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Strategic Defense Initiative

November 17, 1985

Sybert expresses some disturbing comments about the state of our national security. First, he casually tells us that we are "naked," with respect to a Russian attack. Is that the end result of the trillion dollars we have spent on defense in the last five years?

He also implies that without our space-defense system we will not have "enough retaliatory capacity to deter a first strike." Have all our expenditures on our military triad, and especially the Navy and Air Force, been a total waste? What else, other than our composite triad, has deterred the Soviets in recent years from attacking us with their thousands of missile-carried nuclear warheads?

Sybert does ask the very pertinent question: Why are the Soviets so concerned about it (our SDI program)? His answer: "The reason is that SDI threatens their massive offensive buildup." But this evades the more critical fact that our deployment of an effective space-defense system (SDI) would seriously destabilize the present U.S.-U.S.S.R. rough balance in their potential for a first strike. In reality, it would free us to launch a first strike at the Soviets and repel the retaliatory offensive response they might attempt. It is this that makes them terribly scared that we will succeed in our research programs, and then deploy the actual space-defense system, to operate against them .

MORRIS MUSKAT

Pasadena

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