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HIS344Y1 (120)

Feb 15

6 Pages
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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

The End of Dtente 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 shortintermediate 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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