Congress Moves toward Approval of a Scaled-Down Version of SDI Adoption of Proposed System, Which Would Respond Only to Isolated Attacks, Would Indicate a Significant Change in US Weapons Policy

By Peter Grier, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 1, 1991 | Go to article overview

Congress Moves toward Approval of a Scaled-Down Version of SDI Adoption of Proposed System, Which Would Respond Only to Isolated Attacks, Would Indicate a Significant Change in US Weapons Policy


Peter Grier, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


EIGHT years after the "star wars" program was launched by President Reagan the United States is taking a big step toward actual deployment of a limited defense against ballistic missiles.

The system would be designed to deal only with isolated missile launches - a far cry from the perfect astrodome shield originally envisioned by Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) proponents. But, if erected, it would mark a major shift in US nuclear weapons policy, which has long shunned defenses and emphasized the superpower standoff of mutual assured destruction.

The step is contained in the 1992 defense bill now nearing final approval in Congress. Senate and House negotiators have agreed that the legislation will explicitly call for deployment of a missile defense system that is consistent with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

The House in particular has long been a hotbed of SDI opposition. But as the program has been scaled back, shifting from visions of space lasers to ground-based rocket interceptors, House opposition has been muted. Now the question isn't whether to build defenses, but how.

"There's a consensus now on defenses" in Congress that has developed without fanfare, says a key congressional aide. In order to reach this consensus, a shift in the pecking order of perceived threats to US national security was necessary.

The possibility of an all-out, surprise nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, once at the top of the threat list, is now down much closer to the bottom. Its place has been taken by so-called "limited strike" scenarios, such as an accidental or rogue launch of a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a terror strike by a third-world nation with ballistic-missile technology. As shown by the success of the Patriot missile in Saudi Arabia, the US already has technology that, if refined, is capable of dealing with the threat of a limited strike.

In contrast, defenses against a large Soviet attack would have necessarily included a technology much more difficult to perfect - some type of space weapon able to hit rocket boosters on the rise.

President Bush never has seemed as committed to the star-wars program as was his predecessor. In the light of changing threats to the US, Mr. Bush last January officially refocused the SDI program away from comprehensive defense toward what he termed "G-PALS Global Protection Against Limited Strikes.

Shortly thereafter, US Sen. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Congress Moves toward Approval of a Scaled-Down Version of SDI Adoption of Proposed System, Which Would Respond Only to Isolated Attacks, Would Indicate a Significant Change in US Weapons Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.