Strategic Defense and Deterrence

by James A. Thomson


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In this testimony before the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, the author deals with one of the most fundamental questions underlying the current debate over the administration's strategic defense initiative: Will the addition of the significant strategic defense capability help to deter Soviet aggression better than if the United States did not have such an addition? The author addresses technology options, the issues of offense vs. defense in an arms race, crisis stability, and extended deterrence.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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