President Bush today declared an "urgent" need for a missile-defense system in Europe to defend the US and its allies against attacks from "dangerous regimes" such as Iran, the Washington Post reports. Bush sought to get Russia on board, while defense chief Gates said the system would remain idle until the US had "concrete proof" of an imminent attack from Iran.
"The ballistic missile threat to America has been growing for decades," Bush said, noting that 27 countries currently had such missiles. He derided Congress for trying to cut funding for key components of the program. The US seeks a missile-defense net with sites in the Czech Republic and Poland coordinated with Kremlin-controlled sites in Azerbaijan and southern Russia.