Stabilising and De Stabilising Consquences of the Arms Race

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  • Created by: Ffyona
  • Created on: 30-05-16 20:24


  • Deterrent effect - as Garnett notes, the presence of nuclear weapons meant that both superpowers were careful not to 'tread too heavily on each other's toes.'
  • For example, the US didn't intervene in East Germany (1953) nor Hungary (1956.) For all of Eisenhower's rhetoric about 'roll-back' and 'massive retaliation' such things were growing more and more unlikely. Spheres of influence were increasingly respected and abided by - European territory didn't seem worth the risk of nuclear annihilation. Outside of European territory too - American coups in Iran (1953) and Guatamala (1954) drew little Soviet reaction. Impact of MAD, became official policy in September 1967 when nuclear parity occurred. Garthoff 'restraining, deterring effect.'
  • Superpowers had to co-operate to regulate the nuclear threat, such as the removal of nuclear missiles from Cuba and Turkey (1962-1963) Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (August 1963) and Hot Line agreement (1963, June) This is despite renewed testing in August 1961 after voluntary moratorium engendered by publicity appeal.
  • Churchill: safety will be the sturdy child of terror, and survival the twin brother of annihilation.' 'Universality of potential destruction.'
  • Peter Calvocoressi: 'increasing sobriety.... fearful intimacy.'
  • Gaddis: 'as the means of fighting great wars became exponentially more devastating, the likelihood of such wars diminished.'


  • Despite destructive force of nuclear weapons, the arms race didn't slow down or halt. In fact,


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