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Public Papers - 1990

Statement on the Seventh Anniversary of the Strategic Defense Initiative

1990-03-23

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the Strategic Defense Initiative. SDI offers an opportunity to shift deterrence to a safer and more stable basis through greater reliance on strategic defenses. Moreover, in a new international environment, as ballistic-missile capabilities proliferate, defense against third-country threats also becomes an increasingly important benefit. Furthermore, strategic defenses can protect our security against possible violations of agreements to reduce strategic offensive weapons. In sum, in the 1990's, strategic defenses make much more sense than ever before.

Over the past 7 years, SDI has made great technological strides. In miniaturization, fast computers, powerful sensors, and dozens of other areas, SDI has pushed back the frontier of technology. In order to sustain that progress and to conduct realistic and rigorous tests of SDI concepts, we need to increase SDI's budget, even as we make real cuts in the overall defense budget. I therefore urge the Congress to support my request for SDI funding. I am committed to a robust SDI program to give us the means to defend the United States and our allies against ballistic missile attack.

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