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Sep 18, 2009 11:12 AM by Associated Press

Clinton counters critics of Obama missile defense

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is defending the administration's new approach to missile defense in Europe, saying it will enhance protection of the U.S. and its NATO allies.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution, Clinton disputed critics who assert that President Barack Obama will leave Europe more vulnerable to missile attack. She said his new approach will improve U.S. capabilities to defend against an Iranian missile threat by building a more comprehensive anti-missile system at sea and on land.

Clinton also said Poland and the Czech Republic, which had been central to the previous missile defense plan, are now at the top of the Obama administration's list of candidates to host land-based versions of the new missile interceptor.

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