Diplomacy and International Treaties

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Diplomacy and International Treaties

Diplomacy and International Treaties:

Two very important treaties resulted from dé­tente in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first was the ABM Treaty or SALT I (Strategic Arms Limita­tions Treaty) in 1972. This treaty, still in force, restricts in general the development of sea-based, air-based, space-based or mobile land-based ABM sys­tems. In a special article, the treaty notes the limiting of deployment of ABM systems to two sites with no more than 100 launchers each. Diplomacy and international treaties research is conducted. Later on, and due to further implications of détente, the two par­ties were able to annex the Protocol of 1974 which further limited the deployment of ABM systems to a single area with no more than 100 launchers.[1] How­ever, the major disadvantage of the treaty was that it called to the reduction in the increase of arma­ment, but it did not deal with the actual elimination of arms. Nevertheless, it remained a major break­through on the issue of disarmament.

Agreement on Prevention of Nuclear War 1973

Equally important was the Agreement on the Pre­vention of Nuclear War of 1973, under which the two sides agreed to make the removal of the danger of nu­clear war and of the use of nuclear weapons an objec­tive of their policies and to make all efforts to­wards guaranteeing stability and peace. This Agree­ment is still in force.[2]

One way or another, the détente period which lasted for another two or three years was very bene­ficial. At least it enabled world nations to feel somehow relieved from the fear of a nuclear war which could break out at any time. It also showed the im­portance of cooperation between East and West in or­der to maintain international peace and stability.

SALT II

This honeymoon, however, was not to live for long. The second round of talks on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems known as SALT II was signed in 1979. It established limits on the number and types of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles. However, this treaty never entered into force, and for the next eight years, the Cold War would return to be the ma­jor political strategy between the East and West.[3]

Reagan’s administration established its foreign policy upon the basis of arms race and deterrence. The Star War strategy, as it was called, aimed at keeping the US ahead of the USSR in arms race, and in preventing the spread of communism in any areas of the world. The leftist Sandinista revolution in Nica­ragua in 1979 was the beginning of a new phase of tension between the two major powers. American fears of a new Cuba left no chance for a détente in rela­tions.

Moreover, the hostile Iranian Revolution made it clear to the US administration that the US was going to face new challenges that could only be faced with a strong deterrence policy based on and supported by arms race.

Détente also made it possible for the two superpowers to accomplish another important achievement under the auspices of the UN, namely the first Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT I). These talks led to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Treaty (ABM) Treaty which restricts the development of sea-based, air-based, space-based or mobile land-based ballistic missiles. Special provisions in the Treaty aimed at limiting the deployment of ABM by the US and the USSR.[4] However, the major disadvantage of the Treaty was that it called to the reduction in the increase of armament, but it did not deal with the actual elimination of arms. Yet, it remained a major breakthrough on the issue of disarmament.

SALT II

As the US and the USSR concluded their SALT I talks in 1972 with signing the ABM Treaty, they immediately initiated SALT II. These talks established limits on the number and type of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles. Although concluded in 1979, no positive outcome was achieved as a result of the escalation of the Cold War between the two sides after the successful communist coup d’etat in Nicaragua.[5] After the collapse of SALT II, the nuclear arms race was resumed, but this time with more shrewdness, much more advanced technology, a wider scope, and an increased threat to international peace and security.

Whereas in the initiation and conclusion of the NPT, the UN played a major role, its role was much more limited in the SALT I and SALT II processes. This was due to three major reasons. First of all, the UN as an international organization representing the interests and aspirations of world nations was capable to maintain sufficient momentum to support the initiation and the conclusion of the NPT due to the thaw that suddenly developed in relations between the US and the USSR. Secondly, the NPT is a collective treaty which was joined and signed by most world nations. Hence, the UN had a major stake in NPT, whereas SALT I and SALT were basically strategic talks that only involved the two superpowers, namely the US and the USSR as they assigned nuclear responsibilities to each other. The UN certainly supported such important processes taking place since they would eventually contribute to promoting international peace and security by reducing tension between the two superpowers dominating a bipolar world system. Thus, when in 1979, relations deteriorated immediately between the US and the USSR, the UN was practically impotent in curbing the nuclear arms control between the two sides. The UN, however, was by then content by the NPT which by the end of the 1970s had become almost a universal treaty.[6]

Diplomacy and international treaties conclusion:

By 1987, a second Détente prevailed as Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power in the USSR, aiming at open communication with the west. This change in attitude helped both sides arrive at several bilateral agreements such as the establishment of Nuclear Reduction Centers (1987) in Moscow and Washington and the INF Treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear forces (1987). The UN was involved in neither of these agreements, but in effect, the positive political atmosphere that prevailed was one that provided the UN with the opportunity to revive its role in controlling nuclear proliferation.

 

[1] Sverre Lodgaard. Arms & Technology Transfers. New York: United Nations Publications, 1995, p16.

[2] UN Center for Disarmament Affairs, p.53.

[3] Brooke, p.77.

[4] Sverre Lodgaard. Arms & Technology Transfers. New York: United Nations Publications, 1995, p.16.

[5]

[6] UN Center for Disarmament Affairs, p.53.

By | 2017-10-14T05:17:42+00:00 October 14th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Diplomacy and International Treaties