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Lecture 15

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

Lecture 15February 8 2011Rethinking of dtenteDtenteTrade agreements equal spheres of influence recognition of nuclear paritynevertheless there were problemsIn Washington there were critics of SALT IThe fact that the USSR was allowed to keep more nuclear weapons than the US was problematic for many AmericansEqually problematic critics of the dtente felt that the US was too lenient with the Soviets Vietnam even after the US signed a peace treaty North Vietnam took over the South and turned the entire peninsula into a communist camp defeating the American proxy state Vietnam was no puppet of USSR Hanoi determined its own course of actions To the Americans Vietnams actions were seen as a Soviet attempt to undermine the United StatesOne of the fiercest critics of the dtente called it expansion via proxyBoth republicans and democrats criticized the dtente Jackson in 1974 wanted to pass a resolution through government which would connect the trade agreements signed with the USSR in 1972 based on Soviet good behavior As soon as the USSR placed any limitation on Jewish immigration the United States would follow by placing limitations to their trade agreement The resolution thus made the trade agreement conditionalcontingent on the USSR upholding human rights as the United States and the dtente agreement saw fitKissinger immediately wrote a letter to Ford expressing that such actions would surely backfire He argued that the trade benefits which the US had extended to the USSR MFN status included needed to remain constant and unconditional He explained that as it was the trade agreement and MFN status would have no impact on the USSR immediately but in five years they would be hooked to the expansive American economy The trade benefit would eventually bind the USSR to the United States Only after they were hooked could the US force the USSR to do certain things The JacksonVanik Amendment was passed however It backfired just as Kissinger had predictedThe USSR felt humiliated that the US and Kissinger shut them out from the Middle East after 1970 Their power over the Middle East was usurped by the United States The same was true for other areas for example the toppling of the Allende regime in ChileThe Soviets hoped that the US would act in the way they hoped the Soviets would actWhat outraged the USSR the most was the blatant American interference in Russian domestic affairs US interference and Jewish Emigration This was seen as a domestic affair with no other state having the right to intervene January 1975 the Soviets scraped their deal with the United States as well as their status as MFN just to reestablish their power over their domestic affairs The Jewish question suffered as well The minute the Americans tried to intervene and keep the Russians to their own commitment and free agreement 1973 30 000 Jews were allowed to leaveafter the JacksonVanik Agreement only a third of that number was allowed to emigrate
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