On Monday in Seoul, South Korea, reporters waiting for remarks following a meeting between President Obama and Russian President Medvedev overhead Obama tell Medvedev: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.” Obama added: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
The antecedent to “this,” is certainly
The Obama administration, meanwhile, has already agreed to scale down the original plan for European missile defense; fought for the New START Treaty, which contains several limitations on missile defenses; and has proposed sharing data with the Russians so that they would know how to defeat our interceptor missiles.
Obama sees arms control as a means of getting to a world of zero nuclear weapons. But disarmament can’t work when your negotiating partner really wants to maintain its arsenal to keep you vulnerable. Maintaining mutual vulnerability to retaliation would mean we also remain vulnerable to any aggression. The whole point of missile defense is that we prefer not to be vulnerable at all. Obama’s comments suggest he’s willing to go along with
See also: “Morning Bell: Obama Whispers Away America’s Security,” The Foundry, March 27.