By Robert S. McNamara (Long Road to Reykjavik)

In the mid-1960s we had irrefutable evidence that the Soviets were deploying an antiballistic-missile system around Moscow--a system to defend their capital against our long-range missiles. We made the reasonable--but perhaps incorrect--assumption that they would deploy the system across the entire Soviet Union. Why would anyone put a system around one city and nowhere else? Were a nationwide Soviet ABM system to be put in place, it would require that we make major changes in our force levels.

The Congress believed that the proper response to a full-fledged Soviet antiballistic-missile network was for the U.S. to deploy its own countrywide ABM...

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