• 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

    * As in all other communist states, no other political parties were permitted and elections involved a selection from a list of candidates supplied by the communists. * The Communist Party controlled the media, which meant that there was no legal means of finding out about what was happening in

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

    Stalin did not hold free elections in Eastern Europe and the American press turned increasingly hostile to Russia. However, as Robert Dallek has pointed out in Franklin Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, FDR was hoping the future United Nations

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

    Operation Quick Kick, show of American military might which made Cuba conclude they would only stand for a week against an attack. Led to Khrushchev deploying Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba in 1962. o How did the crisis develop and how was it 'resolved'?

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

    Khrushchev believed that peaceful co-existence with the west was both possible and necessary, and acknowledged that in a full-scale nuclear war there could be no winners. At the twentieth party congress he denounced Stalin and began the process of rehabilitation of those who had been sent to labour camps during the purges.

  1. Chinese Foreign Policy & National Security - Engaging China: Seoul-Beijing Détente and Korean Security

    What are the implications on North Korea? For a quarter-century after the Korean War, Sino-South Korean relations sat at the intersection of the global East-West conflict and the Sino-Soviet split, making any hint of cooperation impossible.1 However, since the middle 1980s, Sino-South Korean relationship has moved from being sworn

  2. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    the USA led to the US increasing arms output in fear of being overtaken by the Soviet Union. What factors promoted a ?thaw? in Superpower relations between 1948-1955 After 1953 there were attempts to establish some dialogue between the superpowers, helped in part by the change in leadership of both the Soviet Union and the USA.

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