President Reagan\'s Strategic Defense Initiative: In Relation With the Soviet

"For the first time humankind has the power to destroy itself." 1 The
nuclear age has changed the world, for the good and the bad. Though the bad, is
far greater than the good. We sometimes ponder to our selves, "what would happen
if we were forced in to a nuclear war ware their are now winners." The way life
would be after such an incident would change life as we know it drastically. In
the event of a nuclear war with the Soviets we would have lost approximately one
hundred and fifty million American lives. 2 The planet would be destroyed to
the extent that even thoughts who survived would have no place to live. No
Government, or persons, can win a nuclear war and as long as their are nuclear
missiles of mass destruction there will always be the risk of someone using them.
Once the first missile is unleashed their is no telling were it would stop.
Our dealings with the former Soviet Union was based on the French word,
detente, that the Russians had defined as a freedom to purchase subversion,
aggression and expansionism any were in the world. 3 The soviets have been, up
until 1990, the U.S\'s defacto enemies. There goal was too destroy democracy and
imposing communism. 4 This is way it was though to be inevitable for a nuclear
war with the soviets. "The dream of a non nuclear world is a great and notable
one, how ever for the foreseeable future it is unattainable in actuality and
unwise in theory." 5 Because of this harsh the United States is left with a
problem; How can we beet this so called inevitability? The answer is: space
based defense weapons. The program, brought forth by the Reagan administration,
was called the strategic defense Initiative, and some called "Star Wars." 6
Reagan\'s strategic defense initiative, created in the 80\'s, was an acceptable
for the U.S; it worked to convince the Soviets not only to reduce there nuclear
arsenal but to halt any chance for a nuclear attack by the Soviets.
" What is the worth of our society as we know it? Right now we hold an
entire population hostage." 7 Ever since the 1960\'s our main defense against the
soviets has been the MAD policy, Mutual Assured Destruction. Both the United
States and the Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons at their disposal so that
if one fired at the other the one that was being fired at would fire it\'s
missiles at the other too. In other words, they would share the same fate.8
Wherever the President goes he carries a small plastic- coated card, and
a military aid is always present. This aid cares a small bag called "the
football," it contains directions for the launching of all our nuclear weapons.
The card carried by the President listed codes confirming that is was indeed him,
the choice to launch was entirely his.9 This should not even be necessary.
"Underneath it all, people don\'t think there is any hope to avoid a nuclear war,
it has taken away peoples hope."10 That hope was restored in 1983 when President
Reagan announced his commitment to the American people to do what ever it took
to make the SDI fly. For a lot of Americans his commitment to this program was
an alternative to a nuclear holocaust.11 The SDI is a sidelight system that was
to be put in space with large lazier guns attached to it. These lazier would
intercept and destroy nuclear missiles when they emerged from their silos.
Reagan was willing to share this technology with others willing to reduce their
nuclear arsenals. "One day a madman could come along and make the missiles and
black mail all the world. but not if we have a defense a against them." 12 "We
all got together in 1925 and banned the use of poisons gas. But we all kept our
gas masks." 13 Reagan was instrumentally right with this statement. The SDI gave
the United States an opportunity to almost force the world to pay close
attention. If the entire world had the SDI it would make nuclear weapons
obsolete. So what was once "unattainable" yesterday might be, in time to come,
very attainable.
The SDI would end The arms race. Gorbachev "had to know that Americans
military technology was overwhelmingly superior to his." 14 "He also had to Know
that we\'(the U.S) Œcould outspend the Soviets on weapons." 15 In 1983 the U.S
spent 34 thousand