Obama asks Russia for "space" on missile defense

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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#1
Obama asks Russia for "space" on missile defense


Play CBS News Video

(CBS News) SEOUL, South Korea - Unaware that a microphone was recording him, President Barack Obama asked outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for "space" until after his re-election to negotiate on NATO's planned missile defense system for Eastern Europe.
Incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin made it a big issue in his re-election campaign.
At the end of a meeting Monday on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit, President Obama was overheard giving Medvedev a very candid political assessment on his ability to deal with missile defense and other issues, in a message to be conveyed to incoming President Putin, reports CBS News chief White House correspondent Bill Plante.
"On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it's important for him to give me space," Mr. Obama told Medvedev.
Medvedev replied, "Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you."
"This is my last election," President Obama said. "And after my election, I have more flexibility."
The Russian leader responded, "I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir."
Medvedev: Russia must counter missile shield
After the remarks became public, the White House admitted the obvious, saying it's true that nothing much would get done in an election year.
But the administration did say Mr. Obama and Medvedev had directed their technical experts to see what they could do to work things out.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57404379/obama-asks-russia-for-space-on-missile-defense/

Video at the link.
 

Neon

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I read Medvedev's quotes in Yakov Smirnoff's voice and loled.
 

MagicBob

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#4
why does the US still have a missile defense system in Europe? Why doesnt Europe have its OWN missile defense system?

They are big kids now, they can make their own toys.
 

jagsfans

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#5
Good, no need to waste more money on a defense system that won't stop anything that's a serious threat to the Country. No one with missiles are of any danger of attacking us. Billions of dollars on a shield aren't going to stop religious fanatics from blowing themselves up near Americans.
 

Neon

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why does the US still have a missile defense system in Europe? Why doesnt Europe have its OWN missile defense system?
To show Russia (and Europe) who's boss. Obama is just doing it wrong.
 

KRSOne

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#7
That's amazing, Obama admitting that its already been decided that he will be president again.
 

gleet

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why does the US still have a missile defense system in Europe? Why doesnt Europe have its OWN missile defense system?

They are big kids now, they can make their own toys.
Because every once in a while, Germany gets rambunctious and we need to be able to rain missiles upon them without them having their own shield.
 

VMS

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I'm kind of hot-and-cold about SDI (or whatever they're calling it this decade).

As a system, I think it's important. Over the short term, though, people are right: there isn't a realistic enemy with ICBM capability.

ICBMS are shitty ways to deploy nukes anyway. They're big, they're noisy, and they point a laser beam at the country that fired them. Realistically, ICBM's primary purpose is to be a nuclear response weapon. Somebody sneak attacks you with nukes, you figure out who they are, you respond with ICBMs.

SDI would defend against
1.) A country/group rich enough to afford ICBMs but stupid enough to use them as a first strike weapon.
2.) A country/group with ICBMs mistakenly believing the US nuked them and using their ICBMs as a retaliatory strike against the US.
3.) A country/group with ICBMs that the US has just nuked, defending the US against a retaliatory strike.
and, in the end, the only logical thing I can see actually happening:
4.) To take another country's nukes off the table so they can't threaten the US with nuclear strike while getting their asses handed to them in a conventional war.

Nukes are about sabre-rattling, not actually using them. Nukes are useful as a threat, not as a weapon. SDI doesn't have to so much stop ICBMs as it has to make other countries believe their ICBMs are useless and therefore they can't push the US but so far.

#4 shapes the SDI program, IMO. It's more about using SDI as a threat to the threat rather than as an actual deployed weapons system.
 

whiskeyguy

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#11
That's amazing, Obama admitting that its already been decided that he will be president again.
Yeah, because it would be better for him if he told a representative of another country "you know, I'm seriously doubting I'll win this next election, but I'd appreciate it if you gave me some leeway here and put aside your own country's objectives until after I'm possibly re-elected, even though the incoming president may completely disagree with your position on the matter".
 

South Jersey

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#12
Yeah, because it would be better for him if he told a representative of another country "you know, I'm seriously doubting I'll win this next election, but I'd appreciate it if you gave me some leeway here and put aside your own country's objectives until after I'm possibly re-elected, even though the incoming president may completely disagree with your position on the matter".
And you really think Putin is that stupid?? Come October when it's clear barry's campaign is going tits up you don't think that Valddy is gonna demand to renegotiate then??
 

jagsfans

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#13
And you really think Putin is that stupid?? Come October when it's clear barry's campaign is going tits up you don't think that Valddy is gonna demand to renegotiate then??
Why would he? Russians know Democrats are easier to push around. He'll definitely help Obama whenever he can.
 

jagsfans

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#14
I'm kind of hot-and-cold about SDI (or whatever they're calling it this decade).

