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Detente 1969-1980 Definition = a period of improved relations between the two superpowers in the 1970s.

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Presentation on theme: "Detente 1969-1980 Definition = a period of improved relations between the two superpowers in the 1970s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Detente 1969-1980 Definition = a period of improved relations between the two superpowers in the 1970s

2 Content Summary Main causes of Detente Key features of Detente Assessment of Detente Interpretations of Detente Factors that ended Detente

3 Main Causes of Detente 1) Fear of War 2) Needs of the USSR 3) Needs of the USA 4) European needs and ‘Ostpolitik’ 5) Key Individuals: Henry Kissinger 6) Oil Crisis 1973 7) Soviet economic problems

4 1) Fear of War Nuclear War feared after the Cuban missile crisis 1962 1969 USA and USSR had equal nuclear capacity = balance of power and a deterrent Necessity to reduce the risk of future nuclear war led to DETENTE

5 2) Needs of the USSR Detente was in their best interests -> stabilised relations with the West USA were weak in the late 1960s due to the Vietnam War USSR had nuclear parity with USA -> arms limitations agreements Prevented the USA developing new technology which the USSR couldn’t keep up with or afford Stabilised Soviet hold on E.Europe -> gained legitimacy from the West Ensured the US wouldn’t get involved in possible conflict with China after the Sino-Soviet split Access to much needed western technology and grain Domestic forces pushed towards Detente due to economic problem -> resources needed to be diverted away from the military Still enabled the USSR to help liberation movements in the developing world

6 3) Needs of the USA Vietnam war -> USA weaker and realised there was a limit to their power Vietnam war -> economic problems: inflation, budget deficit -> decline in support Individuals reputations as right wing prevented them looking ‘soft’ on communism by pursuing Detente Rapprochement with China seen as weakening the Communist Bloc Reduced the power of the industrial-military complex Social issues needed to be addressed -> social reform = money away from military and arms Economic benefits = Detente enabled the US to invest more in its own commerce and financial services which were falling behind Western Europe’s Detente = adopting to a weaker US with less power ad addressing domestic issues

7 4) European Needs and ‘Ostpolitik’ Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia =continuing tension in Europe Large scale student demonstrations in France threatened the government West German Chancellor Willy Brandt -> promoted links across the divide Stabilisation in Europe = good for the whole continent ‘Ostpolitik’= opening up channels between East and West Europe to reduce tensions ad establish links Aided Detente in Europe and encouraged other countries to establish links eg. France and Romania

8 5) Key Individuals: Henry Kissinger Secretary of State for Nixon Supported the views of the ‘realist’ school of diplomacy Pursued ‘real politik’ in his Foreign Policy = downplaying ideological differences and seizing opportunities to secure national interests

9 6) Oil Crisis 1973 Arab nations invaded Israel = Yom Kippur War Meeting of OPEC -> Raise the price of oil by 70% to put pressure on US and Britain who supported Israel Shock waves through the west -> panic buying of goods, prices rose, lost economic growth, recession and inflation US government worried strains would lead to social unrest with their allies in Europe = economic climate was a good condition for Communism and revolution to spread US military spending unsustainable due to the crisis Short Term = economic strains on the US increased pressure towards Detente with the USSR Washington Energy Conference = agreeement on harmonising western energy policy -> reduced the crisis US abolished capital controls -> banks took advantage of the surplus dollars = strengthened the large institutions of US capitalism Western oil companies benefitted from increased profits due to the higher price of oil Money flowing into the Middle East found its way back into the west through: investments, arms contracts, airports, schools, fine wines and casinos! Arab Wealth -> Stimulus for the global economy Long Term = West strengthened by the oil crisis!

10 7) Soviet Economic Problems Vast oil reserves in Siberia cushioned the USSR from the oil crisis and gained from higher oil prices through exporting its own oil BUT had Long Term economic problems : -Most resources and working population engaged in the military-industrial sector, -Vast sums supported Communist allies -> ¾ of USSR hard currency went on aid and arms -Rigid planning -> economy inflexible and disrupted by crisis’ such as the oil one in 1973 -Technology falling behind the West’s -Consumer goods in constant short supply -Living standards were very low in comparison to the West -Agriculture was very inefficient and there wasn’t even enough grain to feed the population -> reliant on imports some of which were form the USA Detente = very attractive option!

