Arab Israeli War 1973
- Egypt's president Sadat wanted Israelis out of Sinai - they'd been there since a war in 1967
- 6th October 1973 - Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked the Sinai
- Both the USSR and USA wanted to stay out of war to preserve Detente
- Both superpowers provided their client with arms (USA- Israel and USSR - Egypt)
- Cease fire agreed 22nd October
- USA's primary aim to ensure it was a driving force in peacekeeping in the Middle East
- Kissinger wanted to "demonstrate that the road to peace led through Washington"
- USSR wanted to retain Arab confidence and have a share in peace process
- America not willing to share diplomatic influence that came with managing the peace process
- After the ceasefire was declared Kissinger said "We had created the conditions for a diplomatic breakthrough. We had maintained a relationship with key Arab countries and laid the foundations for a dominant role in post-war diplomacy"
1 of 11
Super power confrontation (Arab Israeli War)
- Cease fire violated within hours - Israel launched a major attack against Egypt
- Critical point for the USA - how could they retain influence with the most moderate Arab state, it did nothing to end the violation of the ceasefire?
- SU suggested both superpowers send troops to enforce the ceasefire - this was the source of the confrontation.
- Kissinger commented "We had not worked for years to reduce the Soviet military presence in Egypt only to cooperate in reintroducing it. Nor would we participate in a joint force with the Soviets."
- The aim was to exclude Soviet influence in the region - not encourage it!
- Kissinger willing to use force against the SU - especially if they decided to act unilaterally
- He also used the threat of Soviet intervention to pressurise Israel into accepting ceasefire
- USA now prime mover in Middle Eastern affairs - SU increasingly marginalised
- Kissinger organised a National Security Council meeting - DEFCON 3 declared
- Included Strategic Air Command (SAC) + North American Air Defence Command (NORAD)
- Aircraft Carriers Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John f Kennedy were moved to the Mediterranean to join the Independence
- Crisis ended with the intervention of UN international force to mange ceasefire
2 of 11
Impact of Middle East Crisis on Detente
- Sustained criticism of the USSR - Kohler, Goure and Harvey - "There is no doubt ... that the Soviet Union violated both the letter and spirit of the agreements signed at the Moscow and Washington Summit meetings"
- But USA also supplied client state with arms - neither superpower did everything possible to diffuse the situation
- Both sides breached the Basic Principles by looking to gain a unilateral advantage
- Neither side accused the other of violating agreements of Detente
- Superpowers brought warring states together in Geneva in December 1973
- Later, USA resumed its diplomatic efforts among Israelis and Arab states - 'shuttle diplomacy'
- 1974 - diplomatic relations restored between the USA, Egypt and Syria
- 18th March - Arab oil embargo placed on the USA during the war was lifted
- Soviets forged closer relations with Libya and the PLO - the latter officially recognised August 1974
- War generated growing numbers of opponents of Detente within the USA - they feared continued Soviet -American cooperation would be harmful to Israel (they thought Israeli occupied land would be traded for peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours)
3 of 11
Angolan Civil War 1975-1976
- Caused by revolution in Portugal in '74 that led to Angolan independence
- Scramble for power established - three groups involved (MPLA, FNLA and UNITA)
- Attempts to manage the rivalry came in Jan '75 with the Alvor Accords - the 3 groups agreed to cooperate with a transitional government
- External powers quickly began to intervene
- June '74 - China sends 120 military advisors to Zaire to aid the FNLA
- In July USA increases covert funding to FNLA - further increases after Alvor Accords
- MPLA recieved funds and arms from the USSR from October 1974 - war quickly flared up
- By late January '76 there were around 12,000 Cuban troops supporting the MPLA - they helped reach a final victory by March 1976
- MPLA declared creation of PRA (people's republic of Angola) in Nov '75, but this was not formally recognised by African states until Feb '76
- Relations with USSR and Cuba developed well - Cuba removes troops 1977
- Oct '76 USSR ratifies 20 year Treaty of Friendship
- USA vetoes Angola's UN application - changed position in November
- Cuban troops used to support President Agostinho Neto's suppression of an attempted coup by pro-Soviet Neto Alves - this weakened Neto's links with the USSR
4 of 11
The USA's position (Angola)
- Until SU was involved, USA thought superpower intervention was incompatible with Detente
- Neutrality from US would mean Neto may become dominant & Angolan politics would shift left - Zaire would think the US had no interest in Africa & become Anti-American
- Summer '75 - US questions whether SU aiding the MPLA was consistant with Detente
- Nov '75 - Angola not a threat to US strategic & economic interests: Kissinger - "The United States has no national interest in Angola"
- US -no objection to MPLA - didn't oppose Mozambique's similar leftist regime (FRELIMO)
- Dec '75 - Director of Central intelligence (William Colby) says all Angolan groups the same - independent and leftist: When asked why the US backed FNLA - "Because the Soviets are backing the MPLA is the simplest answer".
- US national interests not threatened by Soviet & Cuban intervention, but created by it.
