The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


National Security

Scowcroft Agrees With Obama on Missile Defense Shift

By Glenn Kessler
President Obama's decision to shift direction on missile defense in Europe has produced howls from many Republicans, but one prominent GOP foreign-policy heavyweight weighed in Friday with support for the president's plan.

"I strongly approve of President Obama's decision regarding missile defense deployments in Europe. I believe it advances U.S. national security interests, supports our allies, and better meets the threats we face," Brent Scowcroft said in a statement issued through the Atlantic Council, a policy group.

Scowcroft was national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Bush's son, George W. Bush, pushed as president for the missile defense plan abandoned by Obama.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, also a Republican, was Scowcroft's deputy during the first Bush administration.

Posted at 2:09 PM ET on Sep 18, 2009  | Category:  National Security
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: New Book Recalls the Image-Making of Obama's Campaign | Next: Biden Plans Move to Health Care Frontlines Next Week

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Parkerf11 I agree with you. How could anyone from the right paint Scowcroft as commie? Would they dare to?

Obama is using his thinking cap. Yes, this support by Scowcroft should and in time will be part of an ad. Sadly, irrespective of the issue-- we remain deep in the 'politics' of the moment.

Posted by: Victoria5 | September 20, 2009 1:37 PM

The pinhead wing of the GOP isn't wildly posting slander and murmuring, inchoate notions on this story, wonder why?

Posted by: nodebris | September 20, 2009 1:58 AM

Eastern Europeans need to help themselves.One way to do so is to create a trade agreement within Central Europe.More information,more capital,and a larger market could be created outside the EU.The mixture of religions and languages was overcome by the Western Europeans even the Irish get along.These models should be used by Central Europe without the intervention of Western Europe,Russia,or the US.
If you check the number of Nobel Prize winners you know Central Europe is not made of up of ignorant souls.Communism created education for all the countries,and also helped create a health care system.If a nation like China can recover from a command economy,certainly the intelligent and hard working people of Central Europe can do the same.
They need to hold four or five summits of the leaders from this region and make some plans to help each other improve the lot of all the citizens. I believe the Central Europeans have suffered enough during the 20th Century. They can start anew.

Posted by: TarheelChief | September 19, 2009 10:48 PM

Alas, the Republican party that include the very able Brent Scowcroft exists no more. It has been replaced by worshipers of ignorance, or by politicians that pander to ignorance.

One factor in Obama's decision was that the current regime in Iran will not survive, and will be flushed away before any credible Irani missle threat can be developed.

The American public is clueless about the technical aspect of both nuclear weapons and missle technologies. They have no concept how difficult it is produce a practical nuclear device much less a viable missle born nuclear weapon system.

They also have no concept how cheaply and easily even the most sophisticated and expensive missle defense systems can be defeated.

Posted by: plaza04433 | September 19, 2009 1:10 PM

I cannot add more then what has been said here. With people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin being promoted as being the mouth piece of America I get depressed.

But after reading support for Obama and this move on not deploying missiles here I feel better. I am finding out more then just a few Americans are thinking and not hypnotized by right wing extremists in this nation.

Posted by: ArchieHaase | September 19, 2009 8:27 AM

These are the groups that oppose President Obama's decision on the missle defense. The neocon "warriors" who gave us two wars and a jump in the national debt. The Republicans who are fast becoming Dr. No and a regioinal party and do not have any constructive idea. The racists who are never going to accept President Obama as legitimate.

Posted by: steviana | September 18, 2009 9:56 PM

President Barack Obama is correct in changing policy on the so-called "defence shield" in eastern Europe. The Czech Republic and Poland are part of NATO, and article 5 is still in effect.Even Brent Scowcroft agrees with the decision. Another smart and pragmatic move by an astute President,President Barack Obama.

Posted by: ruraledcomm | September 18, 2009 9:56 PM

That'll teach ya...Way to go non-linear with the conservatives, Obama...J/K

This is an exceedingly shrewd and practical maneuver IMHO. We don't need the expensive junk technology/ false sense of feel good security of the Cheney admin any longer. This pie in the sky program was a purely political charade -- little to do with actually protecting America. Time to GET REAL.

Posted by: JustinMcC | September 18, 2009 8:47 PM

Bush had eight years to do this and he did not. He just talked about it.

If he really wanted to do it, he would have.

I don't understand the whining because Bush did not actually want to do it.

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | September 18, 2009 8:13 PM

No one thought that Obama could of made so many decisions that change the USA with no congress backing. This is crazy!

After the few things he had done i was suprised. it wouldnt suprise me if how he is gonna make illegal immigrants legal by an executive order.

This is getting sick!

