An outline of decisions concerning ballistic missiles from the reaction to the German use of guided missiles in the closing months of World War II in Europe through the enunciation of a new set of national strategic principles during the U.S. presidential campaign of 1960. It is emphasized that technology alone, or its failure, has not yet been decisively important to the outcome of a war, but that this may not hold for the future. A faulty reconciliation of technology with strategic goals, or disrespect for the strategy implications of weapon decisions, could have catastrophic effects.
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