Remember Polish jokes? They're politically incorrect these days, so no one makes them. No one, that is, except President Obama. By cancelling the promised missile shield, he in effect cut Poland loose and threw her to the Russians...70 years to the day after of their brutal invasion of the country. Nice timing.
The missile shield was designed to protect Eastern Europe from the growing Iranian missile threat, which threatens to soon go nuclear. It would have put American military personnel in Russia's backyard, in countries that were until recently part of the Russian empire, and which Russia yearns to control again.
The very thought of this drove the Russians nuts. They would have paid dearly to get it dropped. If Obama was willing to renege on a promise and toss an ally overboard, he should have at least gotten something for it-- like getting Russia to cooperate with us to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.
What could Obama have traded? He could have gotten the Russians to delay or halt delivery of the state-of-the-art air defense system they've promised Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu went to Moscow recently to plead with them to delay delivery. Once Iran gets the S-300 system, an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites would be nearly impossible.
Obama could have gotten Russia join with us in a gasoline embargo on Iran. Iran imports 40% of its gasoline-- an embargo would force them to the negotiating table, quickly, and leave them ready to make a deal. But an embargo would be toothless if the Russians block it at the U.N., or cheats on it once it's been passed.
Obama could have gotten Russia to stop helping Iran enrich uranium. Without Russian assistance, it will be more difficult and take longer for Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
If President Obama had gotten one or more of these concessions, cancelling the missile shield might have made sense, especially if we retained the right to have a ship-based system. But he has apparently cancelled it without extracting anything from Russia, hoping instead that his goodwill gesture would allow us to 'reset' the U.S.-Russian relationship. The administration said there was no "quid pro quo." The Russian Foreign Minister said sanctions against Iran would be a "serious mistake."
President Obama not only threw an ally overboard, he got snookered by the Russians, and just moved us closer a world where the Mad Mullahs have the bomb. If he hasn't learned his World War II history about Poland and the Soviet Union, he may want to read up on what happened to Neville Chamberlain when he tried to curry favor with Hitler.
Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administrations. She is a Senior Advisor to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and the author of DEFCON-3 by KT, a FOX News.com video blog.