Let’s call it the Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse – this time, we backed down:
Russia has dropped plans to install missiles near Poland after the Obama administration signalled a change in US attitude to the region, a Moscow military official has reportedly said.
The official suggested that Mr Obama’s White House had made clear it would not prioritise executing the Bush administration’s plan to install a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
There is supposed to be some power in soft power, is there not? As McKittrick, at Closing Velocity, points out: “Obama failed his first test.”
Despite the popular narrative, a good chunk of the world did not despise George W. Bush or the America he governed. That chunk included a collection of nations in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus that relied on the U.S. to keep Vladimir Putin in check. For them – if no one else – the “change” thing is very real.