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What You Should Know / May 23, 2012 -- It reveals much about NATO and the media coverage of the Chicago summit that images of protest are “bad optics,” but not what came next. What came next was this: Rasmussen received a guided tour of the missile defense exhibit not by senior NATO military officials, nor by the scientists developing the technology, but by senior executives from Raytheon and Thales, two of the program’s leading private contractors. Under the gaze of the world’s media, the three men strolled through the bright illuminated walls surrounding a life-size interceptor missile. Each was titled for aspects of the system — “Potential Future Capabilities,” “Interceptor Systems,” “Land and Sea-based Sensors” — and contained photos of the technologies in action. Below each photo was the logo of the company holding the contract. Raytheon and Lockheed were most common, followed by Boeing and the French firms MBDA, Thales and Astrium.

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