“Scrapping the U.S. missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic does little more than empower Russia and Iran at the expense of our allies in Europe,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader. “It shows a willful determination to continue ignoring the threat posed by some of the most dangerous regimes in the world.”Note the sequencing of threats in this knee-jerk reaction. What does that say about Bush's repeated protestations that the shield had nothing to do with Russia?
And don't expect any subtlety from John McCain, enabler-in-chief of that Georgian fool's Saakashvili's furnishing of a pretext for Russian intervention in 2008:
“I fear the administration’s decision will do just that [undercut allies],” Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival in last year’s presidential election, said Thursday, adding that the decision came “at a time when Eastern European nations are increasingly wary of renewed Russian adventurism.”The Poles and Czechs, meanwhile, seem to have been concerned mainly to get American boots on their soil, whatever the pretext. They're about as worried about Iran as we are over incoming meteoroids.
The decision's possible downside -- raising Polish and Czech anxieties, perhaps emboldening Russia with an unforced 'concession' over a program that allegedly had nothing to do with them--does highlight what may be the signature challenge of the Obama Administration: unraveling bad policies that entail real commitments to various parties.