HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.


President Reagan stunned fellow citizens and the world 30 years ago this month with a dramatic announcement that the United States would develop and deploy a system capable of intercepting and destroying strategic ballistic missiles. Like President Kennedy's pledge to send a man to the moon, Reagan's vision was meant to stretch minds to new realities that most found inconceivable. As the Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI, developed, this vision encompassed three big ideas. First, technological advances would make it possible to "hit a bullet with a bullet." Second, when fully deployed, this missile defense system would "render nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete." For Reagan, this was an essential steppingstone to his even grander vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. Third, to persuade America's Cold War adversary to eliminate its superpower nuclear arsenal as well, Reagan proposed to share this SDI technology with Moscow.


Allison, Graham. "'Star Wars' Today: What Would Reagan Do?" Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2013.