In This Review

The Fallacy of Star Wars
The Fallacy of Star Wars
Edited by John Tirman
Vintage Books, 1984, 293 pp

This book brings together two important studies conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, one on anti-satellite weapons and the other on space-based missile defense. The conclusions of this group of experts are unambiguous and have already played an important role in the defense debate. Without a treaty soon forbidding testing, the authors foresee a destabilizing new arms race in space. As to a space-based missile defense, after a good deal of technical evaluation the report concludes that it would not be successful in halting incoming missiles-and in any case the Soviets could overcome it with additional ICBMs and more submarine-based cruise missiles. This is, of course, only one side of the debate, and a quickly shifting one at that, but it presents an argument which the proponents of the Administration's Strategic Defense Initiative have yet to successfully refute.