Why did Détente develop during the 1970s? (Ostpolitik (East policy) (Term…
Why did Détente develop during the 1970s?
The need to escape from Vietnam
Cost of the Vietnam war to the US was great, $167 billion.
$400,000 for every Vietcong killed. 58,000 US soldiers killed. 2.7 million served. 9% of the population.
Relations with US and Russia formed to try and end the Vietnam war. The US wanted to convince the Soviets that it wasn't in their national interest to aid the Vietcong.
By using the 'China Card' US used the strategy of triangular diplomacy in that the Sino-Soviet relations were dangerous at the time, which caused the USSR to feel surrounded.
The Second half of the 1972, Moscow Summit along with Linebacker 1 and 2, this put pressure on North Vietnam to talk. North Vietnam had begged Brezhnev not to have the summit. This shows an example of détente as two countries working together for their own national interest but not becoming allies.
March 1973, America pull out of Vietnam.
The impact of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Net Evaluation Sub-Committee, an annual report on the outcome of a nuclear war with Soviet Union.
If there was a war in 1963-4, the casualties would be 93 million people.
This just showed how devastating it would be if the US would have a nuclear war with the USSR. This caused alarm in the sense of arms limitations as the number of casualties would just rise. The committee was disclosed after the idea of 93 million people would die, as it would be the end of the world.
MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) the idea of nuclear parity, meant that neither side would attack as they would face the same destruction. However the flaw in this, is that the two opponents need to have the moral sanity not to use nuclear weapons. Mao for instance had strong views on using nuclear weapons, he told Khrushchev that he should have nuked the US when in Cuba. He believed them to be a 'paper tiger'.
Test Ban Treaty 1963, the first sign of détente in Arms limitations.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, July 1968. With countries such as China detonating the A-bomb. This caused the concern of nuclear secrets being taken into enemy hands. Therefore this treaty agreed that not the USA, UK or USSR would tell their nuclear secrets to another nation.
Nixon and Kissinger, Two main officials at the Whitehouse who did many activities planned and executed by themselves. Especially with the use of 'backchannels'
Kissinger throughout the years of his career, visits places such as Moscow and China covertly. So that he can make deals with the leaders or officials that would benefit the US's national interest.
Kissinger visited Moscow covertly in April, 1972. To discuss the support of the USSR to stop the Vietnam war.
Kissinger made a second visit to China (covertly) to gain support and build the 'China Card' relationship along with triangular diplomacy.
'Arms control was seen almost universally as an area for a breakthrough' Kissinger.
'Détente was conceived as a relationship between adversaries; it did not pretend friendship' Kissinger.
'Détente is not the same as lasting peace' Nixon.
'A cap has been put on the arms race for 10 years' Kissinger after the start of SALT 2 negotiations.
The revamped form of containment
The policy of containment Truman had started in the 40s died when Nixon introduced the Nixon Doctrine. The Doctrine was a more isolationist view on the US. They were no longer the world policeman. They would only intervene in an external situation of containment, if it had any national interest to the US.
The China card
When America was trying to end the Vietnam war through the Paris Peace Talks, under Nixon and Kissinger.
The seeking of bettering a relationship with the Chinese meant they could use this relationship to put pressure on the North Vietnamese to surrender.
However, China didn't want to put too much pressure on North Vietnam as it might lead them to seek help and reliance on the Soviets. Therefore, the China card didn't really help in ending Vietnam.
However, China did advise the North Vietnamese to negotiate at the Peace Talks. Especially by the end of 1972 after the relentless bombing of cities like Hanoi.
Ostpolitik (East policy)
Term defined by Willy Brandt, the chancellor of West Germany. His objectives were to: Recognise East Germany and the territory changes that had occurred at the end of the second world war.
Brandt's talks with the Soviet Union lead to a joint Non-Aggression Pact, signed in August 1970.
On 7th of December 1970, West Germany sign a treaty with Poland that recognised the post war Oder-Neisse border.
December 1972, Both sides of Germany sign an agreement formally recognising one another. (Breaks the 1955 Halstein Doctrine)
The Basic Treaty, 21st December 1972. An attempt to normalise relations between the 2 Germanys.
September 1973, Both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were members of the UN.
Ostpolitik was a major factor in détente. It was an example of cooperation between the East and West in the major battlefield of the Cold War, Europe. It recognised Soviet borders along with working together to better Europe, specifically Germany.