Detente and Deterrence: Their Interrelations and Historical Evolution.
Military issues research,
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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This memorandum discusses how detente and deterrence are interrelated. A group of scholars have claimed the United States views detente through rose-colored glasses. The charge is made that American decision-makers view detente as an end to Soviet-American conflict whereas the Soviets use detente as a means to further their goals through social, economic, political, and even surrogate military confrontation with the Western world. By examining US and Soviet declaratory positions since the end of World II, the author concludes that there is very little difference between Soviet and US positions. The detente impulse relates to nuclear war avoidance. Conventional and nuclear deterrence capabilities are efforts to be prepared in case detente should fail. From their declaratory positions the United States and the Soviet Union recognize this interrelationship between detente and deterrence. Since it would be folly to ask nations to overlook the possibility that detente may fail someday, for the foreseeable future we will continue to see both the United States and the USSR work to build their military forces at the same time they pursue detente paths. Author
- Government and Political Science