Essay about Detente and the Cold War

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The United States developed into a world super power following World War II. Many of the Allies were deeply affected by the war financially and were struggling, thus leaving a vacuum that needed to be filled. The United States was thrust into the position of “policing” and assisting nations around the world. The Cold War was in many ways a psychological illusion however there were many factors that led to this illusion which were well founded. The Cold War stemmed from a multitude of factors, the difficult war against Nazi’s and Japan, Stalin behaviors were not trustworthy, Berlin blockade, Poland puppet government, the fall of China, the build up of arms and the birth nuclear weapons all fed fear-based anti-communist policies. In …show more content…
“ (Cox p.32) In 1960’s these factors began to falter in large part to the Vietnam War, which was taking economic and psychological toll on America.
In 1960’s America was becoming divided at home and struggling to understand the America’s intervention in foreign nations especially South Vietnam. When Nixon took office he wanted to quiet the protests, he wanted to get America out of Vietnam and focus on the falling economy at home. Thus Nixon purposed a period of relaxation with the Soviet Union. “ Nixon and Kissinger hoped that such a relationship, which they deemed détente would lessen the threat of nuclear war, encourage the Soviets to pressure North Vietnam into a peace settlement.” (Gillon p. 1114) “ President Nixon and Henry Kissinger wanted to abandon the costly pursuit of weapons superiority and instead focus on peaceful economic competition.” (Gillon p.1114)
The idea of détente or relaxation of the Cold War “was more abstract proposition.” (Gillon p. 1114) It intentions were to modify relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China. The hope was that détente would slowly alter Soviet policy overtime and eventually end of the Cold War. Kissinger believed that Soviet and U.S. could establish a partnership, believing that U.S.S.R would grow to become dependent upon the U.S. through détente. In the 1960’s the Soviet Union had a “struggling economy in desperate need of…

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