Gates: New US administration still mulling shield

February 19, 2009 22:05

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the new Obama administration hasn't decided what to do about a proposed European missile shield to which Russia objects. Gates, in Poland for NATO talks, said the economic crisis and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have taken precedence. He added that Washington needed a little time to look at the plan laid out by former President George W. Bush to place missile interceptors and radar in Poland and the Czech Republic as protection against a possible strike from Iran. President Barack Obama has not been a vocal supporter of the program, but hasn't indicated he would cancel it either. Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, said he asked his Polish counterpart for patience as the new team gets settled.

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