MX Missile Decision

Archive Report

Politics and Passions

Expected Reagan Decision on Deployment

By the end of the summer, President Reagan is expected to decide whether and how to build what would be the deadliest and costliest weapon in the U.S. arsenal. Under plans inherited from the Carter administration, the United States would build 200 new land-based missiles — the “MX” for “missile experimental” — and deploy them on mobile launchers. The proposed MX complex could cover an area as big as Pennsylvania, and its cost is expected to be over $30 billion. Just half of the 200 missiles would be capable of killing 30 percent of the Soviet population, roughly 75 million people, and destroying 70 percent of Russian industry. The missile is designed mainly for precision strikes against military ...

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