Since the introduction of nuclear weapons, military planners and theorists have rejected the idea that defense against the devastating nature of nuclear weapons was practical. With advancements in technology, however, the question of effective defense is resurfacing. This paper deals with the potential effect of a defensive system, such as President Reagan proposed in his Straegic Defense Initiative, on the United States' policy of nuclear deterrence. It examines the question of whether deployment of an effective defensive system will alter the United States' reliance on offensive systems to support the strategy of deterrence.
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