Detente was an international policy that was mainly taken up by the USA, USSR and their respective allies. However due to various actions taken by both sides, it had failed by 1979, returning to the pre-detente era sass’s Truman style conflict. One way in which both the USA and USSR had failed detente was through the lack of any decisions being agreed on during the SALT 2 negotiations of 1979.
The SALT 2 negotiations were set up in order for the Soviet Union and the USA to ratify agreements made in SALT 1 as well as come to new agreements in terms of arms limitation including limiting the number of Molar missiles. These talks therefore did not cause any major steps in terms of halting the arms race and very little was agreed during the 1972-79 period. This was partly due to the change in power of the USA changing from Nixon to Carter in 1977.
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The change in power was a main factor in causing the breaking down of negotiations due to the fact that Carter approached USA-USSR relations in a way that was more closely related to Eisenhower or Kennedy Han Nixon as shown by his “Carter Diplomacy’ speech where he himself announced the change in policy. On the other hand, it can also be argued the Soviet Union also played a part in making sure nothing new was agreed or ratified at SALT 2 by invading Afghanistan which Carter claimed was a violation of “international rules of behavior” and therefore shut down negotiations in the US senate in 1980 because of this.
This showed the failure of dГ??tenet as it showed the USA not wanting to co- operate with the Soviet Union and the USSR breaking international rules of engagement by invading Afghanistan which signified the end of SALT 2 as well as the end of dГ??tenet. Another way in which both powers can be seen to have caused the end of dГ??tenet is through the actions that took place by both the USA and the Soviet Union during the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1973.
This can be backed up by the fact that during the conflict, both sides armed their respective allies (the USA to Israel and the USSR to Syria) with weapons meaning that both sides were fighting a proxy war against each other, weather they meant for it to happen or not, they were fighting against each other indirectly and both equally going against the policy of dГ??tenet.
It can also argued that the USA at this point were purposefully attempting to marginal’s Soviet influence in the Middle East at that time, Kissing said so himself; “our policy to reduce and where possible remove soviet influence in the Middle East was in fact making progress under the cover of dГ??tenet”. This shows how the USA were in fact abandoning their policy of dГ??tenet and using it in order to gain further influence in the Middle East and Marginal’s Soviet presence there.
The Soviets felt this and began to question how much of a positive influence dГ??tenet was on the Soviet Union and whether or not it was serving in their best interest. Despite the Aqua’s best efforts however, the Soviet Union were able to strengthen their ties with Syria and Egypt as well as forming a relationship with the PLOP showing how the USSR was attempting to expand its sphere of influence despite dГ??tenet still technically how both superpowers were beginning to question dГ??tenet and so reducing its influence on policy towards each other.
On the other hand, it can be argued that DГ??tenet was still being practiced to some extent by both superpowers. One example of this was the agreement on the prevention of nuclear war in 1973. This agreement was where both the Soviet Union and the USA agreed to, if tensions became too high, to have urgent discussions and avoid a nuclear war as much as possible. This shows dГ??tenet still having an influence on both superpower’s polices as it shows both sides acknowledging the danger that they posed to the word at that time and making an agreement on it rather than letting their differences as nations get in the way.
The USA saw this agreement as a way to keep the Soviet Union committed to dГ??tenet and therefore carry on improving relations between them. The Soviet Union saw the agreement as a way to limit the power of the USA and so make the USA less of a threat to them. This also shows the Soviet Union realizing their weakness in contrast to the USA and because of this, taking steps in order to make peace with the USA, not just for the world’s sake, but for their own as well. Some however saw the agreement as bland including Kissing himself who described it as such.
The Soviet Union also saw the agreement as a way for the USA to limit the User’s power to help developing countries like Angola and Afghanistan break free from capitalism therefore limiting their sphere of influence. Despite these opinions, the main opinions within both superpowers was that this agreement was a step in the right direction for dГ??tenet due to the fact it prevented nuclear war from being a threat, at least theoretically and wowed that both powers were willing to negotiate even if tensions were so high to the point that nuclear war was being considered.
Another way in which detente could be seen as still an important factor in both superpower’s policies towards each other was the agreement of the twelve basic principles in 1972. This was where the USA and USSR agreed to twelve “basic principles” that both superpowers would try to abide by in terms of relations towards each other. Examples of these principles included accepting a “special responsibility’ where both powers accepted they had n international responsibility to prevent a nuclear war as this would endanger the rest of the world.
This can be seen as a predecessor to the agreement on the prevention of nuclear war in 1973 as the agreement follows the same basic principles. There were also examples of how both were trying to achieve peaceful coexistence through culture as well as military and economic relations, for example the 9th principle; “ninth. The two sides reaffirm their intention to deepen cultural ties with one another and to encourage fuller familiarization with each other’s cultural values. They will promote improved conditions for cultural exchanges and tourism. This shows the continuation of dГ??tenet as it shows both nations attempting to make policy guidelines for how they could eventually achieve peaceful coexistence. While the policies were not legally imposed, they did become so in the form of other treaties, for example the prevention of nuclear war agreement in 1973 as well as the Vladivostok accord in 1974 where Mires were limited further showing the influence the basic principles had on further dГ??tenet related agreements.
It is apparent that Г??tenet declined due to actions by both powers by 1979, for example the SALT 2 talks making little to no progress as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict reigniting Truman- influence. However, it can be argued that it was a change in power and policy from the USA that was a main trigger for the ideological changes for both sides due to the fact that Carter’s administration showed Truman like hostility towards the Soviet Union rather than continuing Onion’s policy of dГ??tenet as shown by his failure to come to any agreements during the SALT 2 negotiations and later their policy to Afghanistan.