I protest John Coffey's use of just-war theory (Editorial Pages, Feb. 25), "SDI Makes Moral Sense, Too," to justify our nation's pursuit of the Strategic Defense Initiative. I understand jus ad bellum , jus in bello , proportionality, discrimination, etc., but to use these as moral arguments in support of SDI is preposterous.
Coffey's claims that SDI technology is simply "defensive" and that it is "non-nuclear" are untrue. On the contrary, SDI, with its nuclear components, can be used offensively.
Secondly, Coffey missed an essential point in the U.S. Catholic Bishops' pastoral letter on nuclear war: namely, that no previously conceived moral position (including just-war theory) suffices in the Nuclear Age. A new appraisal is needed.
Furthermore, Coffey fails to mention how SDI escalates the whole arms race, as we are currently seeing in the reconsideration of the ABM treaty. SDI triggers countermeasures by the Soviets. Rather than moving the world toward progressive disarmament, SDI thrusts us in the opposite direction.