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The key challenges remain the same - refining the assets to be put at the disposal of the planned EU Rapid Reaction Force, awaiting the resolution of NATO's continuing internal conflict over allowing systematic EU access to planning capabilities, and - on a level that goes well beyond Common European Security and Defence Policy - finding maximum EU co-ordination in the response to global strategic challenges, ranging from disarmament and non-proliferation to the evolution of the US anti-missile defence plans.The missile defence debate is taking place as US policy itself evolves. The possibility that a long-range ballistic missile tipped with a weapon of mass destruction may be used against the United States, its armed forces, or its national security interests "is higher today than it was during most of the Cold War," said John McLaughlin, deputy director of the US Central Intelligence Agency on August 21. And US President George W Bush has nominated Air Force General Richard Myers, as new chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, with a mission to conduct a transformation of the US military. And this "starts with assessing the true threats facing America today and in the future. And then we size...

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