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Feb 15

by OC7

Course Code
Vasilis Dimitriadis

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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
- 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
- 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
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
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