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16 Feb 2011
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The End of Détente
The Nuclear Balance in Europe
- Regardless of the problems and loopholes SALT had, the negotiations continued
- reduced friction between the two nations
- nuclear weapons issues were talked and prevented nuclear war
- the Soviet Union had 600 short/intermediate range missiles in Eastern Europe
targeting Western Europe
- inaccurate accuracy 3-3.5 km
- countered by modern American technology F-111 (had nuclear weapons)
and submarines
- so nuclear parity in Europe was reached
- situation until mid-70s
- the Soviet Union invested in new missiles SS-20
- far more mobile solid fuel
- far more accurate matching American weapon system
- all of SS-20s could be deployed with multiple warheads
- giving upper hand to Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact
- nuclear superiority to the Soviet Union
- the Soviet Union always (since WWII) had conventional weapon superiority
- clear cut advantage over NATO, Western Europe and US in Europe
- raised problems in Western Europe and Washington
- there was theory, many Western Europeans and Americans, that the Russians
could use local superiority, both in conventional and nuclear, upset chain of
deterrence (theory since 50s)
- envisioned balance of power in every field, not only in strategic, but also in
missiles and weapons
- breaking balance would give upper hand to either side and in this case,
Soviet Union
- Soviet Union not modernizing older weapons but trying to achieve superiority, and
perhaps by using this superiority, break the chain of Terrence and take over Europe
Western Europe
- if not military nor political, then at the least, Moscow must be trying to
decouple US from Western Europe ie. US leave Western Europe to its faith
- if not, compel NATO members to leave NATO fearing an eventual
nuclear showdown
- threaten stability of the continent
- SALT II is feasible and beneficial to both sides
- Soviet Union blind to the fact that their weapons would upset the European
balance of power
- not willing to back down and accept the other sides explanation
- Americans would never back down, so why should they?
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- Carters mingling in Jewish question, human rights, etc.
- clearly Carter could not accept this challenge
- his policy: inconsistent
- he immediately increased military budget 5%
- convinced Western European states to increase their own contributions to
NATO 3%
- good answers to this critics at home
- increased number of troops in Europe to 30,000
- agreed to create a rapid deployment force
- to come to the aid of NATO and Western Europe if Soviet Union ever
attempted to start a conventional attack
- all symbolic gestures to Soviet Union, this development would not stand
and would be challenged by US
- as a last resort to show his commitment, in 1977, Carter agreed to the
development of Neutron Bomb
- creating a new weapon that would not destroy the material, the buildings,
the tanks, actually nothing that was built by man would be destroyed
- Neutron Bomb would only kill people radiology
- save private property
- created an outrage, gave Soviet Union an ace showed only cared
about material well-being
- Western Europeans demonstrated against Neutron Bomb and
deployment
- having seen the resentment against the Neutron Bomb, Carter backed down only
after Western Europe accepted the bomb
- American administration would stand by Western Europe
NATOs Dual Track
- Warsaw Pact was always 4 times larger than NATO
- NATO Summit (1979):
- NATO minded a nuclear inferiority
- study problem, Jan 1979: create a policy and to study what weapons would
answer the Soviet Union superiority
- not to be seen as adding fuel to the arms race, they also decided to approach
Soviet
Union and enter into a negotiation over European balance of power
- what came out was a dual track policy
- third track: engage in massive propaganda campaigns: NATO is for
peace and stability and willing to negotiate the issue with the Soviet
Union
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Document Summary

Regardless of the problems and loopholes salt had, the negotiations continued. Nuclear weapons issues were talked and prevented nuclear war. The soviet union had 600 short/intermediate range missiles in eastern europe targeting western europe. Countered by modern american technology f-111 (had nuclear weapons) and submarines. So nuclear parity in europe was reached. The soviet union invested in new missiles ss-20. Far more accurate matching american weapon system. All of ss-20s could be deployed with multiple warheads. Giving upper hand to soviet union and warsaw pact. The soviet union always (since wwii) had conventional weapon superiority. Clear cut advantage over nato, western europe and us in europe. Raised problems in western europe and washington. There was theory, many western europeans and americans, that the russians could use local superiority, both in conventional and nuclear, upset chain of deterrence (theory since 50s) Envisioned balance of power in every field, not only in strategic, but also in missiles and weapons.

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