Détente Close

The Americans and the Soviets came to realize that the Cuban crisis transcended their ideological differences and pointed to a common pursuit: the prevention of a global nuclear war.

East-West relationships took a turn for the better: détente was on the agenda for 17 years (1962-1989). The Soviets referred to it as "peaceful coexistence".

Fraught with contradictions, the period saw the signature of many Soviet-US agreements such as the 1963 Treaty banning atmospheric nuclear tests, the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation Treaty and the 1972 SALT I treaty concerning ballistic missiles. The flip side of it was a resumed conventional arms race. The Soviet Union, having realized that its Navy was not up to the challenge, started building, on Marshal Andrei Grechko's initiative, a Fleet that, twenty years later, ranked second only to the US Navy. Within ten years, too, the Soviets were able to outnumber the US in terms of launch vehicles.

 

Détente Close

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