Agreement reached on anti-ballistic missile systems – 2 systems each, 1 for their capital cities and 1 for their main nuclear site
Limits placed on no. of ICBMs & SLBMs (Submarine-launched ballistic missiles) of 1054 and 740 respectively
offensive nuclear weapons
Code of conduct :USA pledged to ‘do their utmost to avoid military confrontations’ & ‘to exercise restraint’
Trade was to be encouraged
Consideration given to US lead in the arms race, i.e. Soviets could have more weapons as their delivery systems and spying equipment was inferior to US
SALT II :set equal limits for missile launchers & strategic bombers
Dialogue channels remained open between incoming President Carter and increasingly weak Soviet premier Brezhnev
HELSINKI ACCORDS: attended by 33 states from NATO and Warsaw Pact; agreement reached over European borders of Warsaw Pact in return for 3 baskets: Basket one: acceptance of European borders (including East Germany); Basket two: trade & technology exchanges (similar to Geneva Summit, 1955); Basket three: respect for human rights, e.g. freedom of speech & movement; organisations set up to monitor governments & actions
Failures of Detente
SALT I: talks were delayed by Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia
Difficulty in agreeing over which weapons systems should be included as both sides had different types of weapons; tendency to focus on setting limits for existing systems, ignoring the possibility of newer more powerful technologies, e.g. didn’t include MIRVs (multiple independent re-entry vehicles); old obsolete missiles could be replaced with new ones; code of Conduct was very open-ended and little more than a statement of intent
SALT II: Left out cruise missiles – where the USA had a significant lead
Right saw SALT II as too much of a concession to USSR and allowed them to catch up with the US, obliging Jimmy Carter to renegotiate the treaty when he took over from Ford as President in 1977; Treaty was highly technical & detailed & ‘not understood by the average senator’; SALT II rejected by Congress in 1980 and treaty was never ratified
HELSINKI: Little substantive detail; no references to arms reductions
Why did Détente fail?
1. Trigger for failure of detente and 2nd Cold War beginning = 1979 invasion of Afghanistan
– last straw – distrust of USSR: Widespread condemnation by west – expansionism
Carter’s language much harsher
Withdrew from SALT 2, cut off trade, boycotted Olympics in Moscow 1980
Increased arms spending and nuclear weapons, limitation over
Thatcher supported this more strident approach
1980 Presidential election centred on foreign policy – Afghanistan etc. Reagan hostile to USSR his election symbolized disillusionment with détente. Reagan increased defence spending by 13% in 1982 and by 8% in each of the next 2 yrs.
But Détente already in difficulties before this, during Carter’s administration 1976 on problems appeared 2. Successes of detente mixed – Little achieved in real terms
did not always achieve the reduction in tension desired& sometimes agreements even ignored
Human rights still an area of dispute, USSR continued to violate Helsinki
Carter tried linkage here, linking economic aid, trade to human rights e.g. to allow jews to emigrate to Israel. Deeply resented by USSR and many in US saw USSR as still trying to evade these rules therefore why still negotiate with them
e.g. other limited successes....
3. Impact on arms race minimal
Some in US objected already saying the arms talks benefitted the soviets – ussr catching up
Even becoming superior in icbms
SALT 2 agreed 1979 but Senate refused to accept it
4. tension not reduced in some parts of world
Actions in 3rd world seemed to indicate USSR expanding influence upsetting many in west – increasing distrust of USSR
US adviser Brzezinski – hardline anti Soviet (polish) “detente was buried in the sands of Ogadon” Somalia
3rd World Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia, Soviet activity in supporting civil wars here fed neo-conservative demands for tough action, Carter sent weapons e.g. to El Salvador and Nicuaragua v. communists – Detente died in the deserts of the horn of Africa
In Yom Kippur war when Egypt invaded Israel, USA suspected that USSR had supported Egypt and known in advance despite an agreement they had signed to inform each other of any conflict which might threaten world peace
5. Domestic mood in US – election of Reagan and rise of Republican right – ideological continuity
Conflicting advice to Carter – Weinberger v Brizinski
US recovered from humiliation of Vietnam (now a couple of years away from events, less raw) & want to restore prestige in world. Detente seen as weak and giving up on principles and ideology so long fought for
Iranian hostage = humiliating for that prestige and must restore it. Carter had initially refused to negotiate to get US families out, finally released 1981, US seemed weak therefore more demands from US right to act tough.
