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PRAGUE — Missile defense has suddenly emerged as a divisive issue in Europe. Rather than enhancing European security, the Bush administration’s plan to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic threatens to increase strains with Russia and deepen divisions with America’s European allies, particularly those in Eastern Europe, where support for U.S. polices has been strongest.

The growing opposition to the U.S. missile defense deployment is rooted in the way in which America has managed — or rather mismanaged — the presentation of its deployment plans.

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