Why did Cold War end? Detente

Explanation on why cold war eneded and detente

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  • Created on: 08-07-11 14:55
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= permanent relaxation in relations between the Superpowers
Moves Towards and Away From Détente
Began in 1963 when the hotline was set up between Kremlin and White House ­
symbol that if future relations worsened, problems could be solved more easily ­
eventually the direct teleprinter link was replaced by a direct telephone link
1963 Test Ban Treaty was a further move towards détente ­ slowed down
development of nuclear weapons so less competition between Superpowers in the
Arms Race
1965 arrival of US troops in Vietnam showed that Johnson was prepared to go far
to halt spread of communism ­ Superpowers seemed to move away from détente
1968 Brezhnev Doctrine and invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces
showed USSR was prepared to go far to maintain socialism in Eastern Europe ­
Superpowers moved even further away from détente as opposite aims cause
1968 Superpowers signed Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty ­ agree not to supply
nuclear technology to other countries
Late 1960s China was emerging as another Superpower. USSR was isolated from
the other two Superpowers because Cold War between USSR and USA, 1969
war between USSR and China began because of disagreements about communism
1971 Ping Pong Diplomacy between USA and China ­ Nixon sent US table tennis
team to China knowing they would be beaten easily by China ­ warmed relations,
USA began to recognise China as a country, trade started
1972 Nixon meets Mao Zedong in China
USSR realised that had to mend relations with USA to stop being isolated
1960s both Superpowers spent huge amounts on Arms Race and wanted to reduce
spending: USSR spent 30% of GDP on defence, USA spend 13% of GDP on
1970 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks began between USA and USSR
SALT talks led to the signing of SALT treaty in 1972 ­ limited the increase in
number of nuclear missiles
o 5 year delay on building of more missiles, at the end of 5 year period further
agreements would be necessary
o Each side was only allowed 2 AntiBallistic Missiles (missiles that could be
used to shoot down ICBMs)
o Begin Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks (MBFR) that continued
until 1980s by which time there had been over 300 meetings with almost not
agreements reached
First time that Superpowers reached an agreement on arms limitation but talks only
dealt with longrange nuclear weapons (strategic nuclear weapons) and didn't cover
multiple warhead missiles or battlefield weapons (tactical nuclear weapons)
USA continued to produce multiple warheads at the rate of 3 per day throughout

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Early 1970s USSR had a distinct advantage in ICBMs ­ arms race was frozen with
USSR appearing to be ahead
July 1974 Nixon visited Moscow and agreed with Brezhnev to relax tensions
throughout the world, promote understanding between the two countries and
develop artistic and sporting links
1975 USSR and US astronauts linked up in space for the first time
Helsinki Agreements
1975 35 countries including USA and USSR signed Helsinki Agreements on
Human Rights
Helsinki Agreements included clauses which accepted borders of countries and…read more

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Afghanistan and Worsening of Relations
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
1978 Marxist government came to power in Afghanistan and a 20year treaty of
friendship was signed with USSR
Summer 1979 Mujaheddin (Muslim resistance groups) had been set up to oppose
land reforms and educational changes
September 1979 Nur Mohammed Taraki (Marxist president of Arghanistan) was
deposed and murdered
The post of president was taken up by the Prime Minister, Hafizullah Amin
USSR feared that this would lead to a collapse of the Marxist government and
intervened…read more

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Defeat humiliated USSR ­ Superpower was defeated by a group of
o Huge financial cost played a significant part in bankruptcy of USSR in the
o 1980 USA boycotted Olympic Games in Moscow
Olympic Boycotts
1980 Carter announced that USA would boycott the Moscow Olympic Games if
USSR didn't withdraw troops from Afghanistan ­ hoped that this would encourage
other nations to do the same.…read more

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Reagan announced Strategic Defence Initiative (also known as Star Wars) ­ a
plan to shoot down Soviet missiles using lasers in space.…read more

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USSR had supported communist regimes across the world through
COMECON ­ huge drain on USSR's finances
o Space programme of USSR was ambitious and expensive as USSR tried to
outdo USA in the Space Race
o Military expenditure continued to rise as the Afghan War progressed ­ no
leader of USSR dared to offend the military by cutting costs spent on it
because of fear of being overthrown in a coup
o Soviet exports were of poor quality (eg.…read more

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Further START to discuss reduction in armaments and conventional forces
New York Summit (1988)
Last summit between Reagan and Gorbachev, also attended by Presidentelect
George Bush Snr
Gorbachev indicated he was going to speed up arms reduction and wanted to
complete the START Treaty before Bush became President
Bush and his advisers were less trusting of Gorbachev than Reagan which slowed
down negotiations during summit
Malta Summit (1989)
Between Bush who was now President and Gorbachev
Gorbachev assured Bush that he would never start a…read more

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November 1989 demonstrators demanded changes to the system of government in
East Germany, demonstrations began to increase in intensity ­ East German
government tried to diffuse situation by opening borders with West Germany which
led to hundreds of thousands of East Germans swarming into West Germany to visit
relatives but no decrease in protesting
9 November 1989 East Germans began attacking and dismantling Berlin Wall
1990 East Germany left Warsaw Pact East and West Germany were united
Collapse of the Soviet Empire
Despite Gorbachev's concessions…read more

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