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Secretary Clinton’s Op-Ed on Missile Defense

September 20, 2009

imagesSecretary Clinton has penned an Op-Ed in the Financial Times and she defends the administration’s decision regarding missile defense and counters the critics who are saying that the administration has effectively “shelved” the program:


By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Published: September 20 2009 23:07

Last Wednesday, President Barack Obama approved the recommendations of his entire national security team to deploy a stronger and more comprehensive missile defence system in Europe. This decision came after a lengthy and in-depth review of our assessment of the threat posed by Iran’s ballistic missile programme, and the technology that we have to confront it. And it is a decision that will leave America stronger, and more capable of defending our troops, our interests, and our allies.

With the president’s decision, we will deploy missile defence sooner than the previous programme, so that we will be able swiftly to counter the threat posed by Iran’s short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

We will deploy missile defence that is more comprehensive than the previous programme, with more interceptors in more places, and a better capacity to protect all of our friends and allies in the region. We will deploy technology that is actually proven so that we do not waste time or taxpayer money, and we will preserve the flexibility to adjust our approach to the threat as it evolves.

This is a stronger and smarter approach than the previous programme. It does what missile defence is actually supposed to do – it defends America and our allies.

We are not “shelving” missile defence. We are enhancing our capacity to protect our interests and our allies. We are not walking away from our allies but are deploying a system that enhances allied security, advances our co-operation with Nato, and actually places more resources in more countries.

Two of those allies are Poland and the Czech Republic, and we deeply appreciate their willingness to host parts of the previously planned system. We will continue to co-operate closely with both nations and both will have the opportunity to be closely involved with missile defence. I want to underscore that we are bound together by our common commitment as Nato allies, and also by deep historical, economic, and cultural ties that will never be broken.

For 60 years, the Nato alliance has been a force for peace, prosperity and security in Europe and around the world because of the commitment to collective security embodied in Article V of its charter: an attack on one ally is an attack on all. An attack on London or Warsaw is an attack on New York or Washington. Nato demonstrated this commitment after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when for the first time, the alliance invoked Article V and Nato sent assets to the US to help protect us from additional terrorist attacks.

Finally, let me reiterate what the president said last Wednesday: this decision was not about Russia; it was about Iran and the threat that its ballistic missile programmes continue to pose. And because of this decision, we will be in a far stronger position to deal with that threat, and to do so with technology that works.

While we pursue this new path, we will make clear our readiness to engage Iran and focus its leaders on a clear choice: whether to join the international community as a responsible member or to continue down a path to further isolation.

But the security of our allies and our forces cannot wait. That is why we are moving ahead with a new approach for missile defence.

I tend to agree that this plan is smarter and more cost-effective than the previous missile defense plan. However, all of this rhetoric back and forth between all sides of this debate does give me a bit of ‘Cold War’ deja vu except that this time it is Iran as opposed to the Soviet Union, now being offered as the justification for these huge, costly defense systems. That said, I’ll freely admit I am not expert in this area so I’ll try to keep an open mind.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. still4hill permalink
    September 20, 2009 9:23 pm

    Thank you, Stacy! I posted the link here:
    Secretary Hillary Clinton on Missile Defense

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