Brzezinski Supports, Slams Obama Missile Call

Zbigniew BrzezinskiYesterday, I noted that Brent Scowcroft supports President Obama’s missile defense decision.  Another luminary,  Zbigniew Brzezinski, has voiced his support as well — albeit in an extremely colorful manner that’s not particularly flattering to the president.

In an interview yesterday with The Daily Beast‘s Gerald Posner, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor both lambasted the Bush missile program as “based on a nonexistent defense technology, designed against a nonexistent threat, and designed to protect West Europeans, who weren’t asking for the protection” and  excoriated the Obama administration’s handling of the matter, saying “The way it was conveyed to the Czechs and Poles could not have been worse.”

In my New Atlanticist essay, “Brzezinski Endorses Obama Missile Decision, Slams Rollout,” I observe,

Regardless of the latter’s criticisms about presentation, Obama has to be pleased to be getting the support of Scowcroft and Brzezinski, men who were luminaries when he was just a teenager and have remained giants on the international stage for more than three decades.  That Scowcroft is a Republican and Brzezinski is from the hawkish wing of the Democratic Party— and both have simply unassailable records as Cold Warriors — only add to the value of their endorsement, as it buttresses the president against charges of appeasement.

More at the link.

Photo: Getty Images.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Given, as Brzezinski observes, the Bush plan was unworkable, how Obama could have turned it into a working strategy without alienating Poles and Czechs, and without further alienating the Russians is beyond me. I guess the Republican alternative to that was to “stay the course.” Yeah, they could have had that if they could have fielded a winning candidate.

  2. sam says:

    “The way it was conveyed to the Czechs and Poles could not have been worse.”

    The Poles don’t seem all that upset:

    [A]survey published in the daily Rzeczpospolita by polling firm GFK showed 48 percent of Poles believed the decision was good for Poland, while 31 percent had the opposite view.

    A total of 58 percent said the move would have no impact on Poland’s security.

    Political analysts say the economy is a far bigger priority than missile defense for Polish and Czech voters. [Source]

  3. odograph says:

    I think we’ve used up all the tempest in this teapot.

  4. […] Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to history’s greatest montser (Jimmy Carter to those of you who aren’t Simpsons watchers), was a little less than impressed with how the missile defense cuts were announced. […]

  5. anjin-san says:

    I think we’ve used up all the tempest in this teapot.

    Not sure about that, the right seems to have an endless supply of hysteria. To think, once upon a time, conservatives had actual ideas…

  6. DL says:

    Zbigniew B is in such conflict. Today a liberal -tommorrow a Marxist (but wait -my Poland)Who needs such wisdom that led Carter to destruction?

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Billions of US dollars were spent to develop the B-1 bomber. Carter canceled it. Billions of dollars were spend to develop a missile defense system. Obama is canceling it. How many terms as President did the ever popular, wise and fair Jimma Carter serve? Lefty bozos just do not seem to grasp America does not want what they offer.

  8. Franklin says:

    I don’t think it was Carter or Obama’s fault that we wasted billions on something we didn’t need, Zelsdorf.

    Regarding Brzenzski’s slam of the rollout, what would be his proposal for doing so? As JJ pointed out in his last post, Obama gave a pretty good hint back in April. I understand that the appearances may not be good, but I’m not sure how that could possibly be addressed. Both the Russians and the Obama administration thought it was a bad idea, for different reasons.

  9. Franklin says:

    I see Fareed Zakaria agrees with others: it was the right decision for the right reasons, but done the wrong way: Zakaria

    But the only helpful suggestion he had was to not announce this on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. I suppose he’s right, but it’s a funny thing, I don’t have that particular occasion on my calendar.

  10. Former Carter Official, Current Obama Adviser — US Should Shoot Down Israeli Air Force…

    In order to defend Mahmoud the Mad and his oppressive anti-Semitic regime, no less. In a little noticed interview with the Daily Beast (presumably little noticed because serious people don’t read the Daily Beast), Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Bar…

  11. Steve Hynd says:

    “the right seems to have an endless supply of hysteria”


    Michael Goldfarb: Brezinski Calls for Obama to Shoot Down Israeli Jets; “A Liberty in Reverse”

    Well played, anjin-san.

  12. James Joyner says:

    Michael Goldfarb: Brezinski Calls for Obama to Shoot Down Israeli Jets; “A Liberty in Reverse”

    But that is exactly what Brezinski is calling for — he even calls it a “Liberty in reverse.” Goldfarb is a bit overwrought in his analysis of the matter but there’s simply no way in hell we’re going to shoot down Israeli jets if they try to hit Iran.

  13. DC Loser says:

    there’s simply no way in hell we’re going to shoot down Israeli jets if they try to hit Iran.

    Oh really? Hypothetical situation – IAF overflies Iraq on the way to Iran. Our radars see the Israeli aircraft inbound. Do we really do nothing? What’s our commitment to the sovereignty of the Iraqi state? Are we willing to wipe out everything we worked for the last 6 years in Iraq and wink at Israel? If this is the case, you can take it to the bank that OIF would have been for naught and further push Iraq openly into Tehran’s orbit. And I won’t even go into what the rest of the Arab and Islamic world would do.

  14. steve says:

    Surprised you didnt link to the article by Gates. This defense system will be functional sooner and is more flexible. It is also cheaper. Gates also cancelled other systems that did not look promising. Why do Republicans oppose responsible spending?