The administration is congratulating itself because "SDI has emerged intact from the summit." I fail to see the logic for such rejoicing.
Repeatedly in past years, we were told that the Soviet Union has an SDI program of its own, one that might even exceed ours in scope and dimension. If our SDI has emerged intact from the summit, so has the Soviet Union's.
Do we have cause to celebrate that the Soviets can now pursue their SDI with even greater vigor than heretofore? What assurance do we have that we will win the SDI race? What if the Soviet research into space systems results in a major scientific breakthrough in their favor? A protective shield around the Soviet Union (deployed well before ours and negating our retaliatory capability) could provide incentive to a Soviet leader to launch a first strike against the United States. Do we really want to take such a gamble when our national survival is at stake?
For those who doubt the Soviet determination and capability to pursue SDI, I recommend this year's Defense Department report on Soviet military power. All of the advanced technologies for ballistic missiles, antisatellite weapons and air defense (including laser, particle beam and kinetic energy weapons) included in our SDI research program are also found in the Soviet Union's. The Soviets have as good a chance to succeed as we have.
Clearly, this is the most opportune time to freeze the SDI programs of the superpowers. Approximate parity exists, and no actual weapons have as yet been developed. Suspending further work on SDI now would favor neither side. If anything, both nations would reap enormous economic and military benefits. Two, five years hence, it might be too late. DENNIS MENOS Bethesda