Under New Management

The U.S. has decided to abrogate its agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic to deploy advanced missile-defense systems in those Eastern European nations. This sort of inconstancy is a well-known issue with democracies such as ours, where the internal balance of power shifts every few years, but the Poles and Czechs — who, having had recent firsthand experience of tyranny, have been among America’s most stalwart allies (and who signed on for this missile agreement at the peril of arousing the ire of their reawakened former master, right next door) — are understandably upset, and as far as they are concerned, we’ll be sleeping on the couch for some time to come.

The WSJ’s editorial staff sums up the political overview here. But there are many complex strategic factors in play that are not reflected in the WSJ’s editorial: for a more military-centric perspective, have a look here. New technology is transforming military strategy, and land-based missile defenses may largely be supplanted, in the near future, by rapidly maturing naval systems. In light of that, the president’s decision may well — despite the cost in goodwill amongst our Eastern European allies — prove to be the right one.

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