End of Detente

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Criticisms of Détente

After the mid-1970s there were signs that détente was falling apart:

  • The West became frustrated that the Soviet Union were still abusing human rights
    • For example, in the Eastern bloc, dissidents were prosecuted and suppressed
    • Another example is the supporters of Charter 77, by government action some were fired from work, children were expelled from school and citizenship and driving licenses were cancelled
    • Furthermore, Brezhnev cancelled an agreement in which the USA tried to get human rights for Soviet Jews
  • There were also suspicions about whether each side was keeping to the terms of SALT 1
    • In fact both sides were positioning more and more missiles against each other

SALT II 1977-79

SALT I ended in 1977. Carter attempted to achieve further arms reductions in the SALT II talks. However, Carter angered Brezhnev by trying to talk about human rights in a discussion about arms reduction. In the end; however, SALT II did not happen because of faults in diplomacy but because of word-wide condemnation of the USSR after they invaded Afghanistan.

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Afghanistan was a poor and barren country but it had an important location. It offered a route between the oil rich Middle…

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