‘Star Wars’ Idea ‘Dangerous,’ Gandhi Says
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi heard the Administration’s case for the “Star Wars” research program today, but said he thinks the concept of a space-based anti-missile system “very dangerous.”
Gandhi also said that the United States has not been a reliable supplier of weapons in the past and that he would need assurances that any U.S. agreement to sell his country weapons would be iron-clad.
Gandhi spoke to reporters before seeing Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger and other officials to get a sales pitch on President Reagan’s “Star Wars” research program into a space-based defense system.
Gandhi’s defense minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao, was meeting with Weinberger later to explore the possibility of new U.S. arms sales to the world’s largest democracy, which now receives most of its military hardware from the Soviet Union.
Nuclear Change Doubted
But officials were doubtful of any imminent change in a 20-year-old U.S. policy of not supplying India with major weapons.
Gandhi said he has “very big doubts” about the practicality of a “Star Wars” system.
“Will you be able to have a system which within a few microseconds will be able to identify maybe 10,000 missiles fired from different parts of the world, identify which is a decoy, which is a live warhead and then accurately destroy that?” he asked.
“You need a huge computer. You will need another huge computer to program for that computer and you will need a third computer which will check the program that has been written.
“And no human being will ever be able to find out what these great machines have been doing among themselves,” he said.