Why did detente end and the 3rd Cold War begin?

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  • Why did detente end and the 3rd Cold war begin?
    • Problems and Changes in the US
      • Carter
        • Demanded USSR improve Human Rights (Basket 3 Helsinki) --> inflamed tension
        • Perceived as being weak and more "moral" than political
        • Indecisive - split between hardline Brezinski and dovish Vance
        • Wanted full disarmament but politically impossible
        • SALT II received growing criticism
        • Carter weak during US Embassy hostage crisis in Iran
    • Problems in the USSR
      • Unbalanced economy drained by military expenditure
      • Brezhnev suffered poor health from mid-70s -> each memeber of the politburo began working for their own interests when Brez began to lose control -- power vacuum and fragment ation
      • Poor living standards -- dwindling support for Communism - Rise of political dissidence
      • Rise of political dissidence
        • Czech - Charter '77 led by Vaclev Havel
        • Poland - Solidarity led by Lech Walesa
        • USSR - leading figures Sakahrov, Sharansky
    • Breakdown of Detente Agreements
      • 1975 - Vladivostock Summit - Ford and Brez. agree "marginal cuts"
      • SALT II = an "arms control mouse" - full of contradictions and ineffective
      • 1976 - Vance's proposals of significant cuts were flatly rejected by Soviets -- committed to MAD and current deals
      • Sovets deployed SS-20s (MRBMs) in Europe -- seemed to intensify the arms race
      • US critics of detente said it allowed USSR to make gains (i) to pause arms race and catch up (ii) the USSR couldn't be trusted
      • Human Rights described as "timebomb at the heart of the Soviet Empire" - by promising them, they encourage demands which will ultimately lead to its overthrow
    • World Events
      • Soviet influence in the 3rd world e.g. Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia - used by neo-cons to prove Soviet expansionism
      • USSR violation of Hum Rights troubled many in American Government
      • 1979 Islamic militants occupied US Embassy  in Tehran and held US diplomats and their familites hostage - not released until 1981
        • Symbolised US' growing impotence in international relations
      • **Soviet Invsion of Afghanistan**


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