Some say Ronald Reagan broke the Soviet Union's back when he announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983. That is a gross oversimplification of the final years of the cold war, but SDI certainly accelerated the Soviet Union's decline. Reagan's strategy was to force the cash-strapped Soviets to compete in an expensive technology race that he knew only the U.S. had enough money to win. American critics claimed an orbiting missile defense shield would never work and derisively ...

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