News In Brief

NATO pooh-poohs call for defense 'eye' in space

European NATO officials expressed skepticism Wednesday over French President Francois Mitterrand's call for a European defense satellite. Speaking in The Hague Tuesday, Mr. Mitterrand said the future defense of Western Europe lies in space. He called for the creation of a European space community and suggested a manned station to ''observe, transmit, and thus counter any eventual threat.''

NATO officials described the space station idea as vague and said they saw no prospect of West European governments being willing or able to finance their own satellite intelligence network.

Diplomats said that for Europe to deploy its own military satellites would take an enormous diversion of resources, and they forecast a strong reluctance to duplicate US intelligence efforts, which are shared with NATO on a regular basis.

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