Detente: Jimmy Carter and Detente

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Jimmy Carter and Detente

During the mid 1970s US politicians became increasingly critical of detente - specifically of Soviet human rights violationsTheodore Draper, George Meany and Ronald Raegan felt the US should be using its power to challenge the immorality of Soviet policy. Jimmy Carter was elected in November 1976 and his campaign was highly critical of detente and reflected these concerns as well as a determination to pursue a more assertive and moral foreign policy.

Carter and arms control

  • Carter was critical of the SALT 2 negotiations and in 1977 he proposed much greater cuts than those agreed in Vladivostok in 1974.
    • Soviet leaders did not believe his proposals were serious or realistic.
  • Negotiations were further underminded by his decision in 1978 to invest in Trident - a new generation of nuclear missiles, and to build 23 new missile silos.
  • Soviet leaders were confused by his contradictory policy and found it difficult to trust the…


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