Détente (French pronunciation: ​[detɑ̃t], meaning "relaxation")[1] is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation, through verbal communication. The term in diplomacy originates around 1912 when France and Germany tried, without success, to reduce tensions.[2]

Most often the term is used for a phase of the Cold War. It was the policy of relaxing tensions between Moscow and the West, as promoted by Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Leonid Brezhnev, 1969 – 1974. With the United States showing weakness at the top that forced Richard Nixon out of office, Brezhnev used the opportunity to expand Soviet influence. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 decisively ended any talk of détente.[3] [4]

Press conference, Havana
Barack Obama and Raúl Castro in Havana, Cuba, March 2016
President Trump's Trip to Vietnam (40263512073)
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 2019

Cold War

The term is most often used in reference to a period of general easing of the geo-political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States; it was the distinct lessening of the Cold War. It began in 1969, as a core element of the foreign policy of U.S. president Richard Nixon, in an effort to avoid the collision of nuclear risks. The Nixon administration promoted greater dialogue with the Soviet government, including regular summit meetings and negotiations over arms control and other bilateral agreements.[5] Détente was known in Russian as разрядка (razryadka, loosely meaning "relaxation of tension").

The period was characterized by the signing of treaties such as SALT I and the Helsinki Accords. Another treaty, SALT II, was discussed but never ratified by the United States. There is still ongoing debate amongst historians as to how successful the détente period was in achieving peace.[6][7]

After the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the two superpowers agreed to install a direct hotline between Washington D.C. and Moscow (the so-called red telephone), enabling leaders of both countries to quickly interact with each other in a time of urgency, and reduce the chances that future crises could escalate into an all-out war. The U.S./USSR détente was presented as an applied extension of that thinking. The SALT II pact of the late 1970s continued the work of the SALT I talks, ensuring further reduction in arms by the Soviets and by the U.S. The Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviets promised to grant free elections in Europe, has been called a major concession to ensure peace by the Soviets.

Détente ended after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which led to the United States boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Ronald Reagan's election as president in 1980, based in large part on an anti-détente campaign,[8] marked the close of détente and a return to Cold War tensions. In his first press conference, President Reagan said "Détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its aims."[9] Following this, relations turned increasingly sour with the unrest in Poland,[10][11] end of the SALT II negotiations, and the NATO exercise in 1983 that brought the superpowers almost on the brink of nuclear war.[12]

Summits and treaties

Kosygin at the Glassboro Summit
Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin (front) next to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (behind) during the Glassboro Summit Conference

The most obvious manifestation of détente was the series of summits held between the leaders of the two superpowers and the treaties that resulted from these meetings. In the early 1960s, before détente, the Partial Test Ban Treaty had been signed on 5 August 1963. Later in the decade, the Outer Space Treaty, in January 1967, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, July 1968, were two of the first building blocks of détente. These early treaties were signed all over the globe.

The most important treaties were not developed until the Nixon Administration came into office in 1969. The Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact sent an offer to the West, urging them to hold a summit on "security and cooperation in Europe". The West agreed and talks began towards actual limits in the nuclear capabilities of the two superpowers. This ultimately led to the signing of the SALT I treaty in 1972. This treaty limited each power's nuclear arsenals, though it was quickly rendered out-of-date as a result of the development of MIRVs. In the same year that SALT I was signed, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty were also concluded. Talks on SALT II also began in 1972.

Brezhnev however at the start of the period in his speeches to the Politburo, was intent on using the period of relaxed tensions to prepare for Soviet expansion in the 1980s.[13]

In 1975, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe met and produced the Helsinki Accords, a wide-ranging series of agreements on economic, political, and human rights issues. The CSCE was initiated by the USSR, involving 35 states throughout Europe.[14] Among other issues, one of the most prevalent and discussed after the conference was that of human rights violations in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Constitution directly violated the Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations, and this issue became a prominent point of separation between the United States and the Soviet Union.[15]

The Carter administration had been supporting human rights groups inside the Soviet Union, and Leonid Brezhnev accused the administration of interference in other countries' internal affairs.[15] This prompted intense discussion of whether or not other nations may interfere if basic human rights are being violated, such as freedom of speech and religion. The basic disagreement in the philosophies of a democracy and a single-party was in a state that did not allow for reconciliation of this issue. Furthermore, the Soviets proceeded to defend their internal policies on human rights by attacking American support of countries like South Africa and Chile, which were known to violate many of the same human rights issues.[15]

Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nixon talks in 1973
Leonid Brezhnev (left) and Richard Nixon (right) during Brezhnev's June 1973 visit to Washington; this was a high-water mark in détente between the United States and the Soviet Union

In July of the same year, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project became the first international space mission, wherein three American astronauts and two Soviet cosmonauts docked their spacecraft and conducted joint experiments. This mission had been preceded by five years of political negotiation and technical co-operation, including exchanges of U.S. and Soviet engineers between the two countries' space centers.

Trade relations between the two blocs increased substantially during the era of détente. Most significant were the vast shipments of grain that were sent from the West to the Soviet Union each year, which helped make up for the failure of kolkhoz, Soviet collectivized agriculture.

At the same time, the Jackson–Vanik amendment, signed into law by Gerald Ford on 3 January 1975, after a unanimous vote by both houses of the United States Congress, was designed to leverage trade relations between the U.S. and the USSR, making the United States' involvement dependent upon improvements of human rights within the Soviet Union, in particular allowing refuseniks to emigrate; it added to the Most Favoured Nation status a clause that provided that no countries resisting emigration could be awarded this status. This provided Jackson with a method of linking geopolitics to human rights.[16]

The end of the Vietnam War

Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger moved toward détente with the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 1970s. They had hopes that the Soviets would, in return, help the United States extricate or remove itself from Vietnam. People then started to notice the consciousness in which the American politics started to act with.[17]

SALT-Strategic Arms Limitations Talks

Ford signing accord with Brehznev, November 24, 1974
Gerald Ford meets with Soviet leader Brezhnev to sign a joint communiqué on the SALT treaty during the Vladivostok Summit, November 1974

Nixon and Brezhnev signed an AMB treaty In Moscow on 26 May 1972 as well as an Interim Agreement (SALT I) temporarily capping the number of strategic arms. This was a show of détente militarily, the diffusion of multiplication of Nuclear Ballistic Arms started to occur.[18]

The goal of Nixon and his aide Henry Kissinger was to use arms control to promote a much broader policy of détente that could make possible the resolution of other urgent problems through what Nixon called "linkage." David Tal argues:

The linkage between strategic arms limitations and outstanding issues such as the Middle East, Berlin and, foremost, Vietnam thus became central to Nixon’s and Kissinger’s policy of détente. Through employment of linkage, they hoped to change the nature and course of U.S. foreign policy, including U.S. nuclear disarmament and arms control policy, and to separate them from those practiced by Nixon’s predecessors. They also intended, through linkage, to make U.S. arms control policy part of détente....His policy of linkage had in fact failed. It failed mainly because it was based on flawed assumptions and false premises, the foremost of which was that the Soviet Union wanted strategic arms limitation agreement much more than the United States did.[19]

Apollo–Soyuz Hand Shake in Space

Portrait of ASTP crews - restoration
Apollo-Soyuz crew in 1975

A significant example of an event which contributed to the détente was the handshake that took place in space. In July 1975, the first USSR-USA joint space flight was conducted and it was called the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.[20] The primary goal of this project was to create an international docking system in order to allow two different space crafts to join in orbit, this would have allowed the crews on board to collaborate on the exploration of space.[21] This project marked the end of the Space Race that started in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik, therefore allowing the tensions between the US and the USSR to decrease significantly.[22]

Continued conflicts

As direct relations thawed, increased tensions continued between the superpowers through their surrogates, especially in the Third World. Conflicts in South Asia, and the Middle East in 1973, saw the Soviet and U.S. backing their respective surrogates with war material and diplomatic posturing. In Latin America, the United States continued to block any leftward electoral shifts in the region by supporting undemocratic right-wing military coups and brutal military dictatorships; during this period, there were also many communist or leftward guerrillas around the region, which were allegedly backed by the Soviets and Cuba. During much of the early détente period, the Vietnam War continued to rage. Neither side trusted the other fully and the potential for nuclear war remained constant.