Posted by: ccharles1 | September 18, 2009 8:01 PM

President Barack Obama did not give away anything in making his decision to abandon the placement of an ineffective and costly missile defense system next to Russia's borders. Building this system would've been tantamount to Russia building such a system in Cuba and along the Mexican border. Of course, since the system itself is a total failure there would really be nothing to worry about, except for the fact that Russian troops would be so near our border. In making his decision, I'm sure President Obama and his advisers were well aware of the outpouring of ignorance that his decision would provoke from the far right. I'm very happy that we now have a President, who has the courage to stand up to those purveyors of ignorance and fear and who will make decisions based on common sense and reason. The majority of people in the Czech Republic and Poland didn't want this system on their soil. For different reasons, neither did I nor anyone else, who believes we waste far too much money on defense, while starving government programs designed to help the American people. Come 2010, I intend to work my butt off helping candidates, who support the President, to win congressional seats from conservative nut jobs, who with the former administration just about succeeded in destroying our country.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | September 18, 2009 7:32 PM

Wasn't this all suppose to end when Obama was elected? How long do we have to wait for these guys to come home??

Posted by: jrj073000 | September 18, 2009 6:02 PM

Re: georgeichbn
why do you assume that Obama got nothing in return? Where did you get the idea that every deal is announced on the front page of newspapers. Not all diplomacy is done in the public eye

Posted by: ewen37 | September 18, 2009 5:16 PM

this was a system that wasted billions of dollars didnt work and a scenario that didnt exist.this is leadership he listen to his top military advisers.screw the republicans they are a lost causethey are never going to get back in the wh congress or senate.the president i believe is doing a good job not great but good.

Posted by: donaldtucker | September 18, 2009 4:59 PM

There appears to be the usual negative on ANYTHING that President Obama does. This is so subjective. But on use of overseas bases, I feel the following: Bring home all the US troops from around the world and open up the bases in the US. This would get us out of Japan, Okinawa, Europe, and the dozen or so other countries and bring that money and troops home. This would stimulate the economy in the areas around the bases and therefore our own economy. In addition if the troops are needed overseas, we can move them faster then ever before and they will not be what they are now Sitting Ducks. Especially in South Korea. That's all folks. Gunny L" USMC(ret)

Posted by: georgeichbn | September 18, 2009 4:39 PM

Wow. What a giant boneheaded move. Has this president never had to negotiate? Does this guy not realize that you just don't throw away the biggest bargaining chip that you have with nothing - NOTHING - received in return. What an idiot.

He has sold the Eastern European countries out. Have you read the responses coming from those capitols? Apparently Obama did not bother telling the leaders of the affected countries that he has thrown them over the wall - back into the Soviet camp.

And what is his reasoning? Apparently he really doesn't have any - except for his general hatred for all things military. The one exception being in Afghanistan, and who really expects that this Leftist has the nerve to fight his own party much longer?

Posted by: GuyThompto1 | September 18, 2009 4:17 PM

After reading this, the GOP lunatic fringe will be whining and attacking their own. Bonehead, or whatever the House's MINORITY speaker's name is, will call them traitors and attempt to distort their statements. This is just another in a long line of rebukes from experts who actually served with former GOP presidents, but Bonehead knows better. Great for the GOP. Keep it up.

Posted by: AugustWest1 | September 18, 2009 3:49 PM

The only reason they're complaining is that by not spending money on the missile defense system the US won't be spending more money in Europe.

Aside from the English, most Europeans tend to be fair-weather friends to America.

We need to spend money in the US, not in other countries.

We need to be rebuilding our own country, not wasting it on defending countries that don't need us to defend them....

Don't mean to sound selfish, but we need to spend our tax dollars on jobs in America, health care, schools, our infrastructure, green energy technology -- and that's just the start ---

Posted by: abbydelabbey | September 18, 2009 3:04 PM

anyone old enough to remember the cold war? There were massive rallies in Europe during the Raygun war mongering era demanding that the US take its armaments out of Europe... (These rallies were in the 1 to 10 million people size, as I recall in many major Western European cities). So "betrayed" is a poor choice of words now!

Posted by: yard80197 | September 18, 2009 2:47 PM

East European Officials: US Betrayed Us
East European Officials: Obama Betrayed Us

here...I corrected that for you...a liberal doesn't want the here it is.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 18, 2009 2:43 PM

Obama needs to cut this stupid, costly, wasteful program from the idiotic Bush years. He needs to go further though. There are alot of stupid organizations and projects and far too many military expenses that are crippling this country. Cut the spending! increase the jobs, grow the economy.

Posted by: Hillary08 | September 18, 2009 2:35 PM

If the Dems were smart they would run this endorsement in an ad. Make Republicans smear Scowcroft as a commie conspirator or something...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 18, 2009 2:29 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company