20 year ago today, President Reagan proposed National Missile Defense to a threatened nation, changing the strategic balance and forcing an end to the cold war.

WASHINGTON- On March 13, 1983, President Ronald Reagan made a nationally televised speech to the American people, outlining his vision for an end to the Cold War. His commitment to deploying a space-based national missile defense system, called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), to the astonishment of the Soviets and the American foreign policy establishment alike, changed the trajectory of Superpower politics and set the U.S.S.R. on the road to collapse.

For almost 40 years, the world had been held in the grim grip of nuclear deterrence, the infamous Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). What kept the peace was a fear of nuclear holocaust. And the Superpowers fought proxy wars across the globe and amassed enormous stockpiles of weapons that (hopefully) would never be used.

"But Ronald Reagan changed all that," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, President of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project. "In one brilliant strategic pivot, he made megatons and throw weights irrelevant. The world saw a future free of nuclear terror, and the Soviets saw that they would have to match American technological prowess if they had any hope of adjusting to the new strategic reality. Within seven years, the Soviets had bankrupted themselves trying to keep up, and the Berlin Wall fell."

Even today, President Reagan\’s vision lives on, as the United States moves ahead with plans to deploy a National Missile Defense system. Aimed now not at the Soviets but at rogue states that might one day try to hold the world hostage, the concept again changes the strategic balance in favor of free nations.

"Even though never deployed, Reagan\’s vision, determination, and his unwillingness to negotiate away the promise of SDI forced an end to the cold war," Norquist continued. "It is emblematic of his remarkable leadership for eight years."

The RRLP is committed to preserving the legacy of one of America\’s greatest presidents. Among its aims, the Project seeks to name at least one monument to President Reagan in each of America\’s counties, and in nations that were once Communist. Grover Norquist, the RRLP President is a long time Washington insider. He is available for interviews about Ronald Reagan\’s legacy and the goals of the project. Please contact Paul Prososki at 202-785-0266 or [email protected].