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S President Barack Obama has shelved plans for controversial bases in Poland and the Czech Republic in a major overhaul of missile defence in Europe. The bases are to be scrapped after a review of the threat from Iran.


Mr Obama said there would be a "proven, cost-effective" system using land- and sea-based interceptors against Iran's short- and medium-range missile threat. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has welcomed the US decision, calling it a "responsible move".


Russia had always seen the shield as a threat. However, there has been criticism of the decision in conservative circles in the US. The US signed a deal in August 2008 with Poland to site 10 interceptors at a base near the Baltic Sea, and with the Czech Republic to build a radar station on its territory.


The US had said the missile shield would be fully operational by 2012. But President Obama this year ordered a review of the defence system, which was strongly backed by his predecessor George W Bush.


'Stronger and smarter'


On Thursday, President Obama said in a live TV address that the change was needed to "deploy a defence system that best responds to the threats we face".


He said a review had shown the need to switch strategy to defending against the short- and medium-range missiles that Iran could use to target Europe. Twice Mr Obama referred to the need for a system that was "proven and cost effective".

He said the new approach would provide "a stronger, smarter and swifter defence" of US and allied forces in Europe.


Mr Obama said he had spoken to both the Czech Republic and Poland and stressed his commitments to their defence. But he said again that Russia's concerns about the old system were "entirely unfounded".


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Was a stupid neo-con plan, probably only devised to further line the pockets of the arms manufacturers. Am very glad to see it binned.

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costs lots of money and doesnt work


All the better for boosting the profits of the companies who were going to make money from this absurd idea (they'd no doubt go over the $150 billion budget trying to get it to work, when chances are it would never actually work - it's like trying to shoot a gun so that your bullet hits someone else's bullet).

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you mean it's like buying phil neville for $100m to increase the net spend?



More like firing Phil Neville out of a very very expensive cannon in order for him to crash mid-air into Gary Neville, who has been fired out of another expensive cannon. Great fun if it all works out, but a big waste of time and money otherwise.

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