U.S. Plans to Propose Missile Defense Site in Europe

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Aug. 15 -- The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, concerned about a potential threat from Iran, plans to recommend in the coming months a European site for ground-based interceptor missiles, the head of the agency said Tuesday.

Poland, the Czech Republic and Britain have been named by the agency as possible candidates to help bolster a fledgling U.S. missile defense shield against missiles launched from the Middle East.

The initial configuration of the ground-based leg of the system, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Fort Greely, Alaska, is aimed at thwarting ballistic missiles fired from North Korea.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III said the United States plans to install 10 interceptors at the projected European site by the end of 2011. By then, as many as 43 interceptors are due to have been installed in Alaska and California, he said.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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