DEFENSE: F.O.B. Canaveral

Installed in Britain last week: the first of 60 Thor 1,500-mile missiles that the U.S. last February promised its important island ally. Battened placidly in the belly of a Douglas 0-133 transport, the ballistic bird was flown secretly to the U.S. Air Force base at Lakenheath, England, was greeted unenthusiastically by the British press—mirroring an anti-missile feeling among both Labor and Conservative leaders, who fear an all-out commitment to missile defense. Fitted out with a thermonuclear warhead (which stays in U.S. hands), Thor can blast from British soil 15 minutes after the first alert, minutes later impact hundreds of...

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