This study proposes a framework for considering U.S. policy with regard to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). The framework takes account of the basic goals and strategies for the security of the United States and its allies, the reasons for the SDI technology program, the purposes and missions of strategic (or nationwide) defenses, and the relationship of these matters to arms control. It establishes national survival — a fundamental goal of the United States and its allies — as the central goal of strategic defenses. The framework relieves the tension between the advocacy of SDI on the one hand, and the basic U.S. strategy of deterrence and arms control on the other.
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