Spain to host US missile defense ships

BRUSSELS - The United States and Spain announced an agreement on Wednesday to base US anti-missile warships at Rota on the Spanish coast, strengthening US-led plans for a NATO-wide missile defense system in Europe.
The deal is part of US President Barack Obama's so-called phased adaptive approach to missile defense, which calls for an initial deployment of ship-based anti-ballistic missiles in the Mediterranean followed by ground-based systems in Romania, Poland and Turkey.
The system is expected to start operating from next year and become fully operational in 2018. It is designed to protect European NATO states and the United States from missile attack from countries such as Iran and North Korea, which are developing longer-range missiles.