Will the President Clarify His “Flexibility” Remarks on Missile Defense?

Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes in his recent article that too few people are interested in finding out what was behind President Obama’s “flexibility” comments to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in March and whether Obama made secret deals with the Russians.

On March 26, President Obama made a revealing remark regarding his future U.S. missile defense policy intentions. In an unguarded comment to Medvedev, President Obama said that if re-elected, he will have more “flexibility” to accommodate Russian objections, in particular to the U.S. missile defense program.

President Obama’s comments were not surprising. His Administration made the point when it slashed the missile defense budget in fiscal year 2010, and subsequent budget requests failed to make up for the lost ground. It killed missile defense programs that could provide greater capability against ballistic missile threats, such as the Airborne Laser, the Multiple Kill Vehicle, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and scaled down the number of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Interceptors in Alaska and California.



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