The Cold War was a term that referred to the tense relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union in the post-World War II era. At the center of this relationship was the arms race, a decades-long competition between the two superpowers to develop and deploy increasingly powerful weapons.
As tensions grew, the two sides engaged in a number of negotiations and agreements aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear confrontation. One such agreement was the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), which took place between 1969 and 1972.
The first round of SALT negotiations resulted in the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), which limited each side to two ABM deployment areas. The second round of talks produced the SALT II agreement, which aimed to further reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the two nations` arsenals.
However, the SALT II agreement was never ratified by the US Senate due to objections from conservatives and concerns over Soviet compliance. Despite this setback, the two sides continued to engage in arms control talks during the 1980s.
One such effort was the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which was signed in 1987. The INF Treaty required both the US and the Soviet Union to eliminate all of their land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. This agreement was seen as a major breakthrough in arms control negotiations and was widely praised as a step towards a more stable and less dangerous world.
The arms race and Cold War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, the legacy of this era continues to shape international relations today. The experience of the Cold War and the efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear war have had a profound impact on global security and the way that nations approach geopolitical conflict.
In summary, the arms agreements of the Cold War represented a critical effort to reduce the risk of nuclear war between the United States and Soviet Union. While some agreements were successful, others proved more controversial and ultimately failed. Nonetheless, the lessons learned during this era continue to shape international relations today and demonstrate the importance of effective arms control in promoting global security.