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The Star Wars Controversy: An "International Security" Reader

The Star Wars Controversy: An "International Security" Reader

Steven E. Miller
Stephen Van Evera
Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 350
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  • Book Info
    The Star Wars Controversy: An "International Security" Reader
    Book Description:

    These essays from the journal International Security assess the technical feasibility and the strategic desirability of defense against ballistic missiles.

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5816-3
    Subjects: Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. The Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xxii)
    Stephen Van Evera

    • The SDI in U.S. Nuclear Strategy Senate Testimony
      (pp. 3-14)
      Fred S. Hoffman

      As we approach the second anniversary of President Reaganʹs speech announcing the SDI, it is useful to review the development of the issue. Critics and supporters alike now recognize that the central question concerns the kind of R&D program we should be conducting. Virtually no one on either side of the issue, here or among our allies, contests the need for research on the technologies that might contribute to a defense against ballistic missiles, and it is clear that the Administration does not propose an immediate decision on full-scale engineering development, let alone deployment of ballistic missile defenses.

      Nevertheless, the...

    • Rhetoric and Realities in the Star Wars Debate
      (pp. 15-24)
      James R. Schlesinger

      During the mid-1960s when I was at Rand, the initial deployment of the Soviet ABM system caused a good deal of concern. The perplexing question of how to assure penetration of that system was argued and re-argued. The final judgment—the canonical solution of Secretary McNamara—was that the United States would counter the Soviet ABM by greatly expanding the number of warheads that we could throw against the Soviet Union. Indeed, by the time I left Rand, we were already talking about some 50,000 warheads to overcome Soviet defenses. In other words, we were going to expand our offensive...

    • Why Even Good Defenses May Be Bad
      (pp. 25-56)
      Charles L. Glaser

      Once again, the United States is in the midst of a debate over whether to deploy defenses designed to protect U.S. cities and population from Soviet missile attack. This debate is, most immediately, the result of President Reaganʹs ʺstar warsʺ speech, in which he asked the rhetorical question: ʺwouldnʹt it be better to save lives than to avenge them?ʺ He offered a future vision of ʺtruly lasting stabilityʺ based upon the ʺability to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive.ʺ¹ Just six months later a senior interagency group recommended to the President that the ʺU.S. embark...

    • Preserving the ABM Treaty: A Critique of the Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative
      (pp. 57-97)
      Sidney D. Drell, Philip J. Farley and David Holloway

      In his speech on March 23, 1983, President Reagan offered a vision of escape from grim reliance on the threat of retaliation to deter aggression and prevent nuclear war: ʺWhat if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our soil or that of our allies?ʺ The way to realize this vision, he said, was to ʺembark on a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that...

    • Do We Want the Missile Defenses We Can Build?
      (pp. 98-130)
      Charles L. Glaser

      On March 23, 1983, President Reagan delivered his famous ʺStar Warsʺ speech in which he called for development of defenses capable of making nuclear weapons ʺimpotent and obsolete.ʺ¹ The Presidentʹs speech raised the hope that U.S. cities could be made invulnerable, a task requiring near-perfect defense against massive Soviet ballistic missile attack, and set off a national debate on the feasibility of such highly effective defenses.² Studies of the ʺStar Warsʺ concepts now under research show there is virtually no hope that they will provide near-perfect defense in the foreseeable future.³

      This discrediting of the notion of near-perfect defense is...

    • Ballistic Missile Defense and the Atlantic Alliance
      (pp. 131-162)
      David S. Yost

      The Atlantic Alliance may be at the threshold of a new debate on the implications of ballistic missile defense (BMD) for European security. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and several U.S. Senators and Congressmen support a thorough review of U.S. BMD options, including possible revision of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and its 1974 Protocol. Although active defense of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) seems the most likely application for BMD, other strategic defense options are reportedly under consideration. European-based BMD against theater ballistic missiles such as the SS-20, SS-21, SS-22, and SS-23 is being examined as well. Such defenses...


    • Directed Energy Missile Defense in Space Background Paper April 1984
      (pp. 165-272)
      Ashton B. Carter

      This background paper was prepared by Dr. Ashton B. Carter under a contract with the Office of Technology Assessment. OTA commissions and publishes such background papers from time to time in order to bring OTA up to date on technologies that are the subject of frequent congressional inquiry. After Dr. Carterʹs work was under way, Senators Larry Pressler and Paul Tsongas of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee requested that the resulting paper be made available to that Committee as soon as possible. OTA is issuing the paper in the belief that others in Congress and members of the public will...

      (pp. 273-290)
      Fred S. Hoffman

      1.U.S. national security requires vigorous development of technical opportunities for advanced ballistic missile defense systems.

      Effective U.S. defensive systems can play an essential role in reducing reliance on threats of massive destruction that are increasingly hollow and morally unacceptable. A strategy that places increased reliance on defensive systems can offer a new basis for managing our long-term relationship with the Soviet Union. It can open new opportunities for pursuing a prudent defense of Western security through both unilateral measures and agreements. The Soviets have often used arms negotiations to pursue competitive military advantage. The Soviet Union is likely to cooperate...

    • The Strategic Defense Initiative: Defense Technologies Study (ʺFletcher Reportʺ)
      (pp. 291-327)

      In March 1983 President Reagan established as a long-term national goal an end to the threat of ballistic missiles. He said that “we must thoroughly examine every opportunity for reducing tensions and for introducing stability into the strategic calculus on both sides.” He asked the scientific community to give the United States “the means of rendering” the ballistic missile threat “impotent and obsolete.”

      Shortly after his address to the Nation, the President directed that an intensive analysis be conducted, to include a Defensive Technologies Study to identify the most promising approaches to effective defense against ballistic missiles and to describe...

  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 328-328)