Naval War College Review


During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a cacophony of voices arose (mostly from the conservative wing of the Republican Party) asserting that the United States was in danger of being eclipsed by the Soviet Union. In short, the argument was “the sky is falling.” President Reagan used the issue to great advantage during the 1980 presidential campaign, setting the stage for a massive increase in de- fense expenditures and the launching of the ambitious “Star Wars” pro- gram, the forerunner of the Clinton and Bush administrations’ attempt to build a national missile defense system.