The Strategic Defense Debate: Can "Star Wars" Make Us Safe?

The Strategic Defense Debate: Can "Star Wars" Make Us Safe?

The Strategic Defense Debate: Can "Star Wars" Make Us Safe?

The Strategic Defense Debate: Can "Star Wars" Make Us Safe?

Excerpt

In the essay "Nuclear War, Nuclear Peace," Leon Wieseltier, the Literary Editor of the New Republic and a contributor to this volume, writes:

Whatever else the bomb is, it is a practical problem. It demands solutions, not merely sentiments; and it demands solutions that are not sure to be simple. There comes a point in the discussion of this very grave subject when eloquence is egregious, when it must be replaced by a cool and careful consideration of the danger in all its details.

To advance a bit this process of replacing heat with light on nuclear issues in general and "Star Wars" in particular, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia undertook the project "Strategic Defense and American Security," which this book completes.

First a few words about scope and tone. Genuine nonpartisanship requires balance and thoroughness, but comprehensiveness is impossible. The emphasis here is on issues of policy, on the "live" choices to be made. It is therefore deliberate that all of the contributors -- notwithstanding their real disagreements -- are not too distant from the center in their views on "Star Wars" and related subjects. This book is an invitation into the circles of thought in which decisions about the security of the nation and the world have the greatest chance of being made. It is less a work of scholarship, than a political document, a snapshot of the evolv-

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