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U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that plans for a controversial missile defense shield in Eastern Europe are to be dropped in favor of a new system. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/17/missile.defense.shield/art.obama.thurs.afp.gi.jpg caption="Obama is seeking stronger ties with Russia."]
Although details of the replacement are not yet clear, the scrapping of the Bush-era blueprint is likely to be welcomed by Russia, which fiercely opposed the plan from the outset.
The original proposal called for the U.S. to set up a radar site in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland to counter the threat of Iran launching long-range missiles at America's allies in Europe
Obama says the decision to abandon this based on an “updated intelligence” on Iran’s ability to target Europe.
The assessment is a far cry from that of the George W. Bush administration, which believed the threat was significant enough to risk heightened tensions with Russia.
Obama has been seeking a stronger relationship with Russia and better cooperation from the Kremlin to support tough U.N. economic sanctions against Iran if it continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
Do you think the United States is right to scrap plans for a missile defense shield in Europe?