and cost overruns for U.S. missile defense programs in Europe should serve as a "wake-up call that President Obama’s policies on both Russia and missile defense have collapsed and should be immediately reversed." The Texas Republican derided the Obama administration's decisions to cancel parts of the missile defense program, "beginning with the decision to cancel plans for a ballistic missile defense system in Central Europe, announced on the 70thanniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, 2009." In March of 2013, the Obama administration canceled another part of the missile defense program that Russia opposed.
On Wednesday, Cruz called on the administration to take the following actions:
· The President should begin the process of withdrawing from New START according to the provision of Article XIV(3) of the Treaty, which declares “Each party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests;”
· The Secretary of Defense should engage in a full re-assessment of our missile defense posture in Europe with the purpose of restoring or expanding the installations cancelled in 2009; and
· The Secretary of Defense should, in conjunction with this work, engage in a thorough review of the delays and costs over-runs of the existing missile defense programs for Europe with the goal of accelerating their scheduled implementation.
As Steve Hayes reports in this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has brought attention to major foreign policy disagreements between Cruz and another Tea Party favorite, Kentucky senator Rand Paul:
I reminded Cruz that Paul has already accused him of mischaracterizing those views, an implied charge of dishonesty. “What I have stated is my views,” Cruz says;
I think it would be a wonderful outcome if every Republican across the spectrum followed the model of Ronald Reagan and spoke with a clarion clarity for freedom and against oppression—spoke out against Russian aggression before they march into Ukraine, spoke out against Venezuelan aggression as Maduro murders protesters fighting for freedom, spoke out and called for the freedom of Leopoldo López, the opposition leader wrongfully imprisoned because Maduro is afraid of the desire for freedom of his citizens, and stood resolutely for vigorous sanctions against Iran, for using every tool necessary, including if necessary overwhelming military force, to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. That is a Reaganesque foreign policy, and nothing would make me happier than seeing every Republican in the United States Senate embrace that foreign policy.
Cruz’s critique is all substance. And he doesn’t mention Paul by name. But there’s no question that Paul is the target of his comments.
On Iran, Paul has supported some sanctions but opposed the recent bipartisan effort to reinstate sanctions automatically if Iran violates the terms of the Geneva agreement. Paul was one of only two Republicans to stand with the Obama White House on the issue. On Venezuela, Paul has been quiet. And just days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Paul cautioned against warning Vladimir Putin about the consequences of aggression. Some Republicans, he complained, are “stuck in the Cold War era” and want to “tweak Russia all the time.” Paul acknowledged that relations with Russia would sometimes be adversarial, but he called confrontational talk misguided and urged a more “respectful” approach to Putin.
You can read the rest of Hayes's article here.
And you can read Cruz's full statement on missile defense here: