A Letter From the Publisher: Jun. 23, 1986

Last winter, looking ahead to the major stories of 1986, TIME's Washington bureau singled out a very thorny topic: the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative. SDI is better known, of course, as Star Wars, President Reagan's futuristic plan for a missile-defense shield that would render nuclear weapons obsolete. "It had already established itself as the most contentious issue on the Soviet-American agenda," says Washington Bureau Chief Strobe Talbott, who proposed a conference on the SDI controversy that would produce a "coherent, focused and expert debate for the benefit of correspondents and editors and, through a special report in the magazine, for TIME's...

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