In March 1983, Ronald Reagan turned American nuclear policy upside-down, giving a speech in which he called for replacing the policy of MAD--"mutual assured destruction"--with a defense that would genuinely defend the United States against ballistic missiles. Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative so rattled the Soviets that it proved central in their collapse--Margaret Thatcher called SDI the most important decision Reagan ever made--but it was widely derided by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Democratic Party.
A Ricochet member reminds me every so often that the Strategic Defense Initiative is now--if a couple of decades late--underway. When he mentioned the name of the test site, which is located on Kwajelin Atoll, not far from Wake Island, I asked him to send me a photograph.
Somewhere, the Gipper is smiling.