Implications of the Strategic Defense Initiative for ABM Treaty.
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA NAVAL WARFARE OPERATIONS DIV
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SDI is a current emphasis of the US strategic program, joining a considerable build-up in US strategic offensive forces. The US defense budget has now begun to reflect increases in research on technologies applicable to a space-based defense. And the United States has enlisted the endorsement of her NATO allies for at least the research portion of SDI. This article will examine the effect of this new direction in US defense policy on strategic arms control. It will focus particularly on questions raised for the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile ABM Treaty, in the eyes of many the principal lasting achievement of the era of detente. This Treaty, which bans a territorial defense against strategic ballistic missiles and severely constrains other ABM activities, is the only one of the SALT agreements still legally in force. The article first reviews the strategic forces and programs of the United States and Soviet Union, with emphasis on defensive forces. It then addresses the background and current status of the ABM Treaty. Finally, it identifies and discusses the critical issues with regard to the future of the ABM Treaty.
- Government and Political Science
- Antimissile Defense Systems