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Sdi

July 15, 1987

Gerold Yonas' article in support of the Strategic Defense Initiative is terribly misleading (Editorial Pages, June 26).

He says incorrectly that "the most vigorous and persistent criticism" of SDI has come from the Soviet Union. In fact, the most devastating criticism has come from American scientists, including most recently a group of outstanding physicists.

The idea of a defense against nuclear weapons is, of course, very appealing. But Yonas refuses to recognize the dangers in any defense that is less than perfect, as any defense inevitably would be. Deployment of such a system would likely initiate a new arms race in space, and an escalation in weapons production, including a new generation of advanced nuclear weapons.

Instead of a futile pursuit of new weapons like SDI, we should be working to defend ourselves by cutting Soviet stockpiles to a minimum through a negotiated arms reductions.

JACK FLANDERS

Venice

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