- This placed even more strain on Detente
- Catalyst for US's response - increasing Cuban military aid & link the SU had with this
- Kissinger worried - the US couldn't stop MPLA getting Cuban & Soviet aid
- The USA's failure to act could be seen as a lack of committment to counter communism
- Detente couldn't survive if one side gained unilateral advantage as it appeared in Angola
5 of 11
Soviet Union's position (Angola)
- Didn't start aiding MPLA until the US was aiding FNLA (July '74)
- Priority was to ensure China didn't gain at their expense (SU couldn't be seen as less willing than China to aid liberation movements)
- China clear rival for SU influence in Southern Africa
- Compliance with Detente had (in Neto's view) made a link between US & SU that weakened SU credibility in Angola
- US & Chinese aid to FNLA seen as Sino-American collaberation aimed at gaining influence (springboard to launch the collective influence)
- SU certain that Sino-American actions were the result of improved relations since '71
- SU sure its actions were in line with the spirit of Detente
- Said they had legitimate right to aid 'peoples fighting for their liberation' - Castro also took this view (he was committed to socialist international cooperation to support liberation & feedom)
- SU wanted to avoid exposing thesmelves to the accusation that they wouldn't support progressive & Marxist liberation movements (especially in developing countries)
- SU wanted to expand own influence within developing world & undermine influence of China & the US
- Highlighted different perceptions of Detente
6 of 11
- In April 1978 a coup led to the overthrow of Muhammad Daoud, a cousin of the former King of Afghanistan
- Daoud had been in power since 1973, with the support of the People's Democratic Parry of Afghanistan (PDPA).
- It was the PDPA themselves that overthrew Daoud, mainly because he failed to implement the socialist principles he claimed to be committed to.
- It was the coup in April 1978 that ultimately led to the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan in the December 1979
- This invasion had a profound effect on international politics during the 1980s
7 of 11
SU & Afghanistan '78-'79
- The regime established by the PDPA had long been an ally of the Soviet Union, but it quickly began to fragment and eventually, a faction within it (led by Hafizullah Amin) gained control.
- This new dominant faction rapidly started a programme of radical, and sometimes disruptive land reform.
- They began a campaign against the influence of Islam by rejecting the wearing of the Islamic veil and the use of Islamic green in the national flag
- The Soviet Union was concerned that the regime was fast alienating many Afghans and this could lead to significant instability
- They also believed that Amin could realign Afghanistan with the United States, Pakistan and China.
- Essentially, Afghanistan could potentially become a threat situated directly on the Soviet borders.
- To the Soviet Union, Amin was an unreliable ally and was unable to control the growing Islamic opposition he was facing within Afghanistan
- The Soviets were in danger of losing their strategic, ideological, political and economic influence in Afghanistan.
8 of 11
Soviet interests in Afghanistan
- Border 2,500km long adjoining the Muslim Central Asian republics of the USSR
- Afghanistan socialist & a regional ally of the SU - if it alligned with the USA, it would strengthen US geo-strategic power in the region, at the expense of the SU
- Looked like the SU was aiding a threatened socialist state & protecting it from misgovernment by Amin - Really, the SU needed to protect its own security
- Brezhnev thought Afghanistan could be turned into "an imperialist bridgehead on our southern border" - could be a threat for the same reasons
- Afghanistan must remain buffer for Soviet security - military action had to occur to ensure this
- Intervention seen by the SU as a security necessity rather than opportunist expansionism
- Late '79 - US-Soviet relations already at a low point - further damage would be outweighed by the benefits of a pro-Soviet, stable Afghanistan
- SU saw their actions as consistant with Basic Principles (1972) - military action defence, desinged to stop Afghanistan plunging into chaos
- Intented to preserve - not destroy, the status quo
- Saw the Basic Principles as acceptance that superpower interests had to be guarded
- Within Soviet SOI - couldn't be seen as challenging the West and its interests
9 of 11
USA's reaction to Afghanistan
- After Daoud's removal - thought SU wouldn't intervene - questioned level of support for the new regime
- Events gained significance when Shah's pro-American regime was overthrown by Islamic fundementalists in Iran - US feared Khomeini's regime would collapse, leaving Iran vulnerable to leftist, or even communist influence
- Carter: "the United States has not interfered in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, we expect the Soviet Union to do the same"
- 27th Dec '79- Soviets kill Amin & increased troops (this began 24th Dec)
- US said this crossed line between influencing & intervening, Carter: "blatant violation of accepted international rules of behaviour" & "grave threat to peace - RIP Detente
- 3rd Jan '80 - Carter asks Senate to indefinately postpone any progress with SALT II
- Didn't consider SU's motives (defence & stability) - Carter's narrow thinking
- 4th Jan '80 - Carter set out measures aimed at SU, including: deferral of action on cultural & economic exchanges, restrictions on SU's fishing rights in American waters, ban on sales of tech & strategic items to SU, embargo on grain sales to SU + US military & economic aid to Pakistan to enhance security
- 23rd January 1980 - Carter Doctrine (for defence of Persian Gulf)
10 of 11
Carter Doctrine Jan 1980
- 8th Jan to Congress - "Our own nation's security is threatened"
- A part of Detente was to have some control over SU expansionism ('80 this was main aim)
- Carter Doctrine a US commitment to prevent SU advancing further into Persian Gulf
- Emphasised chance of military response to expansionism - built up US strategic forces
- Reinforced need to expand relations with China
- Carter tried persuading NATO to suspend East-West Detente, but it was working in Europe
- Europe expanded trade links with the SU
- Carter increased defence budget for 1981
- SU took the view that US was using events in Afghanistan as an excuse to halt Detente, revive nuclear arms race & gain strength in the Persian Gulf
- As far as the West was concerned, the invasion of Afghanistan demanded international condemnation and a policy of containment to prevent further Soviet expansion
- Didn't pose greatest threat since WWII but the US saw it that way
- Carter administration said its relationship with the SU depended on them withdrawing from Afghanistan
- US moved from Nixon-Kissinger approach of cooperation to a position of containment more associated with Truman, Eisenhower & Kennedy
11 of 11