Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Heritage

September 17, 2009 | By Amanda Reinecker

Obama cuts missile defense
The Obama administration intends to cut key components of America's missile defense shield, it has been revealed. Plans to install missile interceptors in Poland and a tracking station in the Czech Republic have been called off, apparently in an effort to win concessions from Russia.

Nile Gardiner, director of The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, explains in Britain's Telegraph what the deal means for America's national security and overseas alliances:

This is bad news for all who care about the US commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defence of Europe as well as the United States. It represents the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defence installations sends a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.

What signal does this send to Ukraine, Georgia and a host of other former Soviet satellites who look to America and NATO for protection from their powerful neighbour? The impending cancellation of Third Site is a shameful abandonment of America's friends in eastern and central Europe, and a slap in the face for those who actually believed a key agreement with Washington was worth the paper it was written on.

It's important that America and her allies deploy an effective defense against missiles from Iran and elsewhere, Heritage's Sally McNamara writes:

As President Obama looks to defend the United States against such rogue regimes, missile defense is a tried, tested and trusted protection strategy. The placing of missile defenses outside of the U.S. as well as on the Homeland reinforces America's long-held commitment to the NATO alliance. To make America and her allies deliberately vulnerable to ballistic missile or nuclear attack makes no sense. In an age where America's enemies have ballistic missile capabilities, the United States must have missile defense technologies.

Missile defenses have already demonstrated their value this year. In June, Heritage's Bruce Klingner argued that the deployment of a missile shield to Hawaii was "a proper and prudent response" to North Korean provocations. Such a defense is all the more important since "international diplomatic pressure has failed to deter Pyongyang."

In a recent analysis, Heritage experts debunk common myths about missile defense, including the claims that it doesn't work, that it's too expensive and that we don't need it.

Missile defenses have long been a key priority for The Heritage Foundation. Our experts laid the groundwork for President Reagan's initial Strategic Defense Initiative, and we worked with the Bush administration to ensure the program developed further.

Earlier this year, The Heritage Foundation released a full-length documentary on the importance of missile defenses. Watch a trailer of the film, 33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age and sign up to host a screening in your home.

- Nathaniel Ward

Constitution Day
On this day in 1787, the Founders signed the United States Constitution. Today we remember that occasion as Constitution Day, and set the day aside to celebrate and reflect on the wisdom of those who crafted the document.

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