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The Impact Of Limiting Nuclear Weapons During The Cold War

1846 words - 7 pages

What was the Effect of Limiting Nuclear Weapons during The Cold War?

A. Plan of Investigation

The investigation assesses the effect of limiting nuclear weapons during the Cold War. In order to evaluate its significance, the investigation evaluates the role of Détente and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talk during the Cold War. These causes are investigated by the SALT process, Strategic Defense Initiative, the role of Détente policy and it’s demolition, and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Articles are mostly used to evaluate the Détente Policy’s significance. Two sources used in the essay, The Cold War and The Cold War, A New History complied by Robert McMahon and John Lewis Gaddis are then evaluated for their origin, purpose, values and limitations.

B. Summary of Evidence

Prior to the demolition of the détente policy, it was used to lessen the danger of nuclear war through negotiation of verifiable arms control agreements, a hallmark of détente; the centerpiece was the Soviet-America effort to limit the nuclear arms race. Détente did not mean to replace the Cold War with a structure of peace, but to manage the Cold War in a safer and more controlled manner so as to minimize the possibility of accidental war or a destabilizing arms movement. Détente later turned into a “new correlation of forces in the world arena” as countries started accepting détente as a sign of power instead of out of weakness. Although at first, the process of European détente won popular approvals in Europe’s Cold War divide, leading to a significant increase in trade between Eastern and western Europe, greater individual freedom of movement across the Iron Curtain, claming tensions across central Europe, and the growth of the Soviet-American trade that grew from $220 million in 1971 to $2.8 billion in 1978 served as one of the more concrete by-products of détente and “one of the more prominent manifestations of the new Soviet-American relationship.” Soon Soviet actions appeared to be a dangerous threat. “North Vietnamese invasion spearheaded by Soviet made tanks and developments in Angola, one of the more complex international flashpoints” , wreaked additional damage on détente causing revolts to rise. Russian leaders worried that Americans were seeking to overturn the framework of détente in order to gain a strategic advantage which led to the deployment of intermediate-range missiles by the Russians and the counter-deployment of intermediate-range missiles by the US. This event caused the tensions between the Soviet Union and US to rise once again and further destroying détente. As soon as Reagan came into office he acclaimed “all Americans should be against [détente].” Reagan found that the broader process of détente was the growing tendency of the United States and other Western nations to treat the Soviet Union more as a great power whose interests needed to be accommodated than as an enemy state whose unwavering quest for global...

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