The arms race

June 01, 2000

1958: President Eisenhower approves Nike-Zeus anti-missile defense. The program dies for lack of funding.

1969: President Nixon announces Safeguard anti-missile system, later scrapped.

1972: Nixon signs ABM Treaty, banning all but limited U.S. and Russian anti-missile systems. The countries also sign SALT I, freezing levels of offensive missiles.

1979: President Carter signs SALT II with Soviets, limiting offensive missiles to 2,400 on each side. Treaty is never ratified.

1983: President Reagan announces Strategic Defense Initiative, or "star wars," space-based anti-missile system.

1991: President Bush signs START I treaty with Soviets, cutting both sides to 1,600 offensive missiles.

1993: Bush signs START II treaty with Russia, reducing warheads on both sides by two-thirds, to about 3,000.

1998: Rumsfeld Commission emphasizes nuclear threats from Third World nations.

1999: President Clinton announces U.S. intention to seek ABM treaty revisions and signs bill making missile defense official policy.

2000: Russian parliament approves START II. Clinton visits Moscow seeking Russian approval for ABM treaty modifications.

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