US abandons Bush’s missile shield: real change in US foreign policy?

Good news announced by the Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer that the US is dropping its provocative Bush-era plans for a European missile shield. The plans had caused a great deal of anger and tension in Russia, and fear among populations in central Europe. The BBC report, citing the Wall Street Journal, says that the logic being given by the US regime is an acceptance that Iran might not actually be planning to build a nuclear weapon at all. I suspect that the cost factor may also have been an important one. The US is talking about moving more towards regional anti-missile technology using existing technology such as ship-based interceptor missiles. Added to the fact that the US seems to be set for direct talks with the DPRK, and the easing of sanctions on Cuba, it could just be that President Obama is delivering the real change he promised. It does certainly look like Obama is radically altering the direction of US foreign policy in some areas.

However, we must bear in mind the expansion of the US military presence in Colombia, a move clearly aimed at intimidation of the populations electing progressive governments in the region. And also perhaps to force states like Venezuela to spend money that could be better spent elsewhere on weapons, with the lessons of the collapse of the USSR in mind. A great deal of the restrictions on Cuba remain, and in fact Obama signed the embargo into effect for another year, to justified Cuban criticism. Proof of a real change in US intentions could be given by Hilary Clinton striking down Condaleeza Rice’s extradition warrant for Seán Garland which was done primarily to frustrate moves towards better understanding on the Korean peninsula. Justice demands that the extradition request be dropped. Let’s hope that the Obama regime does so.

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6 Responses to “US abandons Bush’s missile shield: real change in US foreign policy?”

  1. splinteredsunrise Says:

    It looks like a slightly more sensible policy towards Russia, though they haven’t yet been able to ditch the adventurist regimes in Ukraine and Georgia. On the other hand, the Israelis are being greenlighted to do whatever they want iro Iran… even sense has its limits it seems.

    The warrant against Sean should be dropped of course. But then, it’s probably hanging on as a bargaining chip with the DPRK. Doesn’t do much for Sean in the interim though.

  2. Garibaldy Says:

    I think I would agree with that almost entirely. The prospect of the Israelis getting a green light on Iran is a frightening one, though I’m not sure we are there yet. You’re right about Sean.

  3. nineteensixtyseven Says:

    Not to mention that oft-forgotten coup in Honduras.

  4. Garibaldy Says:

    Fair point 1967. Forgot it myself!

  5. yourcousin Says:

    As for adventurism in the Ukraine and Georgia. Lest we forget the fact that much of the intrigue around the 2004 elections swirled around the murder of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze and the involvement of the chief of police himself and other high ranking government officials in his abduction and murder related to his investigative reporting. Whatever ones thoughts on the orange “revolution”, lets not kid ourselves about the “adventurism” involved on all sides here.

    As for Israel…in order to carry out an effective strike against Iranian nuclear facilities the Israelis would need special and fairly specific military hardware to get the job done. They did try to buy said hardware from the US and were turned down, by the Bush administration. Obama shows no signs of reversing that decision. So that’s not really a blank check so far as Israel goes and US/Israeli relations are pretty low right now due to the fact that the US might actually expect Israel to comply with portions of the 1967 border.

    The US has gone on record as opposing the Honduran coup and supporting the elected president. Venezuala was spending money buying Russian made weapons long before the Colombia deal came up.

    Somehow I just don’t see Sean Garland being a strong bargaining chip in US/N Korean relations one way or the other.

    And a point if I may, a great deal of restrictions remain in Cuba itself. Maybe if the ruling dynasty lifted more restrictions then the US might feel inclined to reciprocate.

    Justice only demands a fair trial, not that Garland be left alone.

    Also let me go on record as saying the missile shield was a bad idea but Russia are still a bunch of assholes.

  6. Garibaldy Says:

    Sorry for the delay in responding to this YC. I missed it.

    I agree there were dodgy goings on all round in that part of Europe. I think that’s clear. The blacnk cheque remark was because there were media reports that day that this was the case. I was commenting on it as a possibility and not a fact. Venezeula was indeed buying arms before the Colombia deal, although its spending increased after the US-backed coup attempt. As for Honduras, the main coverage I saw had the US criticising the electd president for trying to bring the issue to a head but I take your point.

    Garland is a symbol of a wave of accusations that were used to try to blacken DPR Korea’s name. Illness can be grounds not to prosecute, but even if for the sake of argument we say a fair trial should take place, it can’t take place in the States. And no charges were brought this side because there is no evidence.

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