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September 17, 2009 / J. Shaw

Obama Abandons Czech Republic and Poland on Missile Defense System

Obama scraps Bush’s European missile defense



photo Drudge

President Barack Obama on Thursday shelved a Bush-era plan for an Eastern European missile defense plan that has been a major irritant in relations with Russia. He said a redesigned defensive system would be cheaper and more effective against the threat from Iranian missiles.

“Our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies,” Obama said in an announcement from the White House. “It is more comprehensive than the previous program, it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost effective, and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland.”

The missile defense system, planned under the Bush administration, was to have been built in the Czech Republic and Poland. Obama phoned Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer Wednesday night and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk Thursday morning to alert them of his decision.

It was immediately unclear whether any part of the new system would still be hosted by those nations, which agreed to host the Bush-planned shield at considerable cost in public opinion and their relations with Russia. Obama said the U.S. will continue to work cooperatively with what he called “our close friends and allies.”



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