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- DescriptionDefense against nuclear attack--so natural and seemingly so compelling a goal--has provoked debate for at least twenty years. Ballistic missle defense systems, formerly called antiballistic missile systems, offer the prospect of remedying both superpowers' alarming vulnerability to nuclear weapons by techlogical rather than political means. But whether ballistic missile defenses can be made to work and whether it is wise to build them remain controversial. The U.S.-Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 restricts testing and deployment of ballistic missile defenses but has t prohibited more than a decade of research and development on both sides. As exotic new proposals are put forward for space-based directed-energy systems, questions about the effectiveness and wisdom of missile defense have again become central to the national debate on defense policy. This study, jointly sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Techlogy, examines the strategic, techlogical, and political issues raised by ballistic missile defense. Eight contributors take an analytical approach to their areas of expertise, which include the relationship of missile defense to nuclear strategy, the nature and potential applications of current and future techlogies, the views on missile defense in the Soviet Union and among the smaller nuclear powers, the meaning of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty for today's techlogy, and the present role and historical legacy of ballistic missile defense in the context of East-West relations. The volume editors give a comprehensive introduction to this wide range of subjects and an assessment of future prospects. In the final chapter, nine kwledgeable observers offer their varied personal views on the ballistic missile defense question.
- Author BiographyAshton B. Carter is a research fellow at the Center for International Studies at MIT. David N. Schwartz was a research associate in the Brookings Foreign Policy Studies program before his appointment as deputy director of the Office of Policy Analysis in the State Department's Burea of Politico-Military Affairs.
- PublisherBrookings Institution
- Date of Publication01/01/1984
- SubjectMilitary History
- Place of PublicationWashington DC
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintBrookings Institution
- Weight660 g
- Width152 mm
- Height241 mm
- Edited byAshton B. Carter,David N. Schwartz
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