Each side continued to aim thousands of nuclear warheads atop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at each other's cities, maintain submarines with long-range nuclear weapon capability (submarine-launched ballistic missiles or SLBMs) in the world's oceans, keep hundreds of nuclear-armed aircraft on constant alert, and guard contentious borders in Korea and Europe with large ground forces. Espionage efforts remained a high priority as defectors, reconnaissance satellites, and signal intercepts measured intentions and attempted to gain strategic advantage.

Cold War flares up in 1979

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan In 1979 that was to shore up a struggling Pro-Soviet regime led to harsh criticisms in the capitalist west and a boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. United States President Jimmy Carter boosted the U.S. defense budget and began financially aiding the President of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who would in turn subsidize the anti-Soviet Mujahideen fighters in the region.[23]

A contributing factor in the decline of Detente as a desirable American policy was the inter-service rivalry which existed between the American Departments of State and Defense. From 1973 to 1977 there were three Secretaries worth mentioning; Elliot Richardson, James Schlesinger, and Donald Rumsfeld. Schlesinger's time as Defense Secretary was plagued by notably poor relations with Henry Kissinger, one of the more prominent American advocates of Detente. Their poor working relationship bled into their professional relationship, and as a result an increasing number of policy clashes began to accrue. These clashes would inevitably result in Schlesinger's dismissal in 1975. However, his replacement, Donald Rumsfeld, shared Shlesinger's distaste for Kissinger.

As a result, the clashes on policy between the State Department and the Defense Department continued. Rumsfeld thought that Kissinger was too complacent about growing Soviet strength. While Rumsfeld largely agreed with Kissinger's assessment that the United States possessed superior military strength when compared with the Soviet Union, he argued that Kissinger's public optimism would prevent Congress from giving the Department of Defense the funds which Rumsfeld believed were required to maintain the favorable gap between the US and the Soviets. In response, Rumsfeld regularly presented a more alarmist view of the superior strength of the Soviet superpower, which he credited with convincing Congress to increase military spending.

Reagan and Gorbachev hold discussions
President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev, 1985

In response to the stranglehold of influence which Kissinger possessed in the Nixon and Ford Administrations and the subsequent decline in influence over foreign policy by the Department of Defense, Richardson, Schlesinger, and Rumsfeld used growing popular antipathy for the Soviet Union in the United States to undermine Kissinger's attempts to achieve a comprehensive arms reduction treaty and thereby portray the entire notion of Detente as an untenable policy.[24]

The 1980 American presidential election saw Ronald Reagan elected on a platform opposed to the concessions of détente. Negotiations on SALT II were abandoned as a result. However, during the later years of Reagan's presidency, he and Gorbachev pursued a policy that is considered Détente.[25][26] Despite this, the Reagan administration talked about a "winnable" nuclear war, leading to the creation of the Strategic Defense Initiative and the Third World policy, funding irregular and paramilitary death squads in Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, Cambodia, and Afghanistan.[4]

See also


  1. ^ http://www.wordreference.com/fren/détente
  2. ^ John F. V. Keiger (1983). France and the Origins of the First World War. pp. 69–70.
  3. ^ Silvio Pons and Robert Service, eds. Dictionary of 20th Century Communism (2010) pp 73, 274-78.
  4. ^ a b {{Cite book|title=The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present|last=Hunt|first=Michael H|publisher=Oxford University Press|year=2004|isbn=|location=New York, NY|pages=269-74}
  5. ^ "The World Transformed, 1945 to the Present - Paperback - Michael H. Hunt - Oxford University Press". global.oup.com. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  6. ^ "The Rise and Fall of Détente, Professor Branislav L. Slantchev, Department of Political Science, University of California – San Diego 2014" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  7. ^ Nuti, Leopoldo (11 November 2008). The Crisis of Détente in Europe. ISBN 9780203887165. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Ronald Reagan, radio broadcast on August 7th, 1978" (PDF). Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Ronald Reagan. January 29, 1981 press conference". Presidency.ucsb.edu. 29 January 1981. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Detente Wanes as Soviets Quarantine Satellites from Polish Fever". Washington Post. 19 October 1980.
  11. ^ Simes, Dimitri K. (1980). "The Death of Detente?". International Security. 5 (1): 3–25. JSTOR 2538471.
  