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US Considers Possible Missile Shield Alternative

A published report say the Obama administration is considering alternatives to deploying missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The New York Times reports Saturday that administration officials have considered dropping either or both the Polish and Czech missile defense sites in favor of sites in Turkey or the Balkans. They are also said to be considering developing land-based versions of the ship-based Aegis anti-missile systems.

Russia has voiced strong opposition to U.S. plans to deploy a land-based missile defense system in central Europe, saying it will trigger a new arms race. The Times reports that officials in Washington say the alternatives are not being considered to appease Russia, but to adjust to what they say are increased threats from Iran.

The officials say no decisions have been made, and that various options are still under consideration.

Administration officials say they hope to end their review of the planned anti-missile system as early as next month.

Former President George W. Bush was a strong advocate for the missile defense system. President Barack Obama has been more skeptical.

U.S. officials have insisted the system, in Poland and the Czech Republic, in no way targets Russia or anyone else, and is aimed at countering a possible attack from such states as Iran.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.