Obama’s se­cret plan

Na­tional se­cu­rity takes a back seat to pres­i­dent’s re-elec­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion -

There is only one thing scarier for the fu­ture of Amer­ica than all of the debt and bad poli­cies Pres­i­dent Obama has built up since his 2008 elec­tion: It’s what the prospect of an Obama sec­ond term would bring. And the pres­i­dent isn’t be­ing hon­est about what his se­cret plans are.

That Mr. Obama has dan­ger­ous ideas up his sleeve and won’t be forth­com­ing about his true agenda dur­ing this year’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign were ex­posed in can­did com­ments he made to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Dmitri Medvedev on Mon­day. On the sub­ject of sen­si­tive arms-con­trol ne­go­ti­a­tions, the U.S. pres­i­dent ad­vised, “This is my last elec­tion. Af­ter my elec­tion I have more flex­i­bil­ity.” This ad­mis­sion begs the ques­tion: Flex­i­bil­ity to do what? What agree­ment with Rus­sia does Mr. Obama want to sign that he thinks would be so dam­ag­ing to his re-elec­tion chances that he would need to wait un­til af­ter­ward to per­pe­trate it? If such a hid­den in­ten­tion would be dan­ger­ous to his re­elec­tion, it surely wouldn’t be a safe pol­icy for our na­tional de­fense.

Mr. Medvedev re­sponded to Mr. Obama’s plea by say­ing, “I un­der­stand. I will trans­mit this in­for­ma­tion to Vladimir,” re­fer­ring to for­mer and in­com­ing Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, the strong­man who has held the reins of power in Moscow one way or an­other since 1999. There is no mis­tak­ing whether Mr. Obama’s re­quest to de­lay ma­jor diplo­matic re­la­tions un­til af­ter the elec­tion was mo­ti­vated en­tirely by his own po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions, an un­com­fort­able re­al­ity re­flected in the be­gin­ning of the repar­tee be­tween the two pres­i­dents. Mr. Obama ex­plained, “On all these is­sues, but par­tic­u­larly mis­sile de­fense, this, this can be solved but it’s im­por­tant for him [Mr. Putin] to give me space.” Mr. Medvedev replied, “I un­der­stand your mes­sage about space. Space for you . . . .”

The in­sid­i­ous na­ture of this back and forth is due to the fact that Mr. Obama didn’t know a mi­cro­phone was on and thought his con­ver­sa­tion with the for­eign leader was con­fi­den­tial. That he would be so forth­com­ing about mak­ing U.S. na­tional se­cu­rity sec­ond fid­dle to his per­sonal quest for re­elec­tion is star­tling. That his can­dor ben­e­fits Rus­sia — a strate­gic com­peti­tor to the United States and for­mer long­time en­emy — is scary. Mr. Obama al­ready signed the ill-ad­vised “New Start” Treaty, which al­lows Moscow to ex­pand and mod­ern­ize its nu­clear stock­pile while Amer­ica uni­lat­er­ally cuts down our own arse­nal. It is the pres­i­dent’s self-cen­tered­ness, com­bined with a cav­a­lier lack of re­spect for the global per­cep­tion of U.S. power, that has many se­cu­rity an­a­lysts spec­u­lat­ing about a rash Oc­to­ber sur­prise to help his elec­toral bid.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Obama has tried to cut a back­room deal to push off se­ri­ous ac­tion un­til af­ter the elec­tion. Three weeks ago, he re­port­edly of­fered Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu bunker-buster bombs and other so­phis­ti­cated mil­i­tary as­sis­tance if Is­rael would agree to wait un­til af­ter Novem­ber to bomb Iran. Such wheel­ing and deal­ing shows that Mr. Obama is will­ing to do any­thing to win re-elec­tion. But when na­tional se­cu­rity is sub­ju­gated to pol­i­tics, Amer­ica loses.

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