July 10: Voice of the (Anchorage) Times on a national missile defense:

Posted: Monday, July 10, 2000

From all indications, the proposal to place an anti-missile defense facility in Alaska is on hold -- delayed until after the new president takes office in January.

Until now, Bill Clinton had been expected to give the green light to the land-based defense shield.

If the project goes ahead, then Interior Alaska would be the launch sites for 100 interceptor missiles, designed to knock out incoming warheads fired at U.S. targets.

The proposal had strong backing from Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and others who objected to earlier defense shield plans that would have left the 49th State, Hawaii and parts of the West Coast unprotected.

Unfortunately, other Republicans and a number of influential East Coast newspapers and columnists began attacking the land-based plan, pushing instead a defense system using missiles carried aboard Navy cruisers.

They argued that a floating defense system would be more adaptable than interceptors based in Alaska that would be used primarily to defend against threats from rogue nations such as North Korea.

The anticipated delay, however, is certain to push back the ability of the country to have any defense shield in place for at least five years.

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