President Reagan Addresses the Nation from the Oval Office on National Security, March 23, 1983.

On March 23, 1983, President Reagan delivered a televised speech to the nation in which he initiated a potentially radical departure in U.S. strategic policy. The President suggested that the policy of nuclear deterrence through the threat of strategic nuclear retaliation is inadequate, and called upon the vast American technological community to examine the potential for effective defense against ballistic missiles:

Would it not be better to save lives than to avenge them? Are we not capable of demonstrating our peaceful intentions by applying all our abilities and our ingenuity to achieving a truly lasting stability? I think we are-indeed we

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