One of the topics discussed in The Day is Full of Birds is that of the missile shield being constructed by America, using European bases. In the book – which is set in an alternate world – this issue ends up pushing the planet into war. Today, President Obama announced the shelving of these European bases (in the Czech Republic and Poland). It’s a major, major shift in policy, and one which will enrage many republican supporters (who previously insisted the shield had nothing to do with Russia, and are now – curiously – angered that pressure has been taken off Russia in this move). The missile shield is far from dead, but the move is an important step towards a better relationship with Russia. Only 14 months ago, I expressed my concern over the escalating tensions. How the world can change in a year.