The decision not to install the anti-missile system in Poland and the radar installation in the Czech Republic is no surprise. The Russians have opposed this from the beginning. We always told them the defense system was there to defend Europe from the rogue nuclear state of Iran. The Russians did not buy.
Less noticed, the failure to deploy leaves our eastern seaboard vulnerable. Vulnerable to the degree that this system would successfully intercept a hostile incoming missile.
Our trusted ally, the Poles, are not worried so much about Iran. They see the Russians as the threat to their security. The Poles have a 70 year old memory of the Russian invasion as well as the reminder of Georgia in 2008.
President Reagan wisely embraced the strategic missile defense at a critical time. Critical, because a prominent mind-set among many policy-thinkers was to ridicule the concept and they were gaining momentum. The opponents to strategic defense alleged that missile defense was unworkable because it was not dependable technologically and therefore premature. The critics considered the defense shield a political tool. More accurately, the test results of the missile system have been successful for the most part.
Many of these opponents are old adherents to the obsolete and irrational MAD doctrine. A doctrine that made little sense in a bipolar nuclear world and none in a multi-polar nuclear world.
The administration, is packaging the reversal of policy of the European shield to a defense policy update. Few, I suppose accept that explanation. The Poles and Czech’s are suspicious for sure. Some Czech’s are calling the President a coward.
We are more likely dropping the defense shield in deference to the Russians. We would like the Russians to help us in other strategic areas. We will see.
The whole mind-set of a softer, more accommodating world that deserves a higher level of understanding has high risks.
Time will tell.