President Obama’s decision to shelve the missile shield for Eastern Europe is appeasement only to those obsessed with “legacy threats” like Russia, Marc Ambinder writes for the Atlantic. Obama believes the threat from Iran was overstated by President Bush, and that the shield technology wasn’t a sure bet to work anyway. Now, US money is focused on more immediate threats—and the move could win Russian goodwill on other pressing concerns.
“For all the talk that the US is abandoning its allies—another gut-wrenching buzzword that does not necessarily comport with reality—the US is actually spending money on interceptor technology that it plans to deploy in Europe over the next decade,” Ambinder writes. “The gamble here is that enough of the missile defense shield will be in place before Iran gets its act together. From a geopolitical perspective, poking Russia and Iran in the eye isn’t worth the hassle.”