Stage Two for Star Wars

Even as the Reagan Administration, represented by Secretary of State George Shultz, was concluding a successful series of talks with the Soviets, the Reagan Administration, represented by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, was preparing to accelerate a program that the Soviets consider a major obstacle to arms control. Weinberger has decided that the Strategic Defense Initiative will graduate to the Milestone I stage, a Pentagon term meaning that the system is ready to pass from "exploration" to "demonstration." Star Wars, so far tested mostly in theory, will move beyond the blackboard and toward the battlefield.

Six key SDI-related systems will be evaluated:...