In his March 23, 1983 address on military spending, President Ronald Reagan presented his vision of a future in which American defenses could “intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies.” To achieve this objective, Reagan directed that a “comprehensive and intensive effort” be undertaken to define a long-term research and development program designed to “achieve our ultimate goal of eliminating the threat posed by strategic nuclear missiles.” 1 Although Reagan’s address itself contained no references to specific strategic ballistic missile defense (BMD) technologies, it was apparent to many that his vision of a future free of the terror of nuclear weapons was based on the development and deployment of beam technology weapons such as lasers, particle beams, and microwaves.