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The Era of Negotiations
- Nuclear Parity, achieved at the end of 1960s/early 1970s
- telling both super powers no sense of going into a nuclear war because both sides
would be destroyed
- Test Ban treaties, SALT, etc. led to détente
- the main purpose was to reduce military tension/possibility for military confrontation/nuclear
- détente included many things besides political and military understanding
- for the first time, it included economic, social, commercial, etc. aspects
- given these, there was a hope they would bind each other to this agreement that
either side would see no benefit to going back to previous situation/confrontation
- both sides had expectations: Americans hoped to initiate some economic and
commercial exchanges (they were in debt due to Vietnam War), so economic interests.
They wanted that by giving equality to Soviet Union, they would bind Soviet Union to
accept status quo t still more favorable to the US (technologically and economically),
and maintain superiority. Americans hoped by giving them beneficial trades and
agreements, the Soviet Union would see more benefits to the status quo and accept it
instead of challenging it. The Russians accepted that the US accepted them fully in all
aspects, not just military, they wanted to be recognize as political equal and equal share
in world affairs t to have a sphere of influence just like the Americans. They also
expected a free hand in international relations, just like the US.
- in terms of historiography, détente is a debate topic.
- Revisionists see détente as beneficial to international relations because they reduced
tensions and eliminated possibility of nuclear showdown. By this, this allowed both
sides to look over their own domestic issues t improve standard of living, look at issues
at home. Détente was also necessary.
- Traditionalists: détente allowed Soviet Union to have advantage over US and expand
over the world and challenge US interests, whereas previously they would not have
considered the possibility of doing this. By binding US to SALTI, the Russians took
advantage of the loopholes and surpassed the limits allowed to them and basically
wanted to gain nuclear superiority over the US. Overall, it did not serve any purpose.
- Nixon agreed to an initial negotiation by filling in the Soviet what they wanted.
- Brezhnev, after reaching nuclear parity with the US, he recognized the political and military
advantages to a settlement. He showed from the beginning his willingness even though he still
had issues at home/he had opposition.
- Kissinger recognized the need/came to acceptance a deal between Soviet Union and the US.
- first meeting between Nixon and Brezhnev, no failure came through, they came out with 10
- reason: for at least a year before May 1972, Kissinger visited Moscow and had agreed
on every issue they would discuss and would end up with.
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- major deal: SALT I t continuation of nuclear arms race, limited both sides in number of
missiles, submarines, etc.
- agreed on scientific cooperation and to expand the scope of such an agreement
- the Americans agreed to give favorable trade agreements and opened up American
markets for Russian buyers
- recognition of equality in political, military and diplomatic terms t no longer could the
US claim this area has never been an interest of the Soviet Union and so, they must be
cut out from it. Soviet Union would have the right to negotiations. Opened borders to
- two states would always consult each other in terms of conflicts, wherever they might
- SALT II: the first SALT I treaty had a 5 year life time and thought naturally it would be renewed
and cover new areas. Neither side thought SALT I would always cover outstanding issues. More
importantly, Americans criticized SALT I that it had loopholes benefitting the Soviet Union
- limitation of nuclear weapons, but issue of warhead. Discussion of this was necessary.
The Washington Summit was to discuss this.
- also, Space would be demilitarized. A new agreement was needed to discuss this, so
SALT I would be necessary for this.
- expansion of basic principles, prevention of nuclear war: both sides had to rely on first
- détente spread over to Europe and was more lasting than between US and Soviet Union
- détente was more important for Europeans than US and Soviet Union
- the Soviet Union following the spirit of the Moscow summit, they wanted recognition of Soviet
Union sphere of influence in Europe t Eastern Europe.
- agreed to Mutual Balanced Force Reduction t numbers in Warsaw Pact was greater, but did
not bother Eastern Europe state or Soviet Union.
- Western Europe agreed to every conquest made by Soviet Union by May 1945 t agreed to the
shift of 200 km of German borders and agreement of existence of Eastern Germany.
- Basket No.3 t human rights part of the agreement. For the recognition for Soviet Union
sphere of influence, they held Soviet Union for the treatment of their own people/Eastern
Europeans citizens were seen as equal to Western Europe citizens.
- Basic Treaty: recognize every East Germans as equal, but they felt betrayed by Brezhnev.
- Albania rejected the idea.
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