DECKER: Obama’s secret plan

National security takes a back seat to president’s re-election

There is only one thing scarier for the future of America than all of the debt and bad policies President Obama has built up since his 2008 election: It’s what the prospect of an Obama second term would bring. And the president isn’t being honest about what his secret plans are.

That Mr. Obama has dangerous ideas up his sleeve and won’t be forthcoming about his true agenda during this year’s presidential campaign were exposed in candid comments he made to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on Monday. On the subject of sensitive arms-control negotiations, the U.S. president advised, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” This admission begs the question: Flexibility to do what? What agreement with Russia does Mr. Obama want to sign that he thinks would be so damaging to his re-election chances that he would need to wait until afterward to perpetrate it? If such a hidden intention would be dangerous to his re-election, it surely wouldn’t be a safe policy for our national defense.

Mr. Medvedev responded to Mr. Obama’s plea by saying, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” referring to former and incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin, the strongman who has held the reins of power in Moscow one way or another since 1999. There is no gray area about whether Mr. Obama’s request to delay major diplomatic relations until after the election was motivated entirely by his own political considerations, an uncomfortable reality reflected in the beginning of the repartee between the two presidents. Mr. Obama explained, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [Mr. Putin] to give me space.” Mr. Medvedev replied, “I understand your message about space. Space for you … .”

The insidious nature of this back and forth is due to the fact that Mr. Obama didn’t know a microphone was on and thought his conversation with the foreign leader was confidential. That he would be so forthcoming about making U.S. national security second fiddle to his personal quest for re-election is startling. That his candor benefits Russia - a strategic competitor to the United States and former longtime enemy - is scary. Mr. Obama already signed the ill-advised “New Start” Treaty, which allows Moscow to expand and modernize its nuclear stockpile while America unilaterally cuts down our own arsenal. It is the president’s self-centeredness, combined with a cavalier lack of respect for the global perception of U.S. power, that has many security analysts speculating about a rash October surprise to help his electoral bid.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Obama has tried to cut a backroom deal to push off serious action until after the election. Three weeks ago, he reportedly offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bunker-buster bombs and other sophisticated military assistance if Israel would agree to wait until after November to bomb Iran. Such wheeling and dealing shows that Mr. Obama is willing to do anything to win re-election. But when national security is subjugated to politics, America loses.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).

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About the Author
Brett M. Decker

Brett M. Decker

Brett M. Decker, former Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Times, was an editorial page writer and editor for the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, Senior Vice President of the Export-Import Bank, Senior Vice President of Pentagon Federal Credit Union, speechwriter to then-House Majority Whip (later Majority Leader) Tom DeLay and reporter and television producer for the legendary Robert ...

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