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‘Star Wars’ Program: ‘Pork Barrel in Space’?

Although I can tolerate your mindless liberal biases, I can’t for the life of me understand how a newspaper with the stature of The Times can tolerate the distortions in your editorial (June 2), “Pork Barrels in Space.”

In that piece, you referred to ". . . President Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ program . . .” (italics mine). You went on to claim that the Pentagon intends ". . . to perfect such a system on (a) crash schedule . . .”, and that the goal is ". . . leakproof protection . . .”

First of all, it was ignorant media people such as yourself who dubbed the program “Star Wars”. In case you haven’t heard, it is called the Strategic Defense Initiatives, or SDI for those with limited memory capacity. The purpose of the program is to determine which technologies should be pursued into full-scale development and deployment.

Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson and others associated with the program have made it plain--for those of us that have been paying attention--that only approaches that can reasonably be expected to be less costly at the margin for the defender than for the attacker’s countermeasures, if any, will be pursued further; otherwise we’ll continue to rely on the dubious deterrence of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

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Finally, the defense need not be leakproof to be effective: if it introduces sufficient uncertainty in the minds of the attackers as to the effectiveness of a first strike to dissuade such a move, then it will be 100% effective.

I hope this clears things up for you. Please try to be more accurate in the future: I can’t write like this every day to pull your editorial chestnuts out of the fire.

JAMES V. HALLORAN III

Redondo Beach

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