The self-serving letter of Gregory Benford (Feb. 19) fails to acknowledge that the Strategic Defense Initiative system is offensive as well as defensive. He also fails to tell readers that this new development means the acceleration of the arms race and the end of hope for the negotiation of a systematic reduction in the thousands of existing warheads that can turn the world into radioactive dust.
Readers should also be told that "Star Wars" will cost an estimated trillion dollars. So it will not be a "simple, cheap defense" against ICBMs, as Benford says, but a program that will waste endless resources that are urgently needed to maintain and improve the quality of our life.
ARTHUR W. ERICKSON SR.