Obama Shows Putin his Flexibility: European Missile Defense Cancelled

Barack Obama was caught on camera assuring the Russian President that he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the presidential election.

I just hope Vladimir appreciates Obama's flexibility. It's not a flexibility that Americans ever get to see. Just anti-American dictators. And it would only be gentlemanly for Vlad to leave Obama a tip in appreciation of his flexibility.

Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.

"This is my last election ... After my election I have more flexibility," Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.

"I will transmit this information to Vladimir," said Medvedev, Putin's protégé and long considered number two in Moscow's power structure.

And look at that, he did.

The Obama administration says it is abandoning a key part of its European missile defence plan - an interceptor that had been strongly opposed by Russia.

It cited development problems and a lack of money.

The cancellation of the interceptors, which were to be deployed in Poland and possibly Romania early next decade, offers a potential opening for new arms control talks.

Russian officials suspect the interceptors were a counter to their missiles and had indicated that they would not consider further nuclear arms cuts unless their concerns were resolved.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the cancellation on Friday as part of an overall restructuring of the missile defense plans aimed at stopping missiles from North Korea and Iran.

He made no reference to Russia's objections in his announcement.

Friday is when announcements that you want to bury are made. Wrapping this in a supposed plan to counter North Korea disguises the second sellout of Poland and Eastern Europe.

Sadly however, Obama's best bow to Russia has met with the usual response of tyrants to appeasement.

A change in the United States plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe will not prompt Russia to drop its opposition to the system, a senior lawmaker allied to President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.

So much for Obama's flexibility.