The purpose of this book is to provide graduate students, professional engineers, military officers, and weapons-systems planners with a comprehensive grounding in the technology, evolution, functions, costs, impacts on society, utility, and limi tations of modern strategic weapons systems. Since the subject is often left to the specialists, this work should introduce the general reader to the fundamentals of such systems in an informed manner. Nowadays the intense interaction of means and ends sym bolized by strategic weapons has stimulated a changing dis cipline in which new missile systems and the intricate logic of nuclear force and counterforce hold the stage alongside the truths of conflict, alliances, fears, games, and subtle gains and losses. Many readers with new personal interest or public responsibility in this complex field will require an overall guide to it. This book will not prepare the reader to become an expert in the vast subject of strategic weapons systems. It will, however, enable him to understand, evaluate, and form reasonable opinions about these systems, their capabilities and effective ness. The subject is dealt with more from the viewpoint of the user (investor) rather than the architect (systems engineer) and builder (design engineer). While the user will be concerned with both political as well as technical options which may be available to solve a problem, the systems and design engineers are concerned with analyzing and building technological weapons devices once their requirements are generally known.