“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him (Putin) to give me space. … This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” – Barack Obama to Dmitry Medvedev, open mic, March 26
You don’t often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he’s seeking re-election and he dare not tell his own people.
Not at all, spun a White House aide in major gaffe-control mode. The president was merely explaining that arms control is too complicated to be dealt with in a year in which both Russia and the U.S. hold presidential elections.
Rubbish. First of all, to speak of Russian elections in the same breath as ours is a travesty. Theirs was a rigged, predetermined farce. Putin ruled before. Putin rules after.
Obama spoke of the difficulties of the Russian presidential “transition.” What transition? It’s a joke. It had no effect on Putin’s ability to negotiate anything.
As for the U.S. election, the problem is not that the issue is too complicated but that if people knew Obama’s intentions of “flexibly” caving on missile defenses, they might think twice about giving him a second term.
After all, what is Obama doing negotiating on missile defense in the first place? We have no obligation to do so. The ABM Treaty, a relic of the Cold War, died in 2002.
We have an unmatched technological lead in this area. It’s a priceless strategic advantage that for three decades Russia has been trying to get us to yield. Why give any of it away?
In order to placate Putin, Obama had already in 2009 abruptly canceled the missile-defense system the Poles and Czechs had agreed to host in defiance of Russian threats. Why give away more?