Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the United States Antisatellite Program

May 12, 1987

The President published a new white paper on the U.S. Antisatellite (ASAT) Program today. The white paper notes that over the past 2 years the administration has experienced congressional setbacks in the deployment and testing of a U.S. ASAT system. The President's paper expresses his belief that these setbacks have been detrimental to U.S. national security, and states his desire to seek relief from the Congressional moratorium on testing of our non-nuclear miniature vehicle ASAT against objects in space.

The white paper examines the impact to our national security of continuing to allow the Soviets to have the world's only operational ASAT and notes that the Soviet space threat is growing more serious. In this white paper, the President expresses his deep commitment to the U.S. ASAT program as an important deterrent to the Soviets' use of their ASAT system and pledges the President's desire to work with Congress to restore bipartisan support for the U.S. ASAT program.