Essay: The Case Against Star Wars Weapons

The esoteric yet immensely important national debate over how to avoid nuclear war has suddenly been focused like a laser beam on one issue: Should the U.S. develop and deploy a space-based system for defending itself against Soviet missiles so as to deter Moscow from ever contemplating such an attack?

Slightly more than a year ago, President Reagan surprised the nation, and many experts in his own Government as well, by calling for an all-out program, along the lines of the Manhattan Project, which developed the atom bomb, to build a defense system in...

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