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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:54 AM
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Fate of missile defense shield left to Obama
Fate of missile defense shield left to Obama
By Geoff Ziezulewicz, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Monday, December 8, 2008

Adding to an already formidable to-do list, President-elect Barack Obama will face a host of concerns as he plots the future of a European missile defense shield touted by President Bush as a necessary measure against potential Iranian missile attacks.

Technically known as the Ballistic Missile Defense European Capability, the shield involves radar stations in the United Kingdom and Czech Republic, as well as missile interceptors in Poland. Essentially, the system would use radar in the Czech Republic to detect and track an Iranian missile, with interceptor missiles fired from batteries in Poland to stop such an attack.

Planning for the shield began in fiscal 2007, and the system will receive $456 million in fiscal 2009.

Between 100 to 200 troops, contractors and Defense Department civilians could be running each site with everything operational by 2013 if host-nation agreements are ratified, according to Richard Lehner, a U.S. Missile Defense Agency spokesman.

Since the U.S. abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, Bush has touted the shield as an essential counter to Irans continued missile testing and development in the post-9/11 world.

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