A Return to containment and past “glories” and firm posturing, defense of ideals of democracy and freedom, hence rhetoric of Reagan and determinist approach – US preordained to fight communism good v evil
Reagan Doctrine – money to those around the world fighting communism, defence spending up – return to old policies
“human rights as soul of foreign policy” seen as “soft on communism” much as Truman had been accused of and Carter the butt of jokes.
This mirrored by view that detente and Carter had actually allowed the Soviets to make gains both territorially and strategically (arms) and that this might ultimately harm US national security – similarly critical of ostpolitik for reaching an accommodation with Eastern block rather than maintain rigidly to policy aiming to reunify Germany and fight communism.
6. USSR also some elements opposed détente
Unease over Helsinki Accord criticism from west
Soviet military wanted to increase weapons to support policy in 3rd world
Brezhnev very ill, Soviet decision making slow, negotiations slow, therefore easier to be hard line in talks
USSR always has divisions between reformers and hard liners – gerontocracy ruled so hard line approach, maintaining attitudes from 2ww, meant little change and an acceptance of the older ways of doing things. Khrushchev had lost his position because of his attempts to formulate a new type of policy but one which had become increasingly unpredictable and caused danger to the USSR. Fearful therefore of “new policies”
By end of 1970s “the complexities and contradictions of détente had become explosive” Fitzgerald The Cold War and beyond.
détente failed because there was ultimately no “paradigm” shift in the way the two sides viewed each other i.e. ideologically and in terms of national security
End of Cold War
Reagan responsible for ending Cold War 1. Increasing nuclear arms : to regain military supremacy; to push USSR to economic brink as she probably wouldn’t be able to match US thereby get concessions from USSR from a position of strength; military spending up (Congress agreed i.e public support, post Vietnam and after humiliation of US = Iran, & USSR aggression: Afghanistan, SS20s put in E Europe )
1982 defence spending increased by 13%, and over =8% in the following 2 yrs: unprecedented; New delivery systems: Stealth bombers, Trident submarines, SDI (star wars)
2. Reagan Doctrine: halt growth of Soviet influence in 3rd World; weaken the USSR “at the edges” (see map of world according to Reagan’s republicans); put Soviet economy under strain by forcing them to give more support to 3rd world; prove to USSR once again that USA would take forceful action v. communist expansion; send aid to anti-communist insurgents & governments
Nicaragua: arms to the Contras in Nicaragua, v. Sandanistas (the Communist Gov)
El Salvador: US supported an unpopular gov facing a popular revolt by left
Grenada 1983: US deposed the left wing gov
Afghanistan: stinger anti aircraft missles to mujahedeen
Europe: Voice of America broadcasts to encourage E bloc to revolt
Poland: US loans and bank credits cut and tariffs on polish goods when Solidarity banned
Advantage to US: led to few instances of US troops being involved unlike Vietnam, instead massive use of CIA operations; dDisadvantages to US: actions not always popular in wider world – US interfering in internal politics and a threat to the liberty of the people of those nations – critics in west and also in developing nations often with left wing govs. United in this view;supporting regimes which were anti-communist eg. Marcos in the Philippines criticized as had poor human rights record
3. Summits: Second Term in office from 1984 Reagan CHANGED approach and was supportive of the new USSR leader Gorbachev, less confrontational. Both men agreed on their desire to reduce or even eliminate nuclear weapons. Supporting Gorbachev build a reputation as a world statesman making it easier for him to impose change at home. 1988 Reagan went to Moscow, asked about the “evil empire” he replied “that was a different time, a different era”; Thatcher met Gorbachev and reported back that “he was a man she could do business with); 1985 Geneva Summit: Reagan agreed to meet him– a strong personal friendship resulted; 1986 Reykjavik Summit followed – Gorbachev produced suggestions for a)reduction of Intermediate Nuclear Forces drastically in Europe : eliminated Intermediate range ballistic missiles in Europe and also limit total number in world;b) get rid of nuclear weapons in 10 yrs if SDI cancelled. – Reagan would not agree to the later; 1987 Washington Summit: agreed to the INF Treaty as suggested at Reykjavik; 1988: Geneva Accords agreed to withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan; 2 more summits held before Reagan left office in 1989
4.Strong relationship and respect for Gorbachev , popular with media and therefore Presidents; Image – good relations continued under Bush Sr next President.
