Actions and Reactions
Even the decision that triggered one of the most substantive debates on a nuclear issue there had been in Congress was framed in terms of assured destruction. In March 1969, the new Nixon Administration announced that the ABM system was to be reoriented to protect US ICBM silos against Soviet attack. The programme inherited from McNamara, known as Sentinel, was about protecting cities from a Chinese attack, even though the Chinese had yet to develop the capabilities to mount such an attack. It therefore came under the heading of damage limitation.