As a system, I think it's important. Over the short term, though, people are right: there isn't a realistic enemy with ICBM capability.

ICBMS are shitty ways to deploy nukes anyway. They're big, they're noisy, and they point a laser beam at the country that fired them. Realistically, ICBM's primary purpose is to be a nuclear response weapon. Somebody sneak attacks you with nukes, you figure out who they are, you respond with ICBMs.

SDI would defend against
1.) A country/group rich enough to afford ICBMs but stupid enough to use them as a first strike weapon.
2.) A country/group with ICBMs mistakenly believing the US nuked them and using their ICBMs as a retaliatory strike against the US.
3.) A country/group with ICBMs that the US has just nuked, defending the US against a retaliatory strike.
and, in the end, the only logical thing I can see actually happening:
4.) To take another country's nukes off the table so they can't threaten the US with nuclear strike while getting their asses handed to them in a conventional war.

Nukes are about sabre-rattling, not actually using them. Nukes are useful as a threat, not as a weapon. SDI doesn't have to so much stop ICBMs as it has to make other countries believe their ICBMs are useless and therefore they can't push the US but so far.

#4 shapes the SDI program, IMO. It's more about using SDI as a threat to the threat rather than as an actual deployed weapons system.
That's assuming this generation of SDI would actually work. I believed in SDI when Reagan was for it because it helped bankrupt USSR but now I think it would be used as nothing but a jobs program for defense contractors.
 

VMS

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#15
That's assuming this generation of SDI would actually work. I believed in SDI when Reagan was for it because it helped bankrupt USSR but now I think it would be used as nothing but a jobs program for defense contractors.
That's the thing about SDI: it doesn't necessarily need to work. It just needs to stay out there.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we need to be spending billions on something that doesn't work. And we eventually need something that does work. But the kind of thing that SDI as it stands now would stop is worthwhile. We don't drop billions of dollars down the R&D hole, but we put up a pretty demo every couple of years of almost stopping every MARV. We stay close enough to doing it that it keeps some countries from getting uppity.

After all, why pour billions into R&D yourself if the target for your ICBMs might just finish their ICBM shield before you finish building your ICBMs? SDI is the sort of thing that puts the brakes on the overall arms race. A carefully measured amount of R&D, not just as a maskirovka but also with the goal of eventually developing a workable SDI can make one-button nuclear armageddon much less likely.
 

BIV

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#16
Can we step away from the missiles for a second and focus on the fact that this fucker is basing foreign policy around his election? I get it, all presidents do it. But the fact that this fucker is admitting it to, and don't have any confusion about this, our #1 enemy is just fucking disgusting.
 

MagicBob

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#18
Can we step away from the missiles for a second and focus on the fact that this fucker is basing foreign policy around his election? I get it, all presidents do it. But the fact that this fucker is admitting it to, and don't have any confusion about this, our #1 enemy is just fucking disgusting.
Yes foreign policy is sometimes determined by the election cycle. Everyone knows it. Saying it isnt disgusting. Nor is the fact that it happens. We have a missile system in place that does nothing but costs us money. Europe could have their own missile system. Screw 'em, let them pay for their own. But if Obama were to say that we are removing the system the republicans would squeal like stuck pigs because its cutting defense spending, and god knows you cant do that, even though they are against deficit spending. So the negotiations on the system get held up for 8-9 months while all the political bullshit blows over. If Obama is re-elected he will have more room to negotiate. What he said is 100% correct. He may have a different make up in congress, he may have a different Sect. of State, Dept. of Defense, we may have fewer troops in Afghanistan, some might be re-deployed in Europe (making up for the security "lost" be removing the missiles)... LOTS of things might be different, giving him more room to work on this issue.

I get it, you are going to slam Obama no matter what he says, but the reality of this is that was nothing "wrong" with what he said Miley.
 

Neon

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#19
Yes foreign policy is sometimes determined by the election cycle. Everyone knows it. Saying it isnt disgusting. Nor is the fact that it happens.
I'll remind you of this when President Romney is up for reelection.
 

