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Panel urges return to Bush missile defense

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A research panel said the United States is vulnerable to a long range missile attack and the nation's missile defenses are significantly vulnerable.

The National Research Council concluded a two-year study of America's missile defense system and urged the Obama administration to reverse course on changes it implemented in 2009 and expand a Bush-era antimissile strategy instead.

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The panel noted the U.S. is particularly vulnerable to the kind of long range missiles believed to be in development in Iran, The New York Times reported.

The panel urged the construction of new missile interceptors on the East Coast in Maine or New York, noting the only current such structures defend the West Coast and are in California and Alaska.

The report says changes in current policy could mean antimissile spending would fit into the Pentagon's existing budget for such operations, $10 billion annually.

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