The congressional rejection of the President's budget request for the Strategic Defense Initiative (at least his full amount) not only harms the defense posture of this country but also belies the intellectual ineptitude of those who put faith in Soviet intentions as per arms control.
The reasons for rejection of the $5-billion request were stated as practicality; disbelief in the eventual workability of the system and two, granting full research funding would harm the chances of achieving some sort of arms control package. Both these objections possess serious flaws.
To begin with, the initial argument concerning doubt about the system's chances for successful implementation fails to accurately note the historical record. One could have conceivably argued that production of an atomic bomb would have taken many more years than were actually required by the Manhattan Project.
Even though the scientific processes concerning the nature of atomic chain reactions were understood prior to World War II, the construction of the bomb, with its concomitant need for massive industrial expenditures, was something that would have seemed to take far more than four years. However, with the technical commitment of scientific and industrial minds, the realization of its production was achieved in a very short time span indeed.