Special Report: Ballistic Missile Defense
Missile-defense Debate Intensifies
Washington-Just how the U.S. can best defend itself and its allies in the face of advancing nuclear technology and strength on the part of the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communists is becoming a matter of urgent concern. Is the best defense against poised ballistic missiles the conference table, where the U.S. would “reason” with the Soviet Union, forestalling another round of arms escalation that already is in its beginnings? Is the best defense a strong offensive force, with little, or no thought of a financially expensive, technically challenging defensive structure? Or, should the U.S. have, and can it afford, from either the technological or financial standpoints, a strong offensive and defensive structure, one that could effectively counter any nuclear-missile blows from either the Soviet Union or China and still effectively destroy its adversary? If so, what is the best type of defense against a ballistic missile arcing toward its target at 18,000 mph.? These are questions being debated within the Johnson Administration, within Congress and within portions of the intellectual community with a vehemence whose intensity sometimes approaches that normally associated with the war in Vietnam.
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