French official: Missile defense not a priority

A senior French defense official cast doubt Monday on the strategic anti-missile shield that the US wants to extend to Europe and suggested Paris was unlikely to invest in such a system in the short term. "Ballistic missile defense for populations and national territories, although it is still a possibility, is...just not a priority of France," said Maj. Gen. Robert Ranquet, deputy director for strategic affairs at the French Defense Ministry. "Those systems are still much, much, much too expensive for a very doubtful effectiveness," he told a think tank conference.