Former President Ronald Reagan, warning that the nation is cutting defense too quickly, attacked the Clinton Administration on Saturday for plans to kill the “Star Wars” program.
“I may not be a Rhodes scholar, but I do know this: If we can protect America with a defensive shield from incoming missile attacks, we should by all means do so,” Reagan told graduates of the Citadel, a military college.
He said work on his plan to put anti-missile weapons in space helped win the Cold War, and he warned that the United States still faces threats from abroad.
Defense Secretary Les Aspin announced last week that he is abandoning the space-based emphasis of the Strategic Defense Initiative in favor of ground-based systems.
“If the new Administration in Washington thinks we are no longer at risk, they need to open their eyes and take a long, hard look at the world,” Reagan told the audience of about 6,500.
Reagan, who was awarded an honorary doctor of military science degree, also made an apparent reference to Clinton’s plan to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military.
“Some continue to think of the world’s best military as a laboratory for social experiments. Well, I’m here to tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth,” he said.