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An independent study of the Safeguard antiballistic missile system released yesterday by a Harvard law professor and the provost of M.I.T. concludes that "there is no need for a decision to employ the Sentinel/Safeguard ABM system at this time."
The 300-page copyrighted report was compiled by Abram Chayes '43, professor of Law, and Jerome B. Wiesner, Provost of M.I.T., at the suggestion of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54. The report states that it is an attempt to "present the other' side" of the controversial program, since the information available to Congress and the public thus far has been largely limited to Defense Department releases.
The report consists of a general evaluation of the ABM written by Chayes, Weisner, and two associates, and a series of essays on specific aspects of the ABM program written by professors and former government officials, most of whom served in the Kennedy Administration.
"We believe that the system, even if considerably expanded and upgraded over the years following initial deployment, cannot perform effectively the missions suggested for it," the report states.
The report further charges that the system is unlikely to perform well, is "highly susceptible to penetration,' cannot be tested, would probably start a new round in the arms race, and "would seriously impede the conclusion of an arms control agreement."
The report was submitted to the Senate yesterday, and will be published by Harper and Row and the New American Library, Chayes said. Kennedy is still considering Harper's request that he write an introduction to the book, Chayes said yesterday. "The question is does he help the cause by writing an introduction or not," he added.
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