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Jewish World Review
Sept. 22, 2009
/ 4 Tishrei 5770
The Obama doctrine
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Undermine our allies. Embolden our enemies. Diminish our country.
Those nine words define the Obama Doctrine with respect to American security policy. All three elements were much in evidence in the President's benighted decision last week to cancel the "Third Site" for intercontinental-range missile defenses in Eastern Europe. They will be on display as well during this week's several conclaves with foreign leaders.
The cumulative effect is predictable: A world in which the United States has fewer friends, more enemies and less options for assuring its security.
Let's start with the decision to abandon defense of our allies and the American people with interceptors based in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic. President Obama and his minions at the Defense Department tried to confuse the issue by claiming that revised intelligence assessments of the Iranian threat justified such a step.
Rubbish. Anyone following Iran's ballistic missile developments knows that the mullahs are determined to acquire missiles of sufficient range to be able to attack not only Israel and other targets in the Middle East but our allies in Europe and Americans here at home. This is evident in the strides Tehran has recently made with solid-fuel rockets and with space-launch vehicles.
If, against all odds, the latest intelligence estimates are right that it will take Iran a bit longer to get such long-range missiles, it would mean that we just might be able to have defenses against them in place before they are needed. That would have meant a powerful boost to the confidence and solidarity of the NATO alliance, whose Eastern European members could especially use it in the face of ever-more aggressive Russian behavior.
Instead, the Obama administration has: rewarded that Russian behavior; undermined NATO's confidence and solidarity; and debased American credibility and reliability. It has also left the United States naked to the sorts of intercontinental-range threats Iranian missiles will constitute in due course.
This will be the case no matter how many additional defenses the Pentagon puts in place at sea or ashore (welcome as those are) against the shorter-range missiles Iran is now deploying. The difference is, as Mark Twain once put it, like that between lightning and a lightning bug: Team Obama has unmistakably capitulated at the geo-strategic level and no amount of obfuscations about revised intelligence or "stronger, smarter and swifter" missile defense architectures will conceal that fact.
Unfortunately, in the process of capitulating, Mr. Obama has not only emboldened the Russians. To be sure, they will see no reason now to abandon their Iranian allies. Read: no help to us on new, more effective sanctions against Iran; no cessation of nuclear cooperation with Tehran; completed delivery of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems to protect Iran's nuclear sites from Israeli or (hard as this is to imagine at the moment) our attacks, etc. The Kremlin will also drive an even harder bargain in the strategic arms negotiations now underway, pressing an all-too-willing American president to denuclearize the U.S. arsenal in ways that may suit Russia's agenda but disserve our security interests.
The President has also further emboldened the Iranian mullahs. They now know that - no matter what they do - they will be able to realize their nuclear weapons ambitions. They will even be allowed to hold Europe and America at risk. They need simply run out the clock for a few more months, which can be accomplished with or without further conversations demeaning their feckless Western interlocutors.
Make no mistake: With such steps, Mr. Obama is systematically diminishing the United States, effecting its transformation from what was once called "the world's only superpower" to a nation subordinated to the demands of international consensus, organizations, "peer competitors" and even rogue states.
We can expect to see this doctrine in full flower during the President's forays this week into Middle East peace-making, nuclear disarmament and reordering the world economic system.
For example, during President Obama's scrum with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the so-called "president" of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, he will not only try to coerce our ally to make political and territorial concessions to Palestinians who hate Israelis and us. There will also likely be a push for a new round of "peace" negotiations in Moscow jointly sponsored by the U.S. and Russia. No good can come of legitimating, let alone supporting, the machinations of Putin's Kremlin in the Mideast.
Then, at the UN, Mr. Obama will personally preside over a Security Council session at which he will, evidently, affirm his commitment to a "world without nuclear weapons" - without evident regard for the fact that the only nation he can possibly denuclearize is ours. Suffice it to say that the exercise will be one big pander to transnationalism and enhancing the preeminence of the United Nations, and America's submission to its superior moral legitimacy and authority.
Finally, the economic version of the Obama Doctrine will play out in Pittsburgh at the so-called "Group of 20" summit. There, efforts to affirm and consolidate sovereignty-sapping global financial regulatory schemes will be accompanied by attempts to formalize a new "multi-polar" world. Bribes will be offered to emerging powers like China, India and Brazil in the form of promises of development assistance, technology transfers and institutionalized power if only they accede to "climate change" arrangements that will savage U.S. and Western economies.
Saul Alinsky would be proud.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
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