- Posted September 1, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
The Real Threat: The Foreign Policy of a President MItt Romney
There is no question that the United States and its allies face the threat of a possibly nuclear-armed Iran or other rogue states. This is a delicate issue on the international arena, as it threatens to alter the balance of power (Realpolitik). For years, Russia and the United States have held onto the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction as the cornerstone of strategic stability, and have even gone as far as to ratify the START II treaty which, among several things, limits the number of deployed warheads/capabilities.
Russia, however, eyes the deployment of U.S. bases in its backyard and former satellite states (Poland and Romania) as a threat to its own nuclear arsenal and, by extension, threatening to turn the balance of power in the U.S.' favor. Russia has watched the eastward expansion of NATO at a rapid pace and, indeed, the alliance has arrived on the borders of the Russian Federation with the admission of Poland and the Baltic states.
This missile defense shield, known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to missile defense in Europe, is not intended to be directed against the Russian Federation, and its capabilities are not on the scale as to be able to destroy an incoming Russian ICBM.
Although this issue has received few coverage in the media, it is a huge problem for Barack Obama's foreign policy and his quest to "reset" relations with the Russian Federation. As a response to the deployment U.S. interceptors (both land and sea based) on its doorstep, Russia has repeatedly threatened military action to take these bases out should it be determined they pose a threat to Russian national security. This includes, but is not limited to, the deployment of SRBM (Short-Range Ballistic Missiles) called Iskander-M to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad (directly in the heart of Central Europe).
Recently, Mitt Romney appears to be attempting to start a new Cold War with the Russians. As one can imagine, calling Russia the "number one geopolitical threat to the United States" is far from helpful in resolving this international dispute with Russia. Russia undoubtedly takes this as one more piece of evidence that the West is somehow plotting against them. This type of language is not only dangerous, but it is immensely irresponsible; essentially labeling another country as an enemy of the United States is akin to former President George W. Bush's statement that "you're either with us or you're against us." Tell me America, do we really want to go back to those days?
I apologize for the digression, but I feel that in order for you to understand the implications of this rhetoric, some background information needed to be given and now that it has, I will continue with the main objective of this piece: exposing an outright lie from Mitt Romney.
The fact of the matter is that we have NOT cancelled plans to deploy SM-3 interceptors along with the Aegis fire-control systems to Poland (or Romania for that matter). At a recent summit in Moscow, the U.S. presented Russia with a detailed and updated plan as an attempt to assuage Russian concerns. To view this PDF file, please see:http://photos.state.gov/libraries/russia/231771/PDFs/EPAA%20Technical%20Overview%20ENG.pdf
As you can plainly see, by 2018 the interceptors in Polish territory, as well as the associated radar sites, will be online (much to the dismay of Russia). We have NOT abandoned our friends and allies in NATO. On the contrary, we are bolstering our defenses in conjunction with the Europeans in the event of a rogue (either intentional or unintentional) ballistic missile launch from the direction of the Middle East.
President Obama understands that this is not a black or white issue and that a policy of "my way or the highway" with Russia is dangerous as these two countries possess the vast majority of the world's deployed nuclear arms. The rising of tensions between the USA and Russia put the world on edge due to this very reason.
In order to avoid this, the President asked former President (now Prime Minister) Dmitry Medvedev for "more time" when it comes to negotiating with Russia when it comes to this project. Mitt Romney was of course quick to point out that we were "abandoning" our allies by, apparently, choosing to not ignore Russia's concerns and snub our noses at them.
I am unsure as to whom is advising the Romney campaign on foreign policy, but Romney is either receiving the wrong information or outright lying to the American people when it comes to this important and contentious international issue. One thing, however, is for sure: if Mitt Romney is elected to the presidency, tensions with nations such as Russia will escalate to a level unseen since the end of the Cold War. We as Americans deserve better. We deserve a president who is competent and cool-headed and does not go on a witch-hunt looking for monsters to slay where there are none.