Clinton’s SecDef chastises Obama over missile defense

Posted on May 28, 2009


Cohen Defense

The Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton, William Cohen, took President Obama to task in an editorial in the Washington Times over the President’s $1.4 billion cut to the American missile defense program. (Heads-up from Hot Air) Set against the backdrop of North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests, he argues we ought to err on the side of safety and show the world we don’t take the threats of rogue nations lightly.

Unfortunately, taking them lightly seems to be what’s going on so far. Obama has effectively punted the North Korean issue to the UN, and has pushed back evaluating the Iranian question until later. His focus is entirely on pushing through a massive domestic agenda at lightning speed, and foreign policy seems to be on the back-burner. Sadly, this is a severely critical time to be phoning it in geopolitically, as Iran and North Korea were undoubtedly watching carefully if the new President would deal strongly with them. The attitude is summed up perfectly by Obama’s national security advisor James Jones, who shrugged off North Korea’s missiles as not an imminent threat. But, as candidate Obama suggested, these are only “tiny countries,” so we need not concern ourselves with them right?

Wrong. Beyond the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and North Korea, there is the more palpable fear of these rogue regimes selling their arms to terrorist groups to be used to whatever end. And God help us if the Taliban grab hold of Pakistan’s nukes. I would urge this administration to ease up on the domestic side and begin to focus more on these vipers’ nests before the danger becomes insurmountable. It’s too bad it won’t happen – Obama has his own agenda to ram through, the rest of the world be damned.

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