July 1, 2006


Frist: Europe missile-defense site needed (LIZ SIDOTI, 6/30/06, Associated Press)

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist urged President Bush on Friday to intensify efforts to put interceptor missiles at a site in Europe to protect against potential attacks from Iran.

"The threat from Iran is only going to grow in the years ahead. We need to take steps now to prepare to deal with that threat," Frist, R-Tenn., said in a letter to the president.

"The time has come to revive and reinvigorate discussions with allies in Europe that have previously expressed interest in hosting these interceptors at a third site on their territory," said Frist, who is retiring from the Senate and is considering running for president in 2008.

Talk about not getting it.

Tokyo Cowboy: Why Japan is a crucial part of the Bush foreign policy legacy. (Duncan Currie, 06/29/2006, Weekly Standard)

Upgrading the alliance with Tokyo represents one of the most unsung diplomatic feats of this White House. Neither Bush nor Koizumi did it alone. Both built on the security dialogues of their predecessors. But the Bush-Koizumi years have witnessed an acceleration of the process and historic levels of military cooperation. Their work has already bore fruit. "I think the Chinese have been deterred," says Michael Green, a former National Security Council staffer. (Beijing squealed loudly in February 2005 when America and Japan affirmed that protecting Taiwan was a "common strategic objective.") ]...]

Over the long term, the two biggest challenges for U.S. policymakers in East Asia are managing the peaceful rise of China and defanging North Korea. Both challenges will require a robust security relationship with Japan--a relationship that Bush and Koizumi have done more than any other pair of leaders to nourish and expand. It is true that Japan may never see another Koizumi. A big fan of American westerns, especially High Noon, the maverick prime minister has blended cowboy-like populism with a boldly pro-American foreign policy. The alliance may inevitably fade a bit after he retires next September.

But in Iraq and elsewhere, Koizumi has crossed the Rubicon. As U.S. ambassador Tom Schieffer recently put it, "Under Koizumi there was a fundamental change." Future Japanese leaders may find there is no turning back.

Samurai and cowboy seal their special relationship (Alec Russell, 01/07/2006, Daily Telegraph)
Chinese officials will have looked on with irritation yesterday as the leader of their great regional rival, Japan, sealed his extraordinary bond with the United States.

The "samurai" and the "cowboy" first made a connection five years ago. Now Japanese and US officials coo that the relationship is the warmest it has been in decades as highlighted by a recent agreement to redeploy 50,000 US troops based in Japan.

Ending years of tetchy negotiations the deal will lead to the withdrawal of 8,000 troops and a reduction of numbers on the island of Okinawa, where bases have repeatedly stirred local resentment.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2006 8:04 AM

Suddenly, Japan isn't boring anymore.

Posted by: erp at July 1, 2006 8:50 AM

Leaving Western Europe exposed to Iranian nuclear missiles for a few years until they come to their senses (or are woken up by a couple of loud bangs) is one of the biggest foreign policy opportunities we have available.

Posted by: ZF at July 1, 2006 10:36 AM

Not, "a samurai and a cowboy." Two cowboys--that's the whole point.

Can we begin to see why they hate us?

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 1, 2006 10:48 AM

I'm sure the Europeans will protest the anti-missile missiles (just like they did the Pershings), reasoning "It's an aggressive act only meant to provoke the Iranians" blah blah blah

Posted by: KRS at July 1, 2006 1:45 PM

"Bill Frist urged President Bush on Friday to intensify efforts to put interceptor missiles at a site in Europe to protect against potential attacks from Iran" But why? Isn't Bush the greatest terrorist of the world, and the US a rogue state? Isn't this a ploy to put the trusting peaceful Euros under the terrorist state's thumb? I say: Frist, mind your own business, and we mind ours. Leave the Euros alone. They like to play victims, let them.

Posted by: ic at July 1, 2006 1:51 PM

Isn't 'samurai' Japanese for 'cowboy'.

Posted by: lebeaux at July 2, 2006 1:54 AM

I agree with leaving western Europe "under the gun," but we could put some in Poland.

Posted by: Bartman at July 2, 2006 9:07 AM

I think we’ve made “arrangements” with one or two friendly former Warsaw Pact nations that even Bill Keller hasn't been able unearth? Remember Bush doesn’t care who gets the blame/credit as long as he gets the job done and our security is his job one.

Posted by: erp at July 2, 2006 10:39 AM