Sep. 21, 2009
Yaakov Katz , THE
US Navy missile ships started arriving in
Called Juniper Cobra, the exercise will include the Arrow missile defense system as well as three American systems - the THAAD, Aegis and PAC3 - that will all be deployed in
Defense officials said the exercise would not begin for a few weeks, but that the ships were already arriving to begin preparing the infrastructure for the joint drill, the largest since Israel and the US began holding the biennial Juniper Cobra drill in 2001.
The arrival of the ships began a day before Defense Minister Ehud Barak was scheduled to fly to
Officials said it was possible that the
On Sunday, Gates wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in which he contended that the new European defense plan - which won't include a missile defense system in
Gates said that while the previous plan would not have provided any protection before at least 2017 - and likely later - the new program will begin providing some level of protection by 2011, will receive a significant boost in capability by 2015, and will be built over time to create "an increasingly greater zone of protection."
"The new approach to European missile defense actually provides us with greater flexibility to adapt as new threats develop and old ones recede," Gates wrote.
He challenged critics who have slammed the new plan as a concession to
"Russia's attitude and possible reaction played no part in my recommendation to the president on this issue," Gates said. "If
"This proposal is, simply put, a better way forward," Gates summed up his position. "It is a very real manifestation of our continued commitment to our NATO allies in
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