"If anything, the MX is a textbook case of how not to manage an important national-security issue," The words are those of former Sen. John Tower (R-Tex.), when he was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. But that verdict is shared by most observers, whether proponents or opponents of the MX, whether members of the legislative or executive branch. 1 It is a judgment primarily about the political management of an important strategic project, although its shifting technical and strategic elements contributed to the impression of ineffectuality. As former Secretary of Defense Harold Brown said with characteristic understatement, "... more politically astute decisions in the past could well have produced a better solution."