Fox News host Gregg Jarrett on Thursday suggested that President Barack Obama should pull out of nuclear treaties and send missiles to Europe after Russian President Vladimir Putin granted asylum to National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden.
During a discussion about the American president’s decision to cancel a one-on-one meeting with Putin ahead of next month’s G-20 economic summit in Russia, Jarrett asked Republican strategist Brad Blakeman why Obama had not chosen to “do something meaningful.”
“Put the missile defense system back the Czech Republic and Poland,” Jarrett said. “If you want to go really extreme, pull out of START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty].”
Earlier this year, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the U.S. was cancelling plans to put long-range missile defense interceptors in Poland. The system was intended to protect Europe from possible attacks from Iran, but it was seen by Russia as an effort to counter Russian weapons. Moscow had refused to move forward with additional nuclear arms cuts unless the system was scrapped.
In addition, the U.S. Congress had not funded the long-range missiles and the technology was not ready to be deployed.
Three other phases, including short-range missiles in Poland, were expected to be rolled out as planned.
Fox News National Security Analyst K.T. McFarland wrote last month that Obama should “man up and punch back against Putin” by “reinstating the missile defense shield for Poland and the Czech republic.”
And on Thursday, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called on the president to “move beyond symbolic acts and take the steps necessary to establish a more realistic approach to our relations with Russia.”
The senators said that a response to Putin’s asylum for Snowden should include “completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ Happening Now, uploaded Aug. 8, 2013.
(h/t: Media Matters)