Missile Shield 'Homework' Left to Do

Russia and the United States need to do their homework on the technicalities of a proposed missile defense shield, the State Department's top arms control official said.

Acting Undersecretary of State Rose Gottemoeller said Friday that Russian and U.S. technical experts should meet to discuss the shield's specifics.

"The more we can be talking about that among technical experts, the greater predictability for the Russian Federation, the greater confidence in what the system can and can't do," she said during a visit to Moscow. "I see the possibility for homework, as I call it, not only in missile defense cooperation, but in preparing the groundwork for new nuclear reduction negotiations as well."

She said the administration's policy of a "reset" in relations has led to ongoing improvement in U.S.-Russian ties, featuring such achievements as the New START treaty and a transit corridor provided by Russia for military supplies to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"We just have to continue to remember that it's in the U.S. national interest, as well as, we believe, in the Russian national interest, to engage in a wide-ranging agenda of cooperation," Gottemoeller said.

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