December 2009 Year in Review

More missile defense

In a story broke in February, but was not publicly acknowledged until August, the Czech Republic was deemed to be the site of an “early warning center” as part of amended European missile-defense plans.

Confirmation came as the Obama administration requested $2.2 million in funding for the project next year, followed by a separate public statement from Prime Minister Petr Nečas.

U.S. President Barack Obama scrapped Bush administration plans for a radar base 90 kilometers southwest of Prague in September 2009. Since then, the missile-defense project has morphed from a U.S.-driven project into a NATO one, with the military alliance’s members pledging their support at this year’s annual summit. The new system is said to include some form of cooperation with Russia, though details on that, and the specifics of what the Czech-based “early warning center” entails, are still murky.

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