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Biden to Reassure Allies on Trip to Eastern Europe

By Scott Wilson and Michael A. Fletcher
Vice President Biden will travel to Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic this month on a mission that appears in part designed to reassure worried allies of U.S. resolve.

Biden's four-day trip, scheduled to begin Oct. 20, will take the first high-level U.S. delegation to those countries since President Obama announced last month that he would not proceed with an anti-ballistic missile shield in Eastern Europe.

Poland and the Czech Republic had agreed to host elements of the planned system -- a legacy of the Bush administration -- that Russia considered a severe NATO encroachment on its traditional sphere of influence.

Instead of deploying a shield to protect against long-range missiles, particularly those from Iran, Obama said he would move forward with a sea-based system that would target short and medium-range missiles that more directly threaten Eastern Europe.

But the policy reversal alarmed some in Eastern Europe -- and in the capitals of other U.S. allies, as well -- who took it as a sign that Obama would give in too easily too Russian demands.

Less than a week later, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered tentative support for stricter sanctions against Iran if the Islamic Republic continued to defy international demands to stop enriching uranium, something the U.S. government has long sought.

White House Secretary Robert Gibbs said in his Tuesday briefing that Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "is somebody who has long relationships throughout Europe."

Gibbs said the Polish, Czech and Romanian governments support Obama's decision, which he said would deploy "a missile defense system that protects a greater geographic area and addresses much more directly the threat that exists in the here and now rather than something that was technologically a ways off."

"I have no doubt that the issue will come up, and I think the vice president will be very comfortable, as will our allies, in the decision that we've made," Gibbs said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 6, 2009; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Joe Biden  
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Sending Joe Biden to Europe to "reassure our allies" is akin to assigning Bernard Madoff to Wall Street to lecture on personal, and fiscal integrity.

Posted by: nustuearthlinknet | October 7, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Would YOU want to be an ally of the United States?

Hell, a rubber crutch is more reliable.

Sending Joe the Buffoon is about as effective as the presentation by Mr. & Mrs Obama in Copenhagen.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | October 6, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I think that Joe Biden should call McCrystal on his WWW Internet number and ask him if the cars will be using the train tunned under the Hudson. Then he can tell him he's been busy trying to get people jobs which is a three letter word. After that he can let McCrystal know that he saw Franklin D. Roosevelt on TV in 1929 and he gave him some good war tips. WHO VOTED FOR THIS MORON?

Posted by: stopcommunism | October 6, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of space warfare...


A weapons test in disguise?

OR (if link is corrupted/disabled):, see "Reporting and Writing," "NASA's Friday Moon Bombing..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 6, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, right. Joe the idiot will not do much to reassure our allies, who the incompetent Odumbo has stiffed and insulted for the past several months.

These dimwits are about as capable of developing a arational foreign policy as Hillary is of controlling Willie's willie.

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 6, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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