By the 1960s, both the United States and the Soviet Union found themselves caught up in an offensive and defensive arms race that threatened the stability of an embryonic nuclear deterrence system. ‘Star Wars and beyond’ looks at how domestic politics and the desire to stabilize the nuclear environment played a major role in American and Soviet anti-ballistic missile decisions after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Would rival nations fear that the United States might flaunt its strategic arsenal as a means of encouraging states to behave? Would US missile defences cause an opponent to feel compelled to strike first? Would this impede strategic arms-limitations efforts? Or would US missile defences renew the strategic arms race?