Obama Scraps Bush-Era Missile Plan

Friday, September 18, 2009


Yesterday President Obama announced that he is scrapping the Bush administration's plans for a land-based missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. He's opting instead to focus on a defense system that would intercept shorter-range missiles from Iran. This move has upset Poland and the Czech Republic, but pleased Russia, who was against Bush's plan. Is this an intelligent decision based on new information about Iran's weapons? Or will it empower Russia and Iran at the expense of American allies? We speak to former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who served under President Bush, and to Alexander Cooley, professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Barnard College. (Click through for a full interview transcript.)


Ambassador John Bolton and Professor Alexander Cooley

Produced by:

Rob Hugh-Jones


Shubha Bala

Comments [4]

Free Will

Exactly who "forced" you to listen to this segment? How did they do it? Did they put a gun to your head?

Sep. 19 2009 11:59 AM
Brett Greisen

Excuse me, but did Amb. Bolton really say that the ICBM "defense" system actually works? He must have forgotten that the long-range anti-ICBM system & the Alaskan test base is the one that continues to fail most to all of its tests, no matter how much they cheat!!!

The reason the shipboard systems work is that the intercept circuit is more finite. The radar can see the target & the ship can launch a missile either on the up or down leg of the trajectory. The long-range system leaves the incoming "vehicle" so many options of trajectory that it evade any single shot. And then there's the physics problem. Radio signals (radar output & return) can only happen so fast over longer distances. What happens after the return is received? The incoming target is moved & may have been re-aimed when the radar signal is detected - a simple on-board detector trigger..

Sep. 18 2009 08:33 AM
Richard Johnston

I wish news organizations would remove Bolton's name from their Rolodexes. I knew when I heard this announcement yesterday we would be forced to listen to this hard-line coldwarrior starting no later than this morning. He is so far out of the mainstream he is really just a crackpot. His vocabulary is limited to "no, no" and "bad idea." Why bother with him?

Sep. 18 2009 08:13 AM

John's set up this morning about the Obama cancellation of the so-called missile defense system in eastern europe was an irresponsible distortion of the truth.

John slugged it "politics trumps science" when, in fact, the opposite is the truth. Obama's move is an example of "science trumping politics." The truth is that the entire missile defense technology was never proven to work and there was evidence that the tests of the technology failed to show it could actually intercept missiles. It was the Bush administration that disregarded the science and promoted the system for it's own political motives.
I wish John would get his facts straight and stop twisting the facts to suit the need to promote the show.

Sep. 18 2009 06:26 AM

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