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A Shield In Space? Technology, Politics, And The Strategic Defense Initiative

by Sanford A. Lakoff And Herbert F. York

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About Book

From Library Journal
Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara has called this book the best he has seen on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). High praise, but deserving, as the authors, both at the University of California at San Diego, critically review and evaluate SDI since its inception in 1983 under Reagan to its diminishing support under the Bush administration. SDI is plagued by its dependence on technologies years away from realization. The transition to a strategic defense from an offense would cause strategic instability for the superpowers and their allies. This work also clearly documents that security cannot be achieved through technological development; such faith in technology is illusory. Highly recommended.
- D. Felbel, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
In March 1983, Ronald Reagan made one of the most controversial announcements of his presidency when he called on the nation's scientists and engineers to develop a defensive shield so impenetrable as to make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete."
This book provides the first comprehensive review and evaluation of the project launched to implement that announcement --the project officially known as the Strategic Defense Initiative and more popularly as "Star Wars." The authors--a political scientist and a physicist who has played a key role in developing military technologies--provide an intriguing account of how political rather than technical judgment led to the initial decision, and they explain the technical issues in terms accessible to nonspecialists.
Judging SDI as "a classic example of misplaced faith in the promise of technological salvation," the authors examine the implications of the program for strategy, arms control, the unity of the Western alliance, its prospective economic impact, and the way the American political process has dealt with all these issues.

From the Inside Flap
"A superb book--the best I have seen on SDI."--Robert S. McNamara

"This book provides as excellent a technological background to SDI as one could find anywhere."--Baron Solly Zuckerman, former British Defense Science Advisor

From the Back Cover
"A superb book (the best I have seen on SDI." (Robert S. McNamara)

About the Author
Sanford Lakoff is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, and co-editor of Strategic Defense and the Western Alliance (1987); Herbert F. York is Director of the Institute of Global Conflict and Cooperation at UCSD and author of Making Weapons, Talking Peace: A Physicist's Odyssey from Hiroshima to Geneva (1987).



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