The Transformation of War: The Real Implications of the SDI
President Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ speech of 23 March 1983 resulted in an intensification of US research and development into strategic defence, not the initiation of an entirely new programme. The idea of constructing a defence against offensive nuclear missiles is almost as old as the missiles themselves. The United States and the Soviet Union undertook intensive research and development programmes into ballistic missile defence systems in the 1960s1 and were also prepared to develop and deploy such systems as well as related weapons intended for use against satellites.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Ballistic Missile Reentry Vehicle Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Real Implication
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- 1.A useful general acount of the development of ballistic missile defences, including anti-satellite weapons is Curtis Peebles, Battle for Space ( London: Blandford, 1983 ).Google Scholar
- 2.See Paul B. Stares, Space Weapons and US Strategy (London and Sydney: Croom Helm 1985) for a good general account of SDI and the range of arguments contributing to the debate.Google Scholar
- 3.Discussed in Rip Bulkeley and Graham Spinardi, Space Weapons: Deterrence or Delusion? ( Cambridge: Polity Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
- 4.One of the best general accounts of the history of warfare is the recent overview by Gwynne Dyer, War ( London: Guild Publishing, 1986 ).Google Scholar
- 6.Lorna Arnold’s revealing account of the UK nuclear test programme in the 1950s, A Very Special Relationship (London: HMSO, 1987) gives a valuable insight into the motives for Britain’s development of nuclear weapons.Google Scholar
- Stewart Menaul’s Countdown: Britain’s Strategic Nuclear Forces (London: Robert Hale, 1980) is also interesting.Google Scholar
- 7.See Robert Jackson, Avro Vulcan ( Cambridge: Patrick Stephens, 1984 ).Google Scholar
- 8.A detailed description of the various tactical nuclear weapons is available in Paul Rogers, Guide to Nuclear Weapons, 1984–85 ( Bradford: University of Bradford School of Peace Studies, 1984 ).Google Scholar
- 11.The counter-arguments are put in Malcolm Dando and Paul Rogers, The Death of Deterrence ( London: CND Publications, 1984 ).Google Scholar
- 15.See Dan Plesch, Preparing for the First Use of Nuclear Weapons in Europe, Peace Research Report Number 16 ( Bradford: University of Bradford School of Peace Studies, 1987 ).Google Scholar