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'SDI: a Camel's Nose Under Tent'

February 27, 1987

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.

For the Soviet Union there is no alternative to our Star Wars initiative except building anti-Star Wars weapons, dummy missile system for fooling Star Wars machinery and greater reliance on submarine missiles and cruise missiles that slip in under Star Wars defenses.

So no matter how thin Will slices the SDI baloney, it's still baloney--and not good for us at all.


Pacific Palisades

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