The Nation: Shelving the Safeguard

Next to the Viet Nam War itself, nothing stirred popular passions more in the late 1960s than the national debate over a massive investment in an anti-ballistic missile, better known as the ABM. Shouting "No bombs in the backyard!" mothers, scholars and other citizens marched in protest against Lyndon Johnson's plan to install nuclear-tipped Sentinel ABMs at twelve sites around the country. The furor went on even after Richard Nixon changed the ABM'S name to Safeguard and scaled down the project to a "thin" shield protecting only a few cities from attack by iCBMs. The issue began to fade after the...

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