Saturday, September 19, 2009

Missile Defence in Europe

On this one, I'm with the Democrats.


Today, the Obama administration announced officially that it will kill a Bush administration initiative to build a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to protect Europe from Iranian missiles. This is a good call. Bush’s idea was hugely expensive, and massively illogical. For one thing, Poland and the Czech Republic aren’t in any sense between Iran and Europe. Nor is Iran actually threatening Europe with any missiles. Which is why nobody in Europe particularly wanted this thing built.

And he follows up: there is some evidence the defence systems weren't even popular in Poland in the Czech Republic.

Beyond the particulars in this case: why do conservatives go crazy about the apparent "appeasement" of Russia, which is still a very lame old bear? Obviously they miss the Cold War for its moral clarity, or they delude themselves that the U.S. is in something like the Cold War.

I even think Atrios has it right:

I think the great failure of the Right since their awesome adventure in Iraq has been to create a new Hitler for us to fear and fight. They tried with Iran, but didn't quite manage. Their hero Bush looked in Putin's soul and declared it pure, so that one won't work. The business side of the coalition won't let them go after China. We need an enemy damnit!

Instead of assessing actual threats, and then deciding what kind of military force is needed, the Americans now tend to enjoy the fact that they have huge, other-worldly military power, left over from the Cold War, and ask themselves: what can we do with it? So-called libertarians or tax-cutters like Glenn Reynolds say they oppose large, wasteful bureaucracies, but never question any waste or indeed spending at the Pentagon.

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