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Archive for Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pentagon: Defense cuts won’t threaten security

June 17, 2009

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— The Pentagon on Tuesday reassured senators that cutting $1.2 billion from the nation’s missile defense budget wouldn’t diminish the country’s ability to defend against a rogue missile attack from North Korea or Iran.

North Korea is at least three years away from building a missile capable of reaching the United States, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Existing U.S. missile defenses, based largely at Alaska’s Fort Greely and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, are more than adequate to address future threats, Lynn said.

Lynn also said that “no final decisions have been made” about whether to proceed with a Bush administration plan to deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, despite fierce objections from Russia, or whether to seek greater cooperation with Moscow to defend against a possible Iranian threat to Europe.

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