The concept and utility of strategic defense should be evaluated in an embracing cultural context defined by the values, attitudes, and worldview of society—its ethos. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) responds both to changes in the American ethos and to shifts in the balance of power. Together, these changes have undermined the basis of U.S.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Past -- American Ethos and National Security -- The SDI Debate as a Legacy of American Traditions -- The Challenge to Nuclear Deterrence -- What Was to Be Done? -- The Return of BMD -- A President's Vision -- Future -- To a Defended World? -- Arming the Heavens -- The Transition -- After the Fact -- Conclusion
Michael Vlahos is codirector of the Security Studies Program at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is also a research professor of security studies at SAIS and staff consultant to The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. His previous books include The Blue Sword: The Naval War College and the American Mission, 1919-1941 (1981) and America: Images of Empire (1982).