Two Arms Control Agreements Cold War

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During the Cold War, two arms control agreements were signed between the United States and Soviet Union in an effort to reduce the threat of nuclear war. These agreements, known as the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), were landmark events in the history of nuclear arms control.

The first of these agreements, SALT I, was signed in 1972. The agreement limited the number of ballistic missiles each country could possess and required both parties to reduce their nuclear arsenals. The agreement also limited the number of submarine-launched missiles and banned the development of new ballistic missile defense systems. While SALT I did not eliminate the threat of nuclear war, it was significant in that it represented the first time that the two superpowers had agreed to limit their nuclear weapons.

In 1987, the United States and Soviet Union signed the INF treaty. The agreement eliminated an entire class of missiles – those with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,420 miles) – and required both parties to destroy all existing missiles of this type. The INF treaty was a major breakthrough in arms control, as it was the first time that the two superpowers had agreed to actually eliminate a class of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the treaty helped ease tensions between the United States and Soviet Union, particularly in Europe, where the deployment of intermediate-range missiles had caused considerable anxiety.

Despite the successes of SALT and INF, both agreements faced their fair share of challenges. SALT II, for example, was never ratified by the United States Senate due to concerns about Soviet compliance and the development of new nuclear weapons. Additionally, the Soviet Union was suspected of violating the INF treaty by developing and deploying a new missile system.

Today, both SALT and INF are no longer in effect. The United States withdrew from the INF treaty in 2019, citing Russia`s violation of the agreement, while the SALT treaties have expired. The future of arms control remains uncertain, as tension between the United States and Russia continues to escalate. However, the legacy of these two agreements lives on, as they set an important precedent for arms control negotiations and provided a framework for future treaties.

In conclusion, the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty were critical events in the history of nuclear arms control. These two agreements set important precedents for arms control negotiations and helped ease tensions between the United States and Soviet Union. While both agreements faced challenges and are no longer in effect, their impact on the course of history cannot be underestimated.