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17 Sep, 2009 18:53

"Change of policy from the Bush and Cheney era"

The Obama administration’s decision to scrap plans for a missile defense system in Europe means a "change of policy from the Bush and Cheney era,” Guardian foreign correspondent Jonathan Steele told RT.

But, the journalist added, Obama "has not abandoned the program altogether, and of course he still insists, as the Bush-Cheney people did, it has nothing to do with Russia, it's all about Iran… And the Russians will probably need a bid of convincing to really believe that.”

"The ultimate point is this whole story is partly geopolitical,” said John Laughland from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation. “The American political system relies very heavily on defense spending… And the anti-missile shield is almost a perfect example of how the defense ministry milks the American state. It's a system they've been talking about now for at least 30 years and which a lot of people believe will never work."

But while experts now debate how the new anti-missile system in Europe will look, many agree that one of Obama’s main purposes in changing policy on the issue is, as Steele put it, "to try to bring the Russians onboard against Iran in terms of sanctions.”