George Bush never met a peaceful situation he could not transform into a cauldron of steaming anger. The president took office at a time when US relations with Russia, while not perfect, still reflected a semblance of desire on both sides to cooperate. However, President Bush decided that Europe needed an anti-missile system to prevent attacks from “rogue nations” that remain unidentified although he most probably meant Iran and North Korea. The decision to construct anti-missile systems in the Czech Republic and Poland infuriated Russia and caused a new cold war to emerge. Czech protestors against the base urged their government to refuse cooperation with the United States since the only result will be to damage their nation’s relations with Russia. Most opinion polls suggest a majority of Czechs do not support the idea of missile bases.
Barack Obama has an excellent opportunity once in office to restore calm relations with Russia by voiding any anti-missile base construction. Most European leaders like President Sarkozy of France have urged an end to any effort to build such bases. If Europeans are against the anti-missile bases why is the United States building them for the ostensible reason of protecting Europe?