Apr 30 2008

U.S. – Czech Missile Defense Plans Delayed

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Missile DefenseGUEST: Victoria Samson, Research Analyst, Center for Defense Information

Dozens of Greenpeace activists occupied a military site south of Prague on Monday where the United States has plans to construct a missile defense radar base. News of the action came as the U.S. State Department informed the Czech Republic that Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice would have to delay signing a missile defense treaty between the two nations. Rice claimed scheduling conflicts as the reason for her unavailability in Prague in early May to finalize the controversial plans, which are opposed by 70% of Czechs. The U.S’ declared rationale for the proposed Czech base is to protect the region from possible attacks from the Middle East. Russia, wary of the proposed base’s proximity to its borders, criticized the plans on the grounds that it could trigger a new arms race. Meanwhile, The House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs is hearing testimonies today on the program. As $12.3 billion has been requested in anti-ballistic missile defense spending, critics say that the program’s burden to taxpayers is not in tune with the actual threat faced.

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