- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 8, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama is making an egregious mistake by going forward with this European missile-defense system over the concerns and objections of the Russian government. The missile-defense project serves only to create an unnecessary state of friction between both nations.

Mr. Obama's decision to pursue the system's deployment is particularly unfortunate given that his European trip did more to promote and improve our relations with Europe and the international community than what has been the case for many years.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently asserted that it is time to push the “reset button” with Russia as a means to improve diplomatic relations with that nation. Russia has warned the United States that should it place a ballistic-missile interceptor defense base in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic, Russia will respond provocatively.

Russia rightfully feels threatened over the prospect of such a system in Poland, just as we would be if Russia were to do the same by, let's say, building military bases in Mexico. Should a true rogue-nation threat arise in Europe, let the Europeans and Russians sort it out so that the United States can keep its nose out of the affair.

America may be on the threshold of a needless confrontation with Russia and an arms race the likes of which has not been seen since those “hot days” of the Cold War. The simple fact is that this missile system is to Russia what the Soviet Union's placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba were to the United States in the 1960s.

Hopefully, the Obama administration will reconsider its decision and will cancel its plans, thereby bringing back some semblance of sanity to the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.

EARL BEAL

Terre Haute, Ind.

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