(Updated x 2 & Bumped) Sources: Admin Officials Head to Poland, Czech Rep. to Kill Missile Defense
6:23 PM, Sep 16, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Update II: The AP confirms our report and adds that Secretary Gates will announce the administration's missile defense plans on Thursday morning at 10 am. A source tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the team in the air to Europe will be making stops in Warsaw, Prague, and Brussels. It sounds like the administration did not undertake any serious consultation with the allies affected by this decision, displaying a kind of unilateralism that became one of the core Democratic criticisms of the Bush administration's diplomacy.
Worth keeping in mind are President Obama's comments on missile defense in an April 5, 2009 speech:
According to reliable sources, Obama administration officials are on their way to Poland and the Czech Republic to deliver very bad news. The administration intends to cancel completely the missile defense sites that had been promised to these governments by the previous administration. This represents a complete capitulation to Russia's Vladimir Putin, who had demanded that the proposed deployments be halted as a price for improved relations. Ironically, the Obama administration, which is appeasing Russia in the hopes that Moscow will help put pressure on Iran, has made this mammoth concession just a few days after Moscow declared that it had no intention of supporting sanctions against Iran.
The consequences of this action in Eastern Europe, especially in Ukraine and in other countries that feel vulnerable to Russian power, will be disastrous. It is a major American retreat in the face of Russian bullying. And we will get absolutely nothing for it.
Update: Gary Schmitt has more details: