Amidst all the clamor and din surrounding the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), some observers have grasped the obvious: that the splendid defense envisaged by President Ronald Reagan and by precious few others probably will never come to pass. This is so for technical and political reasons and is becoming clearer to specialists inside and outside the government. Harsh reality, however, will not dim the plans of those committed to ensuring that some kind of strategic defense system gets funded and built. As the SDI moves forward, then, we should expect to see systems and components for defensive missions in the terminal or late midcourse phases to protect U.S. missile silos and command and control centers. Deterrence therefore will be enhanced, according to point or silo defense enthusiasts, and not transcended.