Sep 21, 2009 10:01 pm


George Freedman of Starfor tries to put the best face on Obama's recent scuttling of the plans to place component of American defensive shield in Eastern Europe. He writes:

As the United States has a strong military option in Iran, redrawing the map of Europe to avoid using that option — regardless of Polish fears at the moment — is unlikely. Moreover, Washington also could decide to live with an Iranian nuclear capability without redrawing the map of Europe. Ultimately, the United States has made a gesture with little content and great symbolic meaning. It is hoping that the Russians are overwhelmed by the symbolism. They won’t be.

For their part, the Russians are hoping the Americans panic over Iran. The fact is that while Russia is a great regional power, it is not that great, and its region is not that critical. The Russians may be betting that Obama will fold. They made the same bet on John F. Kennedy. Obama reads the same reports that we do about how the Russians believe him to be weak and indecisive. And that is a formula for decisive — if imprudent — action.

George should not worry. Weakening the US is Obama's goal. He will do nothing for as former Secretary of State Albright explained to the Russians, the US no longer wishes to be a superpower. Hence, those relying on her for their security better cut their own deal with those who do wish to be superpowers like Russia and those who would like to continue being free riders, at least a bit longer, like China.

NATO memeber, strategically located Turkey, has already reconsidered her decision to buy the Patriot system from the US for fear that Iran would consider such a purchase a hostile act. Instead, the Turkish defense ministry announced "that the acquisition of Patriot systems was not a foregone conclusion and that competing bids from Russian and Chinese manufacturers were still being considered."

The truth is that Obama Chamberlain did nothing to the Czech Republic and Poland that he did not do to South Korea, Japan or Israel. Consequently, erstwhile US allies are busy reorienting their security arrangements.

The Japanese elected an Obamalike Prime minister who seeks to increase the distance between the US and Japan and decrease the distance with China by “maintaining [Japan’s] political and economic independence … when caught between the U.S. which is fighting to retain its position as the world’s dominant power, and China, which is seeking ways to become dominant.”

The truth is that the Japanese know current Obama administration is too busy" changing" the American democratic system which according to Albright" can be contradictory, corrupt and may have security problems" to fight to retain its superpower position. The Vietnamese understand that too and they know how to send Beijing the perfect signal: They silence their China critics, especially those pesky bloggers and online journalists

Vulnerable South Korea, like Israel, is doing its best to prepare for the worse. It buys an advanced radar system from Israel to detect and track North Korean ballistic missiles. India could hardly be more insecure about its budding security relations with Washington.

This is veritable witches brew. All I could do on the Jewish High Holiday is to pray it does not boil over. Yes, I, too, remember, the background to the Cubam missile crisis.

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