A conversation with Ambassador Ken Adelman on Early Deployment
Krogh, Peter F. (Peter Frederic)
Examines the consequences of the United States' move towards early deployment of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
In 1983 President Ronald Reagan created the Strategic Defense Initiative, a program designed to protect the United States from attack by ballistic missiles through a space-based defense system. Although the program was widely criticized as unrealistic, it worried the Soviet Union, which knew that its fragile economy would be unable to sustain the costs of competing with such a program in the long run. Despite intense pressure from domestic critics and Soviet diplomats, Reagan refused to abandon the program, and at the Reykjavik Summit in October 1986 he rejected proposals that would have confined SDI to laboratory testing only for a period of 10 years. Just four months later, there was talk in Washington of not only continuing the program, but of accelerating efforts with an early deployment of the system's first phase. Questions remained, however, about whether an early deployment of strategic defenses would be beneficial to the U.S., and about the effects such a move would have on the current round of U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms talks in Geneva. In this episode, Peter Krogh sits down with Ambassador Kenneth Adelman, Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, to discuss early deployment of strategic defenses and U.S. Soviet arms control negotiations.
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