To the Editor:
The editor’s Saturday Column chides President Obama for removing from “Poland and other countries” anti-missile missile installations designed to protect Eastern European nations “against Soviet missile attack.” Does the editor have information unavailable to the general public? When the U.S. first proposed to base anti-missile missiles in Poland and radar guidance systems in the Czech Republic, the stated purpose was to defend those countries against missiles that could be developed by Iran or other “rogue nations.” Indeed, the U.S. stated that Russia would be a beneficiary, rather than a target, of the anti-missile defense system.
Certainly, republics of the former Soviet Union would qualify as rogues, but they were not the only target of the anti-missile system. Further, Russia claimed that the installations could be used to establish an Eastern European-based offensive capacity against Russia. It was for that reason — the escalation of tensions with Russia — that opposition to the installations was widespread in Poland, the Czech Republic and most of the rest of Europe. Redeployment of anti-missile defenses to regions where they can be more effective doesn’t qualify the president for a Peace Prize, but neither is it a sign of weakness.