Missile Shield

There is a strong possibility that President Barack Obama will put the European missile shield on hold or use is a bargaining chip in discussions with the Russian government. The plan developed by the Bush administration calls for installing 10 silo-based missiles in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic at a cost of $4.5 billion, with a 2013 target date for having the system up and running. Construction has not yet begun at either site. Together they would provide a means of shooting down a small number of long-range missiles launched from the Middle East by intercepting them in flight outside the Earth's atmosphere - a so-called "hit-to-kill" technology that critics say needs more rigorous testing.