Published on TheHill.com on March 20, 2012
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are increasingly moving to strip America of vital defense capabilities through a web of international treaties and agreements. Already, Clinton is negotiating a code of conduct in outer space that would effectively ban our capacity to destroy satellites and put interceptor missiles in space.
Last week, the president announced that he was going to provide the Russians with detailed technical information about the anti-missile systems he plans to base in Eastern Europe, in the hopes of lessening Russian opposition to their deployment. He is exacting no reciprocal sharing of intelligence, nor can he be sure that Vladimir Putin will not just turn around and forward the gift package to North Korea or Iran.
Reuters noted that “the Obama administration is leaving open the possibility of giving Moscow certain secret data on U.S. interceptor missiles due to help protect Europe from any Iranian missile strike. A deal is being sought by Washington that could include classified data exchange because it is in the U.S. interest to enlist Russia and its radar stations in the missile-defense effort, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tuesday.”
Defense advocates are especially fearful that these negotiations could lead to a side agreement to limit the velocity of our missile interceptors or place other limits on our anti-missile capability. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration agreed to limit velocity to 3 kilometers per second.
Hank Cooper, who was President Reagan’s ambassador in charge of defending the Strategic Defense Initiative in the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union and later served as director of the SDI program, said he is worried that “these negotiations might turn into some ‘executive’ agreement that limits the velocity of future improvements to the SM-3 — or other missile defense interceptors.”
He said this would be a “very bad idea — as was demonstrated by the Clinton administration’s side agreement on the margins of the U.N. that limited the velocity of our theater missile defense interceptors. … We got rid of this [agreement] as a byproduct of withdrawing from the ABM Treaty in 2002 — it would be a very bad idea to bring it back in any form.”
Cooper and others argue that Russia already knows our missile velocity from having observed our tests, and that Moscow is seeking these negotiations to tie our hands by prohibiting improvements in our anti-missile technology.
Cooper said “the Russians are not likely to be interested in such an empty concession as sharing our current [velocity at burnout of our anti-missile]. On the other hand, there are other things they would be very interested in and I am not impressed that our current negotiating team can be trusted to keep them secret — or not to trade them away.”
He worries, in particular, that in its zest to “reset” relations with Russia, our negotiators will give away or agree to limit the ability of our interceptors to “track, discriminate and maneuver toward [their] targeted attacking weapon and associated decoys and other countermeasures. I would be very concerned about preserving the confidentiality of our capabilities in that area, and worry about possible ill-advised executive agreements on the associated so-called ‘transparency’ front — especially if they limit potential technological improvements in our defensive systems.”
It is these interceptors that the Obama administration has selected to cope with potential nuclear-armed missiles that might be launched by Iran in the near future to attack the United States or our overseas troops, friends and allies. The close nexus between the Kremlin and Tehran and Pyongyang raises the serious possibility that Russia could compromise our ability to stop their missiles.
Coming on the heels of his New START Treaty that cut our strategic forces while permitting Russia to deploy additional ones, and on top of his proposal to cut our nuclear arsenal by 80 percent with no reciprocity from any of our adversaries, Obama seems intent on disarming our nation.
Sometimes I wonder if Obama knows he is going to be defeated and is embarking on a “scorched-earth” policy to weaken our nation and to hogtie us through international agreements before he leaves office, thus fulfilling the fondest desires of his friends like former terrorist Bill Ayers.
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