US-Europe missile defense won't work: think tank

AFP – New York
19 May 2009

A planned US anti-missile system, hotly opposed by Russia, to defend Europe against the threat of missile attack from Iran would not work, a new study by a US-based think tank said Tuesday.

The study by the New York-based EastWest Institute found the proposed system “will not provide dependable protection against an Iranian threat if and when it emerges.”

The study titled “Iran?s Nuclear and Missile Potential” was produced by a joint team of US and Russian military and academic experts.

Its findings fall in line with arguments made by Moscow, which says the plan for a radar-and-interceptor system based in Poland and the Czech Republic would threaten Russian security, but fail to protect against an Iranian attack.

The issue poisoned relations between Moscow and Washington under former US president George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama, who took office this January, has said he will pursue the planned missile shield as long as Iran remains a “real threat,” while adding that the system needs to be “cost-effective and proven.”

According to the report, Iran could in theory easily launch sufficient rockets or decoys to overwhelm the planned system. …