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Assess The Main Achievements Of DÉTente

659 words - 3 pages

Détente is the name given to the period between 1963 and 1979, when the relations between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, experienced relaxed tension. Its main achievements were political, various summits were held and agreements were signed; in the field of economics, with increased trade; and in the field of science with increased cooperation between scientists of the two sides.The first SALT was signed in May 1972. It had its roots within the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 and the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. SALT1 reached an agreement in three areas: the use of anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM), offensive nuclear weapons and the code of conduct. The advantage of the ABM treaty was that it provided knowledge that the other side could strike back if attacked, and hence the risk of war was diminished. However the Interim Treaty on offensive nuclear missiles was much barer. Both sides only agreed to one temporary agreement which would expire in 1977. Moreover each country was allowed to replace old obsolete missiles with new more better performing ones, favouring the USA which was technologically more developed. Furthermore, although the number of weapons each country retained was limited there were still enough to destroy the other several times over. The Basic Principles Agreements not only laid down important rules for the conduct of nuclear warfare but also encouraged trade between the two sides. This agreement marked a shift from the atmosphere of confrontation, even thought it was a mere statement of intent. The first SALT was an achievement in the area of politics, as the treaty was signed and Nixon visited Moscow in 1972 and 1974, and Brezhnev visited Washington in 1973; and the area of economics, as relationships improved which lead to increased trade.The Helsinki agreement started in 1973 and ended in 1975. It was a meeting between 33 states, NATO and Warsaw pact countries. Here, three sets of agreements were reached: the...

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