From Star Wars to Earthly Matters: a Long American Walk towards the National Missile Defense System
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From Star Wars to Earthly Matters: a Long American Walk towards the National Missile Defense System
Publication type
Alexander Chekov 
Affiliation: MGIMO University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Vladislav Vorotnikov
MGIMO University
Institute of Europe RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The article is devoted to the development of the US missile defense policy from the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1989 and the subsequent gradual abandonment of the Strategic Defense Initiative program until the adoption of the National Missile Defense Act of 1999. The latter authorized the deployment of a national missile defense system. Analyzing this process, the authors use a comprehensive approach and consider the US missile defense policy not only as a result of changed international security environment, but also in the context of the gradual transformation of the US domestic politics after the end of the Cold War. The authors conclude that by the end of the 1990s, the key prerequisite for the decision to deploy the national missile defense system was not a qualitative deterioration of the international security environment, but rather the internal political victory of the Republicans over the Democrats for the opportunity to form national defense and security agenda.

United States, US foreign policy, ballistic missile defense system, NMD, Strategic Defense Initiative, strategic arms, strategic stability
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