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Subject History

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


The policy of reducing tension and the possibility of war between the US (and its NATO allies) and the communist states of the Soviet Union and China. It usually refers primarily to the improvement of US-Soviet and US-Chinese relations in the 1970s, but there was a brief period of detente following the death of stalin , when the Soviet Union helped to bring about peace in the korean war (1950–3) and in Indochina with the genevea accords (1954). It also agreed to the austrian state treaty and the evacuation of Soviet troops from Austria. These moves to improve the relations of the superpowers came to an end when khrushchev put pressure on the Western powers to leave Berlin by threatening to make a separate peace treaty with East Germany, which might then cut off Western access to Berlin. This and the cuban missile crisis (1962) ended détente for a decade. President nixon and Henry kissinger were mainly responsible for its revival, Nixon announcing in his inaugural address that ‘After a period of confrontation we are entering an era of negotiation’. Kissinger saw ‘linkage’ as an essential element of détente - the US would offer incentives in the form of technology and finance in return for Soviet cooperation in the Middle East and in ending the vietnam war . brezhnev , who saw no alternative to détente in a nuclear age, as a nuclear war would be catastrophic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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