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Letter to Members of the House of Representatives Urging Support for Production of the MX Missile

December 06, 1982

On November 22, I informed you of my MX basing decision and underlined the absolute necessity of modernizing the Triad so that we can restore the strategic balance and maintain effective deterrence. Of equal importance, we must move forward with the MX to have any hope of achieving meaningful progress at the arms negotiations in Geneva. History shows that unilateral restraints by the United States have not led to arms reductions by our adversaries.

Having sought the counsel of my predecessors, the views of Congressional leaders, and the advice of America's best technical and scientific minds, I am convinced that Peacekeeper is the right missile and that now is the right time. I, therefore, urge you to support the MX program—as approved by the Appropriations Committee—when the House considers my fiscal year 1983 defense budget request this week. The Appropriations Committee language permits us to continue work on the MX and to protect an initial operational capability in 1986, while providing Congress with additional time to conduct a thorough review of my basing plan. This strikes me as a reasonable approach as we work together toward the common goal of maintaining peace.

On a related matter, the Appropriations Committee has already significantly cut my fiscal year 1983 defense budget request. Any further reductions in my request would deal a serious setback to our overall defense buildup and would have adverse foreign policy consequences. In particular, I urge you not to support an across-the-board reduction in appropriations for defense.

Let us thus join together in rebuilding America's defense posture, in enhancing our deterrence posture, and in enriching the prospects for meaningful arms reductions.


Note: As printed above, this item follows the text of the letter released by the Office of the Press Secretary.

Ronald Reagan, Letter to Members of the House of Representatives Urging Support for Production of the MX Missile Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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