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HIS344Y1 Lecture Notes - Brezhnev Doctrine, Henry Kissinger, Nuclear Technology

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Ebba Kurt

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HIS344 – Conflict and Cooperation in the International System Since 1945
Lecture 13 – January 8, 2013
both sides offered compromise and accepted compromise – global perception was clear-cut
American victory, Soviets blinked
from confrontation to detente – recognition of one another as two most important superpowers
incredible concession by Americans to recognize the Soviets as a superpower
accepted status quo – relative stability and security in IR
Politburo recognized that it was a major defeat for Khrushchev and Soviet Union
after this, Khrushchev was severely criticized for his reforms, attempts at modernizing
USSR, separating party and state
hardline Stalinists on the right
critiques from liberal communists on the left who want to see more modern Soviet state
from communist China
Khrushchev wanted to make sure that they would never again be humiliated by the US
late 1962 – decided to pursue two-pronged strategy, pursue peaceful co-existence
attend international conferences
settle outstanding issues
lying low in third world, not overtly support revolutionary wars
decided to put the program to catch up with US in twenty years in economic terms to rest;
rather catch up with America is military terms especially intercontinental ballistic missiles
build missiles on an unprecedented scale, but had to give up economy (guns vs. butter)
accounts for why the Soviet Union never came close to catching up with US in terms of
standard of living – cannot have both since all their resources had to be channelled into
one factor
tangible change in Kennedy's attitude – completely changed in terms of IR in general and USSR
in particular
realized how close the world came to nuclear annihilation – wanted to make sure that no
such conflict would result again
wanted to make sure that Americans and Soviet Union would have better relations to avoid
another such crisis
June 1963, major speech at University of Washington – assured USSR that US didn't want to
achieve Pax Americana, to show how serious he is, sent diplomat to negotiate a peace
agreement on mutual terms
lay down direct link between Moscow and Washington so that they could have a direct line
of communication, don't have to rely on messengers
teletype link, allowed bypass of messengers or diplomatic manoeuvres
1970s – satellite links established so that they could communicate immediately
Bikini Island Test 1954 – 15 megaton strong bomb, fallout affected three/four larger area,
Japanese fishing boat was affected
had to negotiate so that no nuclear confrontation would ever come between the two sides
Tsar Bomba 1961 – 50 megatons, destroyed every building within a 1000 km radius
meant that there was no limit to the confrontation, did not bode well for human kind
Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty August 1963
all three parties (US/UK/USSR) agreed to limit nuclear tests – out of space and underwater
ensured that space would never be militarized and oceans would remain safe
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could not settle on underground explosions, could easily be hidden just by claiming that an
earthquake took place – could not verify
Americans wanted 7-10 yearly inspections, Khrushchev only wanted 3
nonetheless, major step forward in reducing tensions
from then on, from 1963-72 negotiations were going on all the time
US agreed to grain sale to USSR – starting from October they could buy grain from US
however, November 1963 Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson took over
peripheral issues interfered – Vietnam
did not pit two sides against each other, but both sides had to come to the aid of the two
sides – issue of China
Soviet Union had to come to the aid of Vietnam because of situation in China – still willing
and capable of defending a communist state
Middle East – 1967, Arab-Israeli War, both sides took opposing sides
could not make meaningful breakthrough BUT they do come to sign an agreement saying
that the outer space treaty would apply to celestial bodies as well
did not have the technology, was a theoretical issue, easier to come to agreement
eventually by 1968 they sign a serious treaty, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
no other state could ever have a nuclear weapon, even for peaceful means
agreed to limit nuclear technology, know-how of how to produce nuclear weapons
Johnson never agreed to face-to-face meeting with his counterpart
understood now that they could never win the war in Vietnam – the entire war painted US in
a terrible light
by 1970 Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the US
limit number of missiles – both sides already had 1100 missiles
from 1972 they agreed for the first time some aspects to be limited – promise to all other
non-nuclear powers
Americans and Soviets recognized that they had to show that they cared about the world
(unfair to make other states not have nuclear weapons)
emergence of China and multi-polar state system
Sino-Soviet split – very serious disagreement between the two states, what policy to follow
China wanted United Front, but not with the Soviet Union leading, especially if leader is
not even a true revolutionary
non-aligned world – a third of the world joined the bloc, totally meaningless, could not gain
enough weight to dominate international relations, were exposed to Soviet and US
influence, could never fulfil its potential, not enough power
completely disappeared form international affairs as a powerful bloc
poor backward China could not offer support for the non-aligned world
decline of Chinese influence, no one took them seriously
had to change China from within – Cultural Revolution
power struggle for the direction of Chinese foreign and domestic policy
ostracized China to the greatest extent ever – in the West they were still seen as Communist,
unpredictable, brutal; in the East they were seen as unreliable
China had to come to terms with America since couldn't come to terms with Soviets
had to look for an ally to balance out their weakness against Soviets
Kissinger – it is stupid of the Americans not to use the China card
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