Richard Sybert's letter to The Times (Nov. 2), "Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative," deserves close attention. Being a special assistant to the secretary of defense, his views give some good insights into the thinking of our defense and military leaders.
The purpose of his letter seems to be to dispute Robert Scheer's earlier series (Sept. 22, 23 and 24), "Star Wars, a Program in Disarray." Sybert insists that the "Star Wars" program is not in disarray, but well organized, productive, scientifically sound, and moving along very well. I suspect this does not come as good news to the Nobel laureates of this country, the majority of whom have gone on record as opposing the "Star Wars" program as unwise or dangerous.
Sybert agrees that the "Star Wars" program will not be 100% effective, but, "So long as it results in the possible survival of enough retaliatory capacity to deter a first strike" it will "create enough uncertainty in the mind of a would-be attacker to help keep the peace." We are asked to spend a trillion dollars for a "Star Wars" defense and this is the bottom line of what we can hope to achieve! We have enough nuclear missiles hidden away now, in hard-to-find places, to deter a first strike, if that is to be the ultimate purpose of SDI--and the huge "Star Wars" expenditure can be diverted to balancing our budget.