How important was Reagan?
US certainly seen as tough but morally questionable
Reagan more effective because had a right wing GB PM – Thatcher to support him – similar view of “evil empire” - “the iron lady” see ppt of pics on special relations
Thatcher agreed to have nuclear bases in UK – vital in increasing pressure & threat to USSR
Unintentionally, it was Gorbachev’s changes which helped USSR collapse. Ironically in trying to save the USSR Gorbachev destroyed it & Reagan’s support for him on the world stage was vital
Economically – put pressure on, little evidence that USSR had the ability to react but did put pressure on Gorby to find new policies to deal with pressure i.e. perestroika and glasnost.
“Triumphalist” US historians or “Reagan Victory school”claim Cold War ended because of the pressure, especially economic pressure Reagan put on USSR and his “evil empire” rhetoric gave them no where to hide anymore from the fact that they could not compete with the economic might of USA. Republican right thrilled that detente ended, USSR could no longer “catch up” and a tough stance was again taken against an expansionist and ideological threat.
However other factors to remember a) Reagan changed his approach in 2nd term b) Gorbachev had to be in place & his new ideas had to attain some support at home before change could really happen c) Politburo discussions seem to show that ec pressure was not so great as they did not entirely believe in SDI as a possibility d) as a command economy they could still have put more resources towards arms, the Russian people were used to deprivation e) voices in E Europe calling for change already (Poland) so it not Reagan alone.
Gorbachev responsible for end of Cold War Gorbachev – new leader of USSR facilitated change 1985 – New Political Thinking
Committed communist so had support from Party.
New Politburo members with similar mind sets – Shevardnadze as Foreign Minister
Confrontation with west now seen as unproductive as a) arms race b) increased insecurity
Gorbachev had to solve serious problems
Enormous military spending – need arms limitation talks with USA in order not to leave USSR undefended; Afghanistan shown huge cost, 15000 Red Army killed, $8 billion per annum, and no decisive result supporting 3rd world – Cuba, Vietnam even Africa approx $40 billion
Economic & political stagnation in USSR’s system
1. Glasnost – openness, new ideas esp after catastrophe of Chernobyl nuclear power station which seemed to prove in his first year all the failings of the Soviet system a) technology unreliable & not maintained b) secretive system – information on disaster not even given clearly to Gorbachev until after neighbouring countries contacted USSR c) reluctance from those in positions of power to change anything – vested interests would lose their privileges and fear of punishment given previous history of USSR = Gorbachev had to introduce more openness in Soviet society in order to allow economic reform to happen, otherwise kept getting blocked by those in power. His first attempts at perestroika were blocked, hence he introduced glasnost and limited democratisation
2. Democratisation – only way to get perestroika to work was to change Party officials blocking it so stimulate political change to get economic change.
Jan 1987 Central Committee mtg G announced members of local Soviets would now be elected by people not Party and there would be a choice of candidates
Direct elections also for several important Soviet posts G trying to bring in reformers
1988 – changes to Gov of Soviet Union –
Supreme Soviet wd now consist of 400 members chosen from Congress of People’s Deputies.
