It is hard to recall, but as recently as the mid-1980s the threat of missile proliferation seemed remote if not fanciful. A few well publicized launches had raised Western awareness of regional interest in long-range rocketry. But any such concerns were trifling compared to the overwhelming dangers of superpower nuclear confrontation. While no one, to my knowledge, disputed the importance of the issue, only a handful of officials and analysts were prepared to take it seriously.