11 Overall... Range of factors pushed towards Detente Detente did NOT mark an end to the Cold War conflict It was a recognition there was more to gain from cooperation that confrontation Detente = a change in tactics of superpower conflict

12 Key Features of Detente a) SALT I 1972 b) SALT II 1979 c) Other nuclear limitations treaties d) Helsinki Accords 1975

13 a) SALT I 1972 Covered three areas: i)ABM Treaty = limited ABM systems to two sites. One for the capital city and one to protect nuclear missiles ii)Interim Treaty = limits places on ICBMs and SLBMs but expired in 1977. Omitted new technological developments such as MIRVs and each side could replace old missiles. The advantage lay with the USA iii) Basic Principles Agreemet = developed rules for the conduct of Nuclear Warfare -> minimise development of nuclear weapons

14 b) SALT II Outlined in 1974 -> Set equal limits for missile launchers and strategic bombers Left out cruise missiles on which the US had a lead Disliked by the American right Carter renegotiated the treaty in 1977 to reduce the number of Soviet missiles 1979 precise figures were agreed and the SALT II treaty was signed at the Vienna Summit in June Rejected by the Senate in 1980 ->American government didn’t trust the Soviet government due to their actions in the 3 rd world, especially Afghanistan

15 Other nuclear limitations treaties START I 1982= reduced the no. of warheads in both US and USSR and placed limits on heavy bombers MDT = 10 articles -> provision if one country came under attack then the other could provide aid and military support. Between Taiwan and US INF 1987 = scraped all IRBMs -> first arms reduction between the two superpowers. They were destroyed by the US and USSR in 1991 CTBT = banned all nuclear explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes -> adopted by the UN SORT 2003-2011= limit to nuclear arsenal between 1700-2200 warheads for the US and USSR. Superseded by a new START treaty = all carried on from the agreements in the 1970s started by SALT I

16 d) Helsinki Accords 1975 Basket I = existence of the Soviet Bloc accepted by countries who signed Basket II = trade and technology exchanges promoted across the Iron Curtain Basket III = agreements to respect human rights: freedom of speech, movement etc. Organisations established to monitor governments and their actions USA = saw it as an opportunity to gain concessions from the Soviet government USSR = wanted to secure recognition of the European borders established after WWII

17 Assessment: What did Détente achieve? The achievements of the détente lie in the success’ and failures of the treaties made during the 1970’s and the change in the level of co-operation between the USA and the USSR. SALT I: Success’: Resulted in greater co-operation between the two powers, Nixon visited Moscow in ‘72 and ‘74 whilst Brezhnev visited Washington in ’73. Restrictions placed on a range of nuclear weapons. Failures: Limitations were inadequate, both USA and USSR still capable of nuclear destruction. No mention of MIRV’S or bans on the introduction of new nuclear weapons. SALT II: Success’: Set precise numbers for the allowance of Soviet missiles, highly detailed. Failures: Despite the treaty being signed in June ‘79 by Carter and Brezhnev, it was withdrawn from the US Senate by President Carter after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. From here, relations between the USA and USSR deteriorated severely Helsinki Accords: Success’: Again, increased co-operation between USA and USSR, but President Carter was highly criticized by neo- conservatives. Failures: Soviet Union failed to uphold the Human rights agreements of basket three, USSR also failed to inform the USA about the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, breaking the co-operation principles of basket two. The Basic Treaty: Success’: Reduced tensions across Europe by recognizing the presence of both Capitalist and Communist powers in Germany. Failures: President Carter highly criticized, only effective temporarily whilst tensions were relaxed.

18 Interpretations of Détente: Beneficial to USA or hindrance to USA? Hindrance to USA Opinion arising amongst the American neo-conservatives during the 1970’s. Neo-conservatives believed that President Carter was being too soft on Communism by accepting the borders of the Soviet bloc and sharing valuable technological knowledge. American opinion wanted a renewal of the arm’s race in order to execute their economic and military superiority over the USSR, this was not reflected in the numerous treaties. USSR seemed to be gaining from situation where America was not. Soviet continued to intervene in Ethiopia, Somalia, Israel and Afghanistan and USA did not stop this. Beneficial to USA View of American politicians of the time, such as Nixon and Kissinger After the USSR had matched the American nuclear capability, the limitation talks provided them with an opportunity to prevent further development of Soviet arms. Following the American failures in the Vietnam war and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the détente would enable a period of recovery for the economy and support of the military force.

19 Interpretations of Détente: Beneficial to both sides or it prolonged the Cold War? Beneficial to USA and USSR Opinion of many post-revisionist historians such as Bowker Williams, Gordon Craig and J.l. Gaddis. State it’s achievements to be that it allowed both superpowers to manage the international tensions and create a more useful working relationship. Additionally, prevented the rivalry developing in to a dangerous and hostile situation. Defend it’s failures by arguing that the aims of détente were not to end the arms race, prevent Soviet expansionism in the third world or improve their internal human rights, but to allow the Cold War to become less dangerous and more predictable. Post-revisionist’s also believe that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a defensive response to a genuine threat on it’s security. Between late 1960’s and 1970’s the American-Soviet relations more peaceful than before, therefore the détente was a success. It prolonged the Cold War The view held by rightist American politicians. Those who believe that the Cold War ended due to the economic pressure applied by Reagan’s ‘Militarized counter revolution’ policy believe that by willingly decreasing American armaments, the Cold War was extended. However, fails to appreciate the benefits of the détente to the American’s after their military failure during Vietnam war.

