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'SDI Is Not for Don Quixote'

September 24, 1986

Gray has difficulty seeing SDI as destabilizing. To me it is very simple. The Soviets see SDI as a threat to their security. Their viewpoint is simply that if the United States develops the capability to effectively disarm them, then how are they to defend themselves against a first-strike attack? (To see this viewpoint more clearly, imagine how we would feel if the Soviets were to develop the capability of disarming us. )

Since the Soviets are extremely security-conscious, the inescapable conclusion is that they would do whatever is necessary (and at whatever cost) to reassert their ability to retaliate. This can only mean escalation of an arms race in one form or another--clearly a destabilizing result.

Whenever one opponent has the capability to disarm the other, the temptation to preemptively strike first becomes overwhelming--especially so when the other opponent possesses the same capability. The philosophy, "Let's do it to them before they do it to us," puts human survival in an incredibly precarious position.

The reality is that technology is neither the problem nor the solution. If we are to survive we must change the way we think about war, about ourselves and the planet, and about how we resolve conflict--we have no other choice.

JOHN G. FLICK

Redondo Beach

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