was Detente superficial essay

1191 Words5 Pages
“Despite the claims of those who promoted Détente, its achievements were superficial.”

Superficial means that something appears to be deep and true only at the surface, until it is closely examined. This definition does apply to Détente because it only reduced tension on the surface, but behind the scenes the arms race did not change and the many agreements limiting the use of nuclear arms were shallow in the types and amounts of arms they limited. In truth, détente did bring some temporary stability to Europe but that was never built to last as the two systems were too different to be able to cooperate successfully.

On the the biggest issues during the cold war and so inevitably when establishing the Détente was the nuclear arms
…show more content…
This implies that actually if both countries were still developing weapons, just quietly, then the economic status of both countries did not improve because that money was still being spent on developing weapons. Therefore, what Détente did achieve was conspiracy over military spending and development and not economic improvement. Gaddis, a post-revisionist said that SALT 1 was a 'major accomplishment' which made the superpower relations 'less volatile' but it is interesting to note the fact that between 1972 and 1980 the amount of warheads almost doubled in the US and tripled in the USSR. This suggests that the superpowers did not become less volatile towards each other, they just weren't as open about their dislike as before.

Brezhnev thought that détente was going to create a 'lasting foundation for peace', making it a significant step towards cooperation. It cannot be missed however that détente stood for improved national relations not an end to cold war, therefore its aim was never to stop the conflict rather freeze it in the place and wait to see what happens. It could therefore be argues that détente was superficial because it was taking care of the short term implications of the cold war, like limiting weapons and improving leader relationships, not the long term question of when the cold war is going to end and at what cost. Another aspect which

    More about was Detente superficial essay

      Get Access