Pentagon official defends missile defense system

A top US defense official on Wednesday rejected Russian complaints that a planned missile defense system would undermine international security and said the US would be open to Russian officials visiting the bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. The 10 interceptor missiles the US wants to base in Poland "cannot be used offensively. They are not a ground-to-ground weapon, they are a ground-to-air weapon," said US Undersecretary of Defense Eric S. Edelman in a meeting with journalists in Berlin. Edelman said the interceptors could not be used offensively against Russia, and the US was willing "to let the Russians come and have transparency at those sites and examine those sites and assure themselves that they are not offensive and not a threat to Russia."