Relations cooled again with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Richard M. We seek an open world—open to ideas, open to the exchange of goods and people—a world in which no people, great or small, will live in angry isolation
Bush and Gorbachev Declare End of Cold War
Between the late s and the late s, there was a thawing of the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the decade began with vast improvements in bilateral relations, by the end of the decade events had brought the two superpowers back to the brink of confrontation. Fears of nuclear conflict between the two superpowers peaked in in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis , paving the way for some of the earliest agreements on nuclear arms control, including the Limited Test Ban Treaty in Although these agreements acted as important precedents, the U. By the late s, however, both countries had several concrete reasons for resuming arms talks. The ongoing nuclear arms race was incredibly expensive, and both nations faced domestic economic difficulties as a result of the diversion of resources to military research. The United States faced an increasingly difficult war in Vietnam, and improved relations with the Soviet Union were thought to be helpful in limiting future conflicts. With both sides willing to explore accommodation, the early s saw a general warming of relations that was conducive to progress in arms control talks. Then, in , the first round of Strategic Arms Limitations Talks yielded the Antiballistic Missile Treaty along with an interim agreement setting caps on the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles each side could develop.
Nixon visited the secretary-general of the Soviet Communist party, Leonid I. Brezhnev, in Moscow, May Both countries stood to gain if trade could be increased and the danger of nuclear warfare reduced. In addition, Nixon—a candidate for reelection—was under fire at home from those demanding social change, racial equality, and an end to the Vietnam War. The trip to Russia, like his historic trip to China a few months earlier, permitted him to keep public attention focused on his foreign policy achievements rather than his domestic problems.
The term, in diplomacy, originates from around when France and Germany tried unsuccessfully to reduce tensions. Most often, the term is used for a phase of the Cold War. It was the policy of relaxing tensions between the Soviet Union and the West, as promoted by Richard Nixon , Henry Kissinger and Leonid Brezhnev , between and With the United States showing weakness at the top that forced Nixon out of office, Brezhnev used the opportunity to expand Soviet influence. The term is also used to refer to the Cuban thaw , which resulted in Cuba and the United States restoring diplomatic relations with each other in