Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

History As It Happens

Apr 4, 2023

Forty years ago, 'Return of the Jedi' opened in movie theaters, but 1983 also was a big year for another kind of 'Star Wars.' Two months before the movie premiered, President Ronald Reagan delivered a nationally televised address announcing an initiative to build a space-based missile shield that would use lasers to shoot down incoming ICBMs. Derisively dubbed "Star Wars" by skeptics -- skeptics who were right to doubt its feasibility -- Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative never amounted to anything useful. It was, however, part of Reagan's vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, a vision he successfully pursued in negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. In this episode, Joseph Cirincione, an expert on nuclear non-proliferation and national defense, discusses how the world has moved a long way in the wrong direction from the "golden age" of nuclear arms reduction treaties.