Flexibility and Burnout

The story of President Obama’s comment to Russian President Medvedev has become well known: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

Less well known is the context. He was discussing with the Russians how much he could compromise the US missile defense system. This is not the first time, of course, and he’s gotten nothing from previous unilateral concessions.

Republican House of Representatives member Turner expressed concern:

Congress has included in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress, which the president has signed into law, a provision constraining his ability to share classified U.S. missile defense information with the Russian Federation. Congress took this step because it was clear based on official testimony and Administration comments in the press that classified information about U.S. missile defenses, including hit-to-kill technology and velocity at burnout information, may be on the table as negotiating leverage for the president’s reset with Russia.

Since Obama has a track record of giving away US deterrent capability — including the missiles that had been planned for Poland — Turner has good reason to be concerned.

President Obama appears to want a signed START treaty in order to look good. What he has been willing to do for this — and seems willing to do in the future — does not look good at all.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle