The Nixon Administration: Protecting Minuteman Through Safeguard

  • Lawrence Freedman


In November 1967 the Army began preliminary surveys around thirteen American cities for Sentinel sites. A year later protest groups started to form in the cities affected, generating a considerable outcry against the ABM system. While the citizens expressed their anxieties about their real estate and the close proximity of nuclear weapons, scientists and other opponents of the Sentinel concept articulated most of the major technical and strategic objections to the system. Thus the start of the Nixon Administration was marked by considerable pressure against Sentinel. If any changes were to be made to the programme, amendments to the FY 1970 budget that had been drawn up by the outgoing Johnson Administration would have to be made quickly. In early February 1969 a halt to the work on Sentinel was ordered, pending a review of the programme. The Administration was faced with the necessity of arriving at some position on ABM deployment.


Intelligence Community Reentry Vehicle Hard Target Soviet Threat Area Defence 
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  1. 25.
    Laurence E. Lynn Jr., ‘A New Role for the Intelligence Community’, Appendices to the Report of the Murphy Commission, vol. 7, Appendix (GPO, 1975), PP. 47–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lawrence David Freedman 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Freedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Institute of International AffairsUK

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