The White House will shelve Bush administration plans to build a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, a move likely to cheer Moscow and roil the security debate in Europe.Not exactly what I wanted to read while drinking my morning tea.
The U.S. will base its decision on a determination that Iran's long-range missile program hasn't progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental U.S. and major European capitals, according to current and former U.S. officials.
The findings, expected to be completed as early as next week following a 60-day review ordered by President Barack Obama, would be a major reversal from the Bush administration, which pushed aggressively to begin construction of the Eastern European system before leaving office in January.
By and large (and to my surprise), the Obama administration's foreign policy has been much like the previous administration's foreign policy – and I've been supportive of it.
This is a major departure. With this move and other wimpy responses to Iran's belligerance, we've practically been begging them to make aggressive moves in both the Middle East and in Europe. Once their nuclear capability is verified, I expect Iran to start experimenting with bullying tactics. There's a long list of potential “first targets”: Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus, and of course Israel.
But the really big question is this: how will Israel react to the U.S. visibly morphing into a laughable wimp in Iran's perception? Will they unilaterally attack Iran? My bet would be “yes”...