End of Detente/Return to Confrontation

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21 Mar 2011
The End of Détente 11-03-21 3:54 PM
-a return to the very same attitude of the post ww2 years!a return to the
cold war attitude
The Nuclear Balance in Europe
-regardless of the number of loopholes and all the problems with SALT I,
negotiations still went on
-short and intermediate range missiles were left unaccounted for
therefore the development and employment of these went
all of these were essentially based in Europe (employed by both
NATO and Warsaw Pact)
therefore although the ICBMs were controlled, the lack of control
regarding these missiles reignited a new arms race and added a
great deal of tension within both Moscow and Washington
o question regarding the direction of tente
-SS-4 and SS-5!crude and relatively inaccurate missiles
600 of these in the hands of the Soviets
countered by the American polaris/submarine missiles as well as
the F-111 (Which had nuclear weapons)
by employing these weapons systems, both had achieved nuclear
parity in Europe
Soviet Modernization
Soviet investment into new weapons systems!the SS-20
o Far more mobile than any of the previous missiles
o Matching in accuracy the American weapons systems
o Could be deployed with multiple warheads
" Americans felt this gave the Soviets the upper hand
" The Soviets had already held superiority in convention
weapons!so for the first time they have a clear cut
advantage (conventional and nuclear superiority)
-the fear that this Soviet superiority would upset the chain of deterrence
the necessity of parity
worried that the soviets would take over Europe!if not a military
takeover, an attempt to exert a political control over western
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o an attempt by Moscow to decouple US from Western Europe
(basically get them out of Europe)
o compel NATO members to leave NATO out of a fear for a
conventional nuclear showdown
-disagreements over the fate of SALT II
occurred at the same time of this Soviet superiority
-Russians blind to the fact that their modernization upset the regional
balance of power
therefore they refused to back down
-Carters response
typical of his foreign policy (two steps forward, one step back)
o inconsistent
increased U.S military defence budgets (5%)
convinced the contribution of Western European states to NATO
increased the number of American troops in Europe (30 000)
an agreement to create a rapid deployment force
o allow US to come to the aid fo Europe faster if the Soviet
Union ever dared to make a conventional attack
o a symbolic gesture!that America would not buckle down to
the Soviets
agreed to the development of a neutron bomb
o enhanced radiation!would not destroy buildings/man-made
structures…would only kill people
o outrage among the world!gave Brezhnev impetus to his
argument!the main argument of the west is material
wellbeing and possessions (so capitalist)they dont care
about people
o Carter eventually backed down after immense public pressure
" However only after Western Europe had accepted in
principle the deployment of the neutral bomb
NATO’s Dual Track
-the answer to the Russian modernization of missiles
-NATO summit (Jan 1979)
French, British and U.S
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The aim was to arrest this soviet development of modernization
o Did not care about conventional superiority (this was just a
matter of fact since the 50s…soviet union had more pplz)
Study the weapon systems!what weapons would best answer this
Soviet superiority
The decision to enter into negotiations with the soviet Union over
the European balance of power
The Dual Track Policy
-tHE dual track policy
The decision to match Russian nuclear superiority in Europe, thus
eliminating it
Include the short range missiles into the SALT negotiations
Eliminate the new arms race and the competition in Europe
The “third” track!Engage in massive propaganda campaign
o NATO is for peace, stability and willing to negotiate with the
Soviet Union
-464 cruise missiles and 108 Pershing II missiles
these two missiles gave NATO as much of a superiority as the
Russians had gain in their modernization efforts
very accurate!p much couldnt miss their target
obvs pissed the Russians off!tipped the scales back in the favour
of the Americans, Moscow was unwilling to accept this
-Russians were now arguing against American modernization (tables have
turned once again)
-backlash towards Dual Track in some Western European states
the supporters of Dual Track (Western Germany, Italy, France, Br)
Denmark and Belgium rejected it
Basically resulted in a deep division within NATO members
German civilians protest against it!”the shorter the range, the
deader the germans”
o After all the focal point of the crash would have been
o However the german govt did accept it
-the Russian decision to reject talks
Backfired!led to a great deal of electoral losses to communist
parties around Europe (France and Italy)
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