Columnist George Will (Editorial Pages, Feb. 12) is by his own admission brilliant. But his defense of the Reagan Administration's "broad" view of the ABM treaty, which supports testing the Star Wars-SDI system is not all that brilliant.
When you wade through his legalistic interpretation of who did what in the original ABM treaty of 1972 you finally get to his bottom line, which seems to suggest that the better "Star Wars" system we create the more deterrence is created because, he opines, you scare the living hell out of the Soviet Union.
Indeed, we do. And no wonder. The end result of Reagan's dream of a "perfect" SDI system, which would knock out all of the Russian incoming missiles, is to create the possibility of a U.S. "first strike" against the Soviet Union.
So much for deterrence.
In fact, deterrence rests on the mutually shared assumption that both sides recognize that no first strike is possible because mutual assured destruction (that nasty acronym MAD again) is the end result. Take away deterrence and you create fear, misunderstanding and, perhaps, misjudgment.