• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How advantageous was the policy of detente to the management of the USA's Cold War diplomacy with the USSR in the 1970's

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How advantageous was the policy of détente to the management of the USA’s Cold War diplomacy with the USSR in the 1970’s? Throughout the period of the 1970’s the United States came to an agreement to improve relations, this agreement was détente. This policy was undertaken by President Richard Nixon and his security advisor Henry Kissinger played a crucial role in the creation of détente. It can be argued that the creation of détente was in fact advantageous to America as evidence of cooperation occurred with the likes of the Helsinki accords and the human rights element and arms control was reached with the likes of SALT treaties. Although on the other hand there are some elements of détente in which the USA did not benefit from such as SALT II never taking place, Helsinki accords were ignored and the eventual invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. This essay will argue that despite limited success in the policy of détente, it was an overall failure. ...read more.

Middle

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, there was a lot of tension and hostility between China and the USA. This can explicitly be seen through the “hot wars” that occurred in Asia, including the Korean War, the Taiwan conflict, and most significantly Eisenhower’s threat to detonate their nuclear weapons on China if they invaded Taiwan. However, Détente allowed the two countries to ease the hostility and tension between the two countries. Détente improved Sino-American relations through Sport events, the most famous being “Ping Pong Diplomacy” where the US table tennis team was invited to China to play a friendly table tennis competition. Eventually rapprochement was created between the USA and China and indirectly this benefitted the relations between the USSR and the USA. It is questionable whether China was a superpower or not, regardless, they were still a powerful nation. As the USA has improved relations with this powerful nation the USSR became threatened, therefore a key factor in the USSR’s decision to improve their relations with the USA. ...read more.

Conclusion

The invasion of Afghanistan marked the end of Détente whilst the USA responded with the “Carter doctrine”, which was the U.S intervention in the Persian Gulf if the Soviets threatened its interests there. Additionally, President Carter responded to the USSR actions by refusing to approve SALT II, stopping all electronic exports to the Soviet Union and forbidding US athletes to participate in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Whilst there had been very obvious successes during Détente, this brief period of relaxation of tension cannot be viewed as an overall success. Initially détente started off well with the agreements of the SALT treaty and Helsinki accords. For a short time it did reduce tensions between the two nations and a threat of nuclear war, but this was very brief and weak policy. As mentioned, little was achieved in the SALT treaty, and SALT II never actually took place. It can be interpreted that the Soviets used détente for their success, using their policy to gain access to Western technology (Helsinki trade agreements) and after Détente occurred, the American’s under Reagan’s leadership, took a very hardline approach to the Soviet Union. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    * Freedom of expression was restricted, and although Khrushchev relaxed some of the controls that Stalin had put into place and reduced the powers of the Secret Police, he did not allow complete freedom. Criticism of the Communist Party and the Soviet way of life was not allowed.

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    By declaring that its dissolution had been "proper and timely",40 Stalin must have reached the conclusion that, under its revisionist leadership, the Comintern had ceased to be of any use as an organ of the socialist revolution.

  1. Why did the USA pursue a policy of detente in the early 1970's?

    President Nixon faced a number of problems both domestically and internationally, none of which would be fixed by America's then foreign policy. It was clear that America needed to bite the bullet and prepare to negotiate with the Soviet's and China.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    But the consequences were to limit severely the flexibility necessary to a multifaceted and effective diplomacy, and to force national leaders to invoke moral - even religious - idealism as a basis for actions that might well fall short of the expectations generated by moralistic visions.

  1. What part did Ronald Reagan play in bringing the Cold War to an end?

    After Brezhnev's death in1982 Soviet diplomacy had, 'drifted into a state of paralysis,'16 since Andropov and Chernenko were ineffective leaders, and so any sort of constructive dialogue between Washington and Moscow was practically impossible until Gorbachev came to power. Hence one could argue that Reagan could not have pursued a

  2. From Cold War to Detente 1962-1981 - Cuban crisis and international relations.

    Showed that International relations cannot be conducted through crisis management. Creation of the 'hot-line' in 1963, connecting Russia and American (Kremlin and Whitehouse). Some say its symbolic value was greater than its practical application. o What was detente? The easing of tensions throughout International relations.

  1. How True is it to say that the period 1953-1962 saw a relaxation of ...

    meeting with Eisenhower and other Western leaders signalled a sharp reversal of Stalinist foreign policy, and it is important not to underestimate the value of communication, even if little is actually agreed. The conference also did much to boost Soviet conference, as Khrushchev considered Eisenhower a 'mediocre military leader and

  2. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    Terror and repression were partially relaxed * Khrushchev developed the policy of destalinisation further after 1956 * Seeing the ?New Course? and relaxation of terror and repression occur in the Soviet Union, the communist states of Eastern Europe called for a similar liberalisation within their own regime.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work