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Introducing ASDA

The American Strategic Defense Association (ASDA), an organization of concerned United States citizens, was founded in 1970 at the height of the Cold War to give voice to the “Silent Majority” against radical-left groups urging unilateral disarmament and preaching the impossibility of defense in the nuclear age. Accordingly, the purposes of ASDA are (1) the dissemination of information on issues of strategic defense and disarmament, (2) the exchange of information on the various means of survival and recovery, and (3) the advancement of knowledge on the possible effects of a strategic or terrorist nuclear attack.

During the 1970s and 1980s, ASDA was an active participant in the debate on strategic issues. Some of us had access to op-ed pages, talking-heads programs and congressional committees. The rest of us wrote letters: letters to the editor, letters to program producers and letters to our representatives and other political figures. Ultimately, the threat of  SDI—the Strategic Defense Initiative—led to the breakup of the Soviet Union and the relief of the American citizenry from the fear of a nuclear Armageddon. SDI, however, never was actually deployed.

Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we are engaged in another war, a “war against terrorism.” Renewed emphasis has been placed on homeland security. Strategic defense—air defense, ballistic missile defense, and civil defense—has an important place in homeland security. No one should doubt that the perpetrators of  the September 11 terrorist attack would use a nuclear weapon against our  innocent civilians if they could get their hands on one, either as a terrorist car bomb or as a lone missile fired from the Bekaa Valley or other infiltrated area.

America’s ballistic missile defense is small but growing but its minimal civil defense capability was  allowed to atrophy during the 1990s. We no longer have the capability to detect fallout radiation and to provide life-saving information to the hundreds of thousands that would be at risk. The nuclear age is with us and homeland security must contend with it.

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