Possible Soviet Responses to the Strategic Defense Initiative

A Functionally Organized Taxonomy

by Kevin N. Lewis

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In the wake of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), much effort has been devoted to estimating potential Soviet responses to it. There is general agreement that the Soviet response will (1) consist of attempts to stop, circumvent, emulate, and neutralize the SDI; (2) include political, military, and strategic efforts; and (3) vary over time, depending on several factors. Setting aside Soviet technological options, this Note considers various factors that might interest or influence senior Soviet decisionmakers as they consider a range of programmatic, strategic, and political options for responding to the SDI. Its goal is to identify generic categories of Soviet response options rather than the specific forms those options may take.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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