Congress would have 2/3 of its members elected by universal suffrage & 1/3 from “people’s” organisations including the Communist Party
Supreme Soviet would now meet as a Parliament
1988 Elections held for Congress – they were “semi free” as non Party candidates allowed
88% of successful candidates from Communist Party but prominent dissidents e.g. Sakharov were elected
Beginning of loss of grip on power by Communist Party – seen by satellite states in Europe
Supreme Soviet (Parliament) televised sessions, exiciting viewing when reformers clashed with conservatives
even leading to elections in March 1989
More criticism of communism – encouraged push for more reform.. influenced E Europe
3. Perestroika – restructure economy – liberalise so some private enterprise
Law on State Enterprises (88) meant 60% of state enterprises moved away from state control & remaining 40% followed in 1989 – factories and businesses could now trade with each other and set own prices. A quota of goods produced still went to state but it was possible to sell the remainder at a profit. Small private businesses and worker’s cooperatives were set up
Problem – still how to set prices and measure demand – led to shortages and severe ec problems as ec dislocation during reform process – led to unrest. Cultural shift too, more aware of western goods & fashion, demands for jeans and gum. July 89 miners in Kuzbass region on strike when got no soap – strike spread to 500,000 miners, adn 160,00 from other industries. Better working conditions wanted AND a trade union and greater political freedom (similar to Solidarity in Poland in early 1980s
Ec reform failed: Afghanistan etc still costly & even fewer goods in shops by 1990 than in 1985
Incomes rose but output fell and shortages worse – basics e.g soap, salt, matches gone
Quality fell, queues even longer, black market flourished,
By 1990 25% of pop living below poverty line
No smooth transition to democracy so the political instability led to economic slow down (prod fell by 4% in 1990 and by 15% in 1991)
4. Ended the Brezhnev Doctrine 1985 Gorbachev made it clear he would not support socialist governments in E Europe if there was unrest against them. He encouraged the “Sinatra Doctrine” do it my (or your own) way
1989 – Gorbachev visits E Germany – after the various unrest in Poland etc clear that USSR was no longer intervening according to the Brezhnev Doctrine (brought in to crush “Prague Spring” in Czech 1968)
USSR less eager to interfere in E Europe because
a) Afghanistan indecisive & costly – disillusionment in USSR about such activities
b) Cost – Polish uprising in 1981 Andropov had thought very costly to invade
c) Gorbachev genuinely thought some liberalization necessary and he was doing so at home in the spirit of glasnost and democratisation.
d) Gorbachev even considered armed intervention morally wrong
e) with Cold war tension ending, no need for cold war reasons to maintain such control over E Europe
Instead Gorbachev focused on universal human rights to promote interests of people around world
5. Withdrew from Afghanistan – saved money, and proved to US that no longer expansionist
6. Proposed discussions to US onreduction of nuclear weapons, even with a view to their elimination which led to a series of summit meetings with Reagan who willingly supported Gorbachev enabling his reforms to take hold and for Gorbachev personally to gain prestige
Geneva Summit 1985 Reagan and Gorbachev met.. friendly, but little of substance – laid foundations
Reykjavik 1986: Gorbachev introduced idea of phasing out medium range nuclear weapons but wanted SDI stopped. Surprised Americans but no agreement reached.
Washington Summit 1987: Intermediate Forces Treaty signed, leading to scrapping of medium range missiles – 1st agreement to reduce rather than control. Also spoke in New York at UN
Moscow summit 1988: Signed even more details of INF treaty and also went on to meet in New York and agree more reductions.
Malta Summit 1989: Gorbachev met new leader Bush Sr. again good relations but no agreements. Announced they had ended cold war.
1990 huge economic problems in USSR, led to unrest. Hardliners thought USSR lost power and prestige. Critical situation but G refused to declare state of emergency in 1991
Coup – G on holiday in Crimea – hard line old guard took over in Moscow and put him & family under house arrest. Boris Yeltsin (President of Russian Soviet Republic) became hero of hour, demanded return of G and arrest of old guard. Protests in Moscow but on massive scale. Army decided not to act, key
But he found Communist Party had lost its authority
Yeltsin hero of the hour (who tore up his Party card & even banned Russian Communist Party after coup
25 Aug 1991 Gorbachev resigned as Gen Sec of CPSU
Dec 1991 USSR had ceased to exist Ukraine, Russia, Belarus formed the Commonwealth of Independent States
Nationalism was unleashed by Gorbachev’s reforms – no longer a black and white cold war of communism v capitalism
Historians – Gorbachev as an individual credited with ending Cold War for bringing in new policies – being a of a new generation
But his role inextricably linked with economic weakness of USSR under Brezhnev and command economy system And also the “bankruptcy of socialism” as an ideology as more and more esp in E Europe criticised the system
So Gorbachev + economic system + end of ideological system + E Europe all combine but all ultimately need the new generation of Gorbachev to come about with the new ideas before change could really happen.
Failures of Communism responsible for end of Cold War 1. E. Europe: Economic problems
Prosperity less than W Europe
Inefficient state controlled industry – quality and quantity
Heavy industry prioritized over consumer – restless people, clothing, housing in short supply
Privileged groups in society – managers, party members etc – resentment
Little innovation no incentives
Oil prices increase in 1973 head meant difficult to get credit for foreign exchange and investment
Technology increasingly out of date – slow to get computers, robots etc
Growth rates declining, almost stagnant by 1980s – bureaucracy seemed a brake on development
TV stations received in E Europe – showed the western prosperity, western music, cinema and fashion being taken note of in east – mass consumer society in sharp contrast to drab misery of east.Capitalism seemed attractive
Prices rises eg. Poland 1976 60%, 1988 av rise 48%, debt to west $25 mill 1980, loans made dependent on reform. All led to protests by workers
a) Leadership often hardliners, older generation, many convinced communists. But they were an older generation, of 2ww mentality. Their reluctance to change annoyed younger generation in a different context
Bulgaria: Zhivkov, who had heroically resisted Hitler & brought in communism. No longer appropriate Hungary: been in power since 1956
Czech leader since 1968, Jakes (Stalinist) took over 1987 Husak
E Germany : Honecker – increasingly out of touch, even Gorbachev noted that during his visit Oct 1989, crowd shouted Gorby i.e. preferred his way to Honecker’s. Honecker’s intransigence to change led to frequent public protests e.g. the Monday protests in Leipzig. He wanted to use force against them which led to pressure on him to resign and then the fiasco of the opening of the Berlin Wall Nov 9th 1989.
E Germany, “Stasi” (secret police) v. efficient, files on all the people and informers. Honecker not liked, nor respected by people. His regime relatively secure as people merely accepted it but hated oppression of Stasi
Romania – “Securitate” crushing opposition. Censorship, registration of all typewriters annually Ceausescu – paranoid, entrenched – one of most repressive. Harsh policies, including demolision of villages etc. by 1985 he had alienated virtually all pop. And many were also going hungry.
d) Martial law (military rule) imposed by some in desperation to keep control:
Poland 1981 – discontent threatened to get out of hand – economic problems
Illegal Trade Union set up Solidarity by Lech Walesa (a devout Catholic) encouraged by visit of Pope John Paul 11 in June 1979
General Jaruzelski new leader declared martial law 1981 and used army to quell unrest – did so as feared USSR might invade otherwise
Solidarity abolished but continued underground (USA withdrew all bank loans, and credits in protest)
e) local campaigns for reform
Poland – Solidarity – mainly arose for ec reasons onto which political added
Czechoslovakia – protesting for free speech since 1968 Prague Spring. During 1970s many political campaign groups e.g. Charter 77, VONS & pop groups e.g. Plastic People of the Universe, John Lennon Peace Group, intellectuals like playwright Havel. Strong tradition of wanting pol freedom, inspired by Gorb and finally fall of Berlin Wall, led to Velvet Revolution, Husak resigned and Havel became new leader.
E Germans many protest groups & could watch TV banned in other E European countries – esp during Gorby’s time so aware of changes.
Also environmental issues strong in E. Germany – pollution a serious issue – inefficient machinery – 4x as much sulphur dioxide as in W Germany & focus for protestors esp after Chernobyl in 1986 e.g. Gov irritate by posters put up by protestors “Ride a bike, don’t drive a car” – Lutheran Church also joined protestors
3. Some E European Gov led political change, new leaders, new generation willing to encourage change, possibly inspired by Gorbachev
Hungary – 1989 Hungary adopted a multi party system – non communist gov elected leader did not repair barbed wire between Hungary and Austria, allowed many in E Europe to cross into Western Europe, particularly E Berliners who took advantage of this in 1989. Gorbachev congratulated election winners!
Czech: Velvet Revolution – gov simply resigned in face of enormous public protest after fall of wall.
United front, workers, intelligentsia, students
Reform movement been around even if suppressed since late 1970s ie a decade
Workers took a long time to convince, well looked after by state, many critical of VONS & Charter 77.
Nov 1989 – late on workers joined demands for reform
Dissent stopped by Stasi
Hungary and Austria border opened, movement of refugees began chain reaction that led to protests in E Germany which gov could no longer control
Visit of Gorbi demonstrated to E German gov that it was alone i.e. external influence stronger here than in Poland or Czech.
Other individuals – Pope John Paul II Polish himself gave him influence over predominantly catholic pop
1979 visit to Poland & speeches gave encouragement to those living under communism to stand up for human rights Yet role of church can be overstated, Catholics strong in Poland but elsewhere other religions and most opposition groups actually had no religious affliation.
Historians & commentators: Jonathon Kwitny, (biographer of Pope) Man of the Century: Life & Times of Pope John Paul II
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