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U.S. Claims No Interest in Orbiting Thermonuclear Weapons

Sept. 5, 1962 - A high defense official declared today that “there is no doubt that either the U.S. or the Soviet Union can now place thermonuclear weapons in orbit.” Such an action, however, according to Dept. Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric (pictured), “is just not rational military strategy for either side in the foreseeable future.” During an address in South Bend, Ind., Gilpatric, whose White House-approved speech was released by the Pentagon, declared: “We have no program to place any weapons of mass destruction into orbit. An arms race in space will not contribute to our security.” Stating that he could “think of no greater stimulus for a Soviet thermonuclear arms effort” than an American program of that nature, the deputy secretary added, “This we will not do.”


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