Europe Growing Doubts

A Star Wars invitation

"Dear Colleague," began the letter that was dispatched last week to the 13 defense ministers attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organization conference in Luxembourg, as well as to the defense ministers of France, Spain, Japan, Australia and Israel. The message, signed "Sincerely, Caspar Weinberger," was an invitation from the U.S. Defense Secretary to participate with the U.S. in a $26 billion research program for President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly known as the Star Wars defense system. The U.S., said Weinberger, would appreciate a reply within 60 days.

The offer, which referred vaguely to financial as well as technological participation, put...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!