20 Why did the Détente come to an end? Evidence of Soviet expansionism Neo-conservatives emphasized how the Soviet Union continued to spread communist influence with interventions in many Third World countries such as Angola where they supported the Movement for the liberation of Angola (MPLA) along with the Cubans. Also gave military aid to Mozambique and in Ethiopia in ’77 working with the Cubans against Somalia. Carter responded to this by providing arms to anti-communist groups in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The actions of both USA and USSR re-established conflict Soviet violation of human rights Agreements in Basket 3 of the Helsinki accords related to the internal human rights of the Soviet Union, this was particularly important to America when trading with them. The American government were troubled by these supposed violations, and soon trade links between the two decreased illustrating lessened co-operation. SALT II treaty never being ratified A large proportion of the US Senate disliked the generous allowances of the limitation treaties. It was never ratified and eventually removed after the Afghanistan war. Brezhnev’s failing health Negotiation with the Soviet Union became difficult with Brezhnev’s deteriorating health after a series of heart attacks. Brezezinski, Carter’s hardline National Security Adviser advised him to use this weakness to adopt a tougher approach on Communism. Lack of successful communication between the two leaders didn’t help to maintain the good relations.

21 Why did the détente come to an end? : Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979 Why did the Soviet Union intervene? USSR perceived Afghanistan as an important buffer state and were worried that it would be effected negatively by the spread of Muslim fundamentalism in Iran even though the new government was highly anti-American. After America threatened to support an anti-Soviet faction in Afghanistan in the Summer of 1979, Brezhnev saw the establishment of a pro-Soviet government as a necessity Soviet actions 24 th December 1979, Soviet paratroopers land in Afghanistan’s capital- Kabul. USSR stated they had been legitimately invited in by the new Prime Minister, Amin and his Communist government the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. The PDP faced the opposition of the Mujahideen who resented Amin’s attempts to remove Islamic culture and declared a ‘jihad’- a holy war. Amin is shot on 27 th December 1979, replaced by Barack Kamal who had the support of 85,000 Russian soldiers using Napalm and poisoned gas against the opposition. American response The Carter Doctrine of 1980 soon followed. Its aim was to ‘defend American national interests in the Persian Gulf with the use of military force when required.’ Illustrates how the Soviet actions caused great hostility between USA and USSR as the Carter Doctrine entailed measures such as; Creation of a rapid deployment force- over 200,00 troops designed to enforce American military power especially in the Middle East. A boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics ‘Operation Cyclone’- C.I.A’s mission to arm, train and finance the mujahideen and other guerilla forces against the Communist groups. Cost $20-30 million in 1980, rising to $630 million in 1987. Withdrawal of SALT II from the Senate Increase in American defense spending

22 Why did the détente come to an end? : Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979 Consequences For Carter, it meant the end of his Presidency. Some blamed his diplomatic approach to foreign affairs for allowing Soviet expansion. After the 1980 presidential elections, he was replaced by the right wing, anti-communist Ronald Reagan who increased the amount of American support given to the Mujahideen. For the USSR, it meant great economic losses of $8 billion and the hardening of American attitudes to the USSR which is one factor that caused its later collapse in 1991. For Afghanistan, the country remained in a state of conflict even after the last Soviet troops were removed on 16 th February 1989. The Al-Qaeda guerilla force that arose during this period and who were supported by the USA has been linked to numerous terrorist attacks. For the arms race, Presidential Directive 59 authorized an increase in American nuclear weapons. Any agreements of arms limitation were lost. For international relations between the USA and the USSR, after the détente both powers were said to have entered the ‘second Cold War.’ The USA wanted to end the Cold War with the defeat of the USSR which was the focus of the American foreign policy throughout the 1980’s. The USSR wanted to strengthen and retain its sphere of influence as numerous factors were acting against its further expansion.

23 Exam style questions on the Détente ‘How far do you agree with the view that disarmament talks and diplomatic cooperation really eased the tensions between the two superpowers from 1963 to 1980?’ ‘How significant were economic realities in pushing both sides [USA and USSR] towards Détente?’ 'To what extent did Détente introduce a new era of cooperation between the USA and the USSR?’ ‘To what extent were economic concerns for both the USA and the USSR the greatest motivating factor in the emergence of Détente in the 1970’s?’ ‘To what extent were conflicts in the Middle East in the 1970’s responsible for the end of Détente in 1979?’


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