SALT 2 and the failure of détente

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  • SALT 2 and the failure of Détente
    • SALT 2 - Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (1979)
      • Under negotiation since 1972
      • Based on the Vladivostok Accords (1974) - agreements between US and Soviet governments
      • Brezhnev and Carter signed the agreement in Vienna in June 1979
      • Each superpower limited to 2250 warheads. SALT 2 counted warheads while SALT 1 simply counted missiles and bombers
      • Imposed limits on new launch systems including multi-warhead missiles
    • Why SALT 2 failed
      • Some w. German politicians opposed the treaty, feared it weakened the defense of W. Germany, thought that the USA would be less likely to use its nuclear weapons if W. Germany was attacked by the USSR
      • Some US politicians thought the treaty made too many concessions to the Soviet Union
      • US-Soviet relations soured after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, meant the US Senate never ratified the treaty, so never became official US policy
    • How successful were SALT 1 and SALT 2
      • Arms control agreements only set out to limit the number of warheads each superpower had, did not attempt to reduce them
        • Arms control agreements placed limits on the number of anti-ballistic missiles, intercontinental ballistic weapons and long-range bombers each side had
          • This reduced the possibility of nuclear war by ensuring that neither side had a first strike capacity (to be able to destroy the other side's  nuclear weapons in one strike). This made sure a system of nuclear deterrence remained


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