November 8th, 2008
04:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama adviser: No Obama commitment on defense shield

President-elect Obama spoke recently with the president of Poland.
President-elect Obama spoke recently with the president of Poland.

(CNN) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has made "no commitment" to plans for a missile defense program in eastern Europe, despite a report on Polish president's Web site, an Obama adviser said Saturday.

Obama spoke to President Lech Kaczynki over the phone about continuing military and political cooperation between the two countries and possibly meeting in person soon, both sides said.

"President-elect had a good conversation with the Polish president and the Polish prime minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance," said Denis McDonough, Obama's senior foreign policy adviser.

However, Kaczynski's office on its Web site says that during the same conversation, Obama told Kaczynski that he intends to continue plans for a missile shield in eastern Europe.

Obama's adviser denied the report.

"President Kaczynski raised missile defense, but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign: That he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable," McDonough said.

Russia is infuriated by U.S. plans for the missile-defense installation, which includes basing missile interceptors in Poland. The interceptor rockets would be linked to an air-defense radar system in the Czech Republic.

The United States has tried to mollify Moscow by stressing that the missile shield is directed at rogue states, such as Iran, and the number of interceptors in the shield would be "easily overwhelmed" by Russian forces.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in his first state-of-the-nation speech since taking office earlier this year, warned this week that Russian missiles will be deployed against the planned system.

"The Iskander missile system will be deployed in Kaliningrad region to neutralize, when necessary, the missile shield," Medvedev said. "We are also planning to use the resources of the Russian naval fleet for these purposes."

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Medvedev's announcement that Russia would deploy missiles in response to the shield is "disappointing."

Updated 4:07 p.m. with McDonough statement

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Juan

    Barry probably just got confused and thought he was agreeing with Nancy Reagan. Either that or Lech just misunderstood one of his many "uhs" as a "yes."

    November 8, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. Scott L

    Of course not, his plan is to disable the American military might and shift those dollars to mini cars and green programs.

    He better start shifting the national guard to start securing our northern and southern borders and shoot to kill anyone not following border patrol orders.

    Let's see how quick liberals wish GW was back in office WHEN the next attack occurs. Biden already thinks it will happen in a few months...

    November 8, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. S Callahan

    President elect Obama is on his toes and the international community is testing not realizing this man thinks through his decisions. Calm down Russia and Poland...the world's citzens made it loud and clear it prefers peaceful solutions.

    November 8, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. Roberto Valdés

    This is the kind of situation in which we are eager to see Obama's "tough diplomacy" in action. Will he succeed? We'll see...

    November 8, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. Ron , West Coast

    Our newly elected president will now have to repair, and mend a lot of fences Geo. W., and Dick Cheney ruined over the last eight years....
    Barack Obama, and Joe Biden are our leaders now. That is , on and after Jan. 20th, 2009 .......
    We`ve finally gotten intelligence, and humility back in the White House ......
    USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA ............

    November 8, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  6. Chris

    Obama hasn't even taken office and he is already getting pushed around on the world stage.

    November 8, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. brian

    I love how many idiots are already attacking Obama just because they are still teary-eyed over Palin's loss. Idiots.

    November 9, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Jay

    To the media, Please STOP showing black people every time there's something to say about Obama!!! As long as the media keeps showing blacks on TV it is going to remain about race. Try showing the faces of everyone who support Obama. Asians, Hispanics and Caucasians. We too voted for Obama.

    November 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. cctv surabaya

    I have always been proud of you and this little article gives me additional reasons to do so. cctv camera di surabaya

    June 15, 2012 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
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