Case 123 - Changing the Rules: President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative Decision
Donovan, Frederick and James E. Goodby
This case study examines the events leading up President Ronald Reagan’s March 1983 decision to pursue the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), responding to a massive public movement directed against the nuclear buildup for which Reagan had campaigned. The SDI decision had profound consequences for U.S.-Soviet relations, but especially for their arms control negotiations. This study could be used in courses on international affairs, public policy, national security affairs, international negotiations, presidential decision-making, arms control, or history, with different teaching strategies suited to the background of the participants.