Detente: How successful was detente 1969 - 1976?


How successful was detente 1969 - 1976?

SALT 2 negotiations

  • After the success of SALT 1, further arms control was difficult to achieve.
  • SALT 2 negotiations were protracted and difficult and by 1976 the terms of the treaty were still being dsicussed:
    • The US's allies in Europe were concerned about the deployment of the Soviet SS20 medium-range missile.
    • The West Germans were worried that US arms reduction would leave Germany poorly defended.
    • There was resistance in the US Congress - Henry Jackson argued that the USSR would use the treaty to slow US arms production in order the ovetake the US in terms of miltary might.
    • The Watergate Scandal, which led to Nixon's resignation, sapped the authority of the US government weaking its negotiating position at the Vladivostok Summit 1974.
    • The Vladivostok Agreement of 1974 set out the basis for further negotations: both sides agreed to equal limits for missile launchers and strategic bombers.
    • However, the Vladivostok Agreement fell short of a full treaty and SALT 2 negotiations continued in the late 1970s.


  • One of Nixon and Kissinger's main aims for detente was the normalisation of superpower relations.


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