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Poland Balances U.S. Missile Defense Plans and Energy from Iran

Friday, July 11, 2008

WARSAW, Poland -- To defend against the potential threat of a nuclear attack from "rogue states," the United States has been working to shore up support for deploying 10 silo-based long-range interceptors in Poland and a mid-course tracking radar in the Czech Republic by 2013. After months of shuttle diplomacy and intense negotiations, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice inked a deal with the Czechs on July 8 but failed to convince her Polish counterparts to host the project.

For months, it appeared that Poland would easily accept U.S. plans. Undoubtedly, Poland is a strong U.S. ally and a vital contributor to transatlantic security, contributing a sizable contingency in Afghanistan and a vocal lobby for future eastward expansion of NATO. However, seeking millions of dollars in military aid, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk rebuffed the latest U.S. offer on July 4. ...

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