US to scrap missile defense shield that irked Russia
The Obama administration is expected to announce Thursday it will shelve Bush-era plans to erect a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, after Iran’s long-range missiles were deemed less of a threat than previously believed.
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The US, along with Russia, Britain, China, France, and Germany, are set to begin talks with Iran in October, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit the US next week to attend the UN General Assembly and a G-20 meeting. He will also meet with President Obama.Skip to next paragraph
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The Obama administration has made it a goal to improve relations with Russia, which has been angered not only by the missile defense plan but also by proposals to include former Soviet republics in NATO and by US support for Georgia in its war with Russia last year, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
With Barack Obama in the White House, the deployment of the missile shield in Eastern Europe is no longer a given, as defense experts question its costs, its effectiveness and even its location. As a result, the certainties of the Bush era have given way to a sense of betrayal — but maybe also realism — on the part of the East Europeans….
“The East European countries went out on a limb for America during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Ron Asmus, director of the Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “Now they feel they are getting whacked."