MagicBob

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I'll remind you of this when President Romney is up for reelection.
thats fine. Its a fact. Hell, I'm sure there are projects waiting in congress for the outcome of the upcoming election. Its the way our political system works. There are some bills that wont be introduced at all if Obama is re-elected because he will veto them, but if Romney is elected they will see the light of day. So they wait for the election to see if there is "enough room to work on the issue" No need to get upset over it, its the way the system works.

dont make the mistake of thinking I'm "taking sides" on the political issue... I didnt vote for Obama, nor do I hold any party affiliation. But trying to work up some outrage over this is really stupid.
 

jagsfans

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#21
thats fine. Its a fact. Hell, I'm sure there are projects waiting in congress for the outcome of the upcoming election. Its the way our political system works. There are some bills that wont be introduced at all if Obama is re-elected because he will veto them, but if Romney is elected they will see the light of day. So they wait for the election to see if there is "enough room to work on the issue" No need to get upset over it, its the way the system works.

dont make the mistake of thinking I'm "taking sides" on the political issue... I didnt vote for Obama, nor do I hold any party affiliation. But trying to work up some outrage over this is really stupid.
Agreed, if you don't think every head of state in every country that matters doesn't know all policy revolves around the election your an idiot. Putin is well aware of the political climate in the US and what positions he needs to hold depending on the outcome of the election. The GOP candidates will try to make hay about this but it's the truth and trying to crucify Obama for saying what every President in the 20th Century did is beyond stupid.
 

VMS

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#22
Yes foreign policy is sometimes determined by the election cycle. Everyone knows it. Saying it isnt disgusting. Nor is the fact that it happens. We have a missile system in place that does nothing but costs us money. Europe could have their own missile system. Screw 'em, let them pay for their own. But if Obama were to say that we are removing the system the republicans would squeal like stuck pigs because its cutting defense spending, and god knows you cant do that, even though they are against deficit spending. So the negotiations on the system get held up for 8-9 months while all the political bullshit blows over. If Obama is re-elected he will have more room to negotiate. What he said is 100% correct. He may have a different make up in congress, he may have a different Sect. of State, Dept. of Defense, we may have fewer troops in Afghanistan, some might be re-deployed in Europe (making up for the security "lost" be removing the missiles)... LOTS of things might be different, giving him more room to work on this issue.

I get it, you are going to slam Obama no matter what he says, but the reality of this is that was nothing "wrong" with what he said Miley.
I have to agree with Bob on this one.

That said, this is a stupid gaffe. What President Obama actually said is something that any American politician in his place might say, but to be so explicit with it is bad form. Seriously, it shows how much of a neophyte he is in foreign policy even after 3+ years in office. The first line, the "give me space", fine. But then to explicitly detail out "look, after this election I'm free to do what I want" to a foreign leader is just bush league stuff.

Note, also, that Medvedev makes it clear how much he's Dobby's bitch with his response, specifically mentioning Putin.

And not only did President Obama handle is sloppily, he did it in front of an open mic. I mean, fucking hell, Mr. President: what are you, a complete fucking rookie?

Am I offended that this is how politicians think? No. They're politicians: it's a given that this is how they think. But to be so damned sloppy with it, to handle it so badly both in form and circumstance is just pathetic.

Shit, I thought President Obama was supposed to be smart. Three years in, and he's still acting like an amateur.
 

MagicBob

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#23
I have to agree with Bob on this one.

That said, this is a stupid gaffe. What President Obama actually said is something that any American politician in his place might say, but to be so explicit with it is bad form. Seriously, it shows how much of a neophyte he is in foreign policy even after 3+ years in office. The first line, the "give me space", fine. But then to explicitly detail out "look, after this election I'm free to do what I want" to a foreign leader is just bush league stuff.

Note, also, that Medvedev makes it clear how much he's Dobby's bitch with his response, specifically mentioning Putin.

And not only did President Obama handle is sloppily, he did it in front of an open mic. I mean, fucking hell, Mr. President: what are you, a complete fucking rookie?

Am I offended that this is how politicians think? No. They're politicians: it's a given that this is how they think. But to be so damned sloppy with it, to handle it so badly both in form and circumstance is just pathetic.

Shit, I thought President Obama was supposed to be smart. Three years in, and he's still acting like an amateur.
its not even a gaffe... its the truth. Its not out of line to speak in plain language to another head of state.

trust me, there is LOTS of shit said in front of an open mic...I used to do some shooting for CSPAN. hell, we used to open mics explicitly to hear what was being said. The trick is, someone with an axe to grind can take a recording of it and give it to someone that will try and create some fauxrage about it... it can cost you your job is its figured out that you are the one that did it.

again... this is REALLY nothing.