TITLE

TO CAP THE VOLCANO

AUTHOR(S)
Bundy, McGeorge
PUB. DATE
October 1969
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Oct69, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article focuses on the debate on deployment of anti-ballistic missiles (ABM) in the U.S. in 1969. The central significance of the debate lies in the Congressional Record, an agreement that the arms race is taking a new and highly unsatisfactory turn. Senators disagreed on the remedy, and what happens so often in hard debates happened again in this one, wherein the case against a given line of action was easier to make than the case for an alternative. Those who opposed ABM deployment were fearful that American action would increase the world's danger, whereas those who favored deployment found the same result in lack of action. One heavy element in the argument of opponents was cost. The one amendment which carried as the debate concluded was a requirement for better financial accounting from the Pentagon. Efforts to emphasize the limited costs of initial ABM deployment were painfully reminiscent of earlier Pentagon underestimates, and opponents were able to remind the Senate of such high-cost and low-yield enterprises as the massive air defense program of the 1950s. The supporters of the ABM also had in mind the danger of an emerging Soviet strength, to which they ascribed the deeply alarming characteristic of a capability to knock out the American deterrent.
ACCESSION #
5802706

 

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