The Senate: Toward Compromise on ABM?

The bill before the Senate was S.2546, "authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 1970 for military procurement, research and development." The total amount involved was more than $20 billion, but only a fraction of that sum was at issue right now: $759.1 million for the first steps in deployment of the Nixon Administration's Safeguard anti-ballistic-missile defense system. After months of inconclusive hearings and angry debate, and publication of a spate of weighty books on ABM by civilian defense scholars,* the Senate settled in for its toughest fight over a military bill in memory.

Each side was claiming victory, but only by...

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