Strategic Defense Initiative
| Strategic Defense Initiative |
The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), was a proposed missile defense system intended to protect the United States from attack by ballistic strategic nuclear weapons (intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles). The SDI was first proposed by President Ronald Reagan in a nationwide television address on March 23, 1983. Because parts of the defensive system that Reagan advocated would be based in space, it was dubbed "Star Wars program", after the space weaponry of a popular motion picture of the same name.
In 1985 Cercle member Fred Iklé told the Senate Armed Services Committee: "The Strategic Defense Initiative is not an optional program, at the margin of the defense effort. It's central, at the very core of our long term policy for reducing the risk of nuclear war." In April 1985, after a Pentagon report raised doubts about the admissibility of SDI under the ABM Treaty, Iklé and Perle hired Philip Kunsberg, a New York lawyer with no experience of arms control, who reached a contrary opinion.
- Frances Fitzgerald, Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan: Star Wars and the End of the Cold War, Touchstone, 2000, p.243.
- Frances Fitzgerald, Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan: Star Wars and the End of the Cold War, Touchstone, 2000, p.295.
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