Barnett on Missile Defense

Tom Barnett is hoping that Obama gently puts the kibosh on the whole missile-defense thing:

The planned missile defense system in Eastern Europe serves no purpose vis-a-vis Russia’s vast remaining arsenal except to provocatively suggest America is aiming to alter the continental correlation of forces — which it can’t.

In reply, Russian president Dmitri Medvedev now threatens to target those planned sites with conventional missiles, putting our newly elected leader in the position of choosing between “caving in” to Russian pressure or standing up to Russia’s idiotic threat to our equally pointless provocation.

With two wars and a global financial crisis in full swing, this is the “crisis” on which American strategists want our future president spending precious diplomatic capital?

Ah, not really. The fundamental, technical problem is that any defense will leak. Proponents believe we can live with one warhead in 100 getting through. The reality is that the one would be a morale breaker. The certainty of retaliation is what keeps things in check. And we have other things we need to do with the money, even in the defense sphere.

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