Why did detente come to an end in 1979?

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  • Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 18-04-13 18:15
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  • Why did detente come to an end in 1979?
    • Increasing Soviet influence in third world
      • Angola, Mazambique & Ethiopa, was used by the neo-conservatives as evidence of continuing soviet ambitions to spread communism.
        • Carter increased supplies of arms to anti-communist groups & governments in the developing world, such as in El Salvador & Ncaragua, to prevent the spread of Soviet influence
    • Soviet violations of the human rights agreement reached in Helsinki troubled the conscience of many in the American government
    • US opposition to SALT II
      • Opposition in the US senate was mounting & it was looking increasingly unlikely that the agreement would be ratified even before the invasion of Afghanistan.
    • Brezhnev's failing health
      • He had suffered a series of heart attacks since the mid-1970s & by 1979 he could only function with the aid of drugs.
        • Without firm guidance at the top, soviet decision-making became very slow & painstaking. It was easier for the American's to adopt the hard line approach recommended by Brezezinki
    • November, 1979
      • Islamic militants occupied the US embassy in Tehran, & helf the US diplomats & their families hostage.
        • Carter refused to negotiate with the militants. The hostages were not released until January 1981.
          • The whole incident seemed to symbolise America's growing impotence in world affairs. The American right called for a firmer stance against aggressions.
    • Opposition to detente in USSR
      • Discussions within the Politburo revealed growing unease within the criticism directed at the USSR over the Helsinki Accords.
        • Pressure was also exerted by the Soviet military to resume increases in arms in order to support soviet policy in the developing world & strengthen its position against the USA
    • Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979
      • Led to widespread condemnation of the USSR & was perceived in the West as evidence of the continuation of the expansionist tendencies of the USSR.
        • It was the last straw for Carter, who condemned the action & withdrew the SALT II treaty from the senate.


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