The Star Wars Enigma: Behind the Scenes of the Cold War Race for Missile Defense

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Potomac Books, Inc., 2006 - History - 288 pages
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The year 1982 was a desperate time for the U.S. defense community. The United States had no effective system to protect itself completely from a Soviet attack with nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles, which the Soviet Union possessed in large quantity, and the doomsday philosophy of mutually assured destruction seemed inescapable. But people in the Reagan administration, including Reagan himself, were not content with what they viewed as a morally unacceptable status quo. Then Adm. James Watkins, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asked, "Wouldn't it be better if we could develop a system that would protect, rather than avenge, our people?" With that, the president's commitment to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) became certain. Ultimately, SDI reflected Western political idealism, a powerful ingredient in the struggle to finally conquer the terrors of the Cold War and to allay the threat of nuclear holocaust. The Star Wars Enigma tells this dramatic story.
 

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
1SHOOTING DOWN NUKES
2THE SPUTNIK REVOLUTION
3LASERS VERSUS MISSILES
4REAGAN TAKES THE REINS
5SCIFI WEAPONS AND STRATEGIC DEFENSE
6THE PRESIDENTIAL THUNDERBOLT
7SHAPING SDI
11SHOWDOWN AT THE CHATEAU
12THE BEGINNING OF THE END
13The Velvet Revolution
14BLUFF FEAR CONFUSION AND HOPE
NOTES
GLOSSARY
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

8A Year to Test Nations
9RESCUING THE INFANT SDI
10RONNIE MAGGIE AND MIKE
About the Author
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Nigel Hey was a science and technology writer and a senior administrator at Sandia National Laboratories until his retirement in 2001. His long career includes writing four science books, contributing hundreds of articles to such publications as "Smithsonian" and the London "Sunday Times", and working for United Press International. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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