The origins of Détente 1969-1972


A-Levels Cold War (Détente) Mind Map on The origins of Détente 1969-1972, created by jacksearle on 04/29/2014.
Mind Map by jacksearle, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by jacksearle over 9 years ago

Resource summary

The origins of Détente 1969-1972
  1. Introduction
    1. The Nature of Détente
      1. Broadly, Détente refers to a period in which US and USSR attempted to reach general agreement on arms reduction and trade relations
        1. Détente also characterised by summits between senior figures and a reduction in hostile propaganda
          1. However, détente didnt include any attempt to resolved ideological difference
      2. Nixon and Détente
        1. Nixon became president in 1969
          1. Détente was one of his key policy objectives - therefore is dated as the beginning of his presidency
        2. Superpowers and Détente
          1. Both sides united in pursuing D in order to avoid a nuclear war
            1. 1963-1969 USSR began to close the 'missile gap' with the US
              1. By 1969 - arms race had created a situation in which a full scale nuclear war would lead to 'mutually assured destruction' MAD
                1. Both sides recognised that it was vital to avoid nuclear war
        3. Reasons for the USA to pursue Détente
          1. Vietnam
            1. N's govt primary objective was the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam
              1. Vietnam war had weakened US moral authority as leader of the free world
                1. Also very expensive - 1969 alone - cost $30 billion
                  1. N hoped withdrawal could be achieved, in part, by improving relations with USSR - who had supported the Vietcong since Brezhnev came to power in late 1964
            2. Economics
              1. By 1970, the 'long post-war boom' was coming to an end
                1. Inflation reached 6% in 1970
                  1. Unemployment rose to more than 5% in early 70s
                    1. Early 70s witnessed the end of Bretton Woods currency system - system that fixed international exchange rates - the collapse of the system and the introduction of free-floating currencies made international trade less stable - leading to economic difficulties in West
                    2. Détente offered partial solution to USAs economic concerns, as it had the potential to create a reduction in defence spending and greater trade with USSR
                    3. Kissinger's realpolitik
                      1. Nixon govt, particularly Kissinger, committed to 'realpolitik'
                        1. Détente was an expression of realpolitik, focused on practical issues such as arms reduction, rather than solving ideological differences
                          1. Realpolitik meant the USA maintaining realistic goals in dealings with China and USSR - rather than pursuing an ideological struggle
                      2. Normalisation
                        1. Kissinger believed that process of negotiation could 'normalise' the superpower relationship
                          1. He believed that détente could create a framework in which the 2 superpowers could work, preventing erratic behaviour on part of the USSR
                      3. Reasons for the USSR to pursue Détente
                        1. Economics
                          1. USSR economy roughly a sixth of the size of the USA's
                            1. Increasing demands for consumer goods from the population - that the economy could not fulfil
                              1. Détente allowed Russian leaders to ease economic problems by reducing defence spending and encouraging loans and trade from West
                          2. Nuclear Parity
                            1. USSR economy could not produce nuclear weapons as effectively as the USA
                              1. By end of 69, USA's nuclear arsenal 28200 warheads - USSR held only 11000
                                1. Détente offered USSR chance of achieving nuclear parity - through treaties that limited nuclear stockpiles of both countries
                            2. China
                              1. deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations and USA's increading willingness to negotiate with China caused the Soviet politburo to fear a Sino-US anti-Soviet alliance
                                1. Détente was an attempt to diffuse this by establishing a working relationship with the USA
                              2. The Third World
                                1. Brezhnev was committed to extending Soviet influence in the third world
                                  1. That risked destabilising the US-USSR relationship
                                    1. Détente was an attempt to placate the USA and therefore extend influence in the 3rd world without risking further conflict
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