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.