In 1981, President Reagan came into office with the view of the Soviet Union as "the focus of evil" and with a plan to rearm America. Talk about nuclear war-winning capacity, an intensive military buildup, and worsening relations with the Soviet Union galvanized a national grassroots nuclear freeze movement. In March 1983, Reagan unveiled his proposal for the Strategic Defense Initiative, to build an impenetrable shield against nuclear weapons, using lasers, particle beams, and rail guns. "Reagan's Shield" explored the period around this renunciation of mutual assured destruction. Overnight, the policy that had anchored East-West relations and peace for decades was out. The President had fully embraced the dream of a perfect space shield, in what came to be known as Star Wars. In 1985, a new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, seized the initiative and proposed deep reductions in offensive strategic weapons. Negotiations became deadlocked over the Star Wars proposal. In the end, the two leaders reached an agreement on intermediate range missiles; but the basic framework remained intact. Deterrence was neither broken nor fixed nor replaced. Program Senior Producer and Narration Written by Graham Chedd, Written and Produced by Christopher Koch April 10, 1989.
“Reagan's Shield ,” Digital Commonwealth , accessed March 8, 2014, http://digitalcommonwealth.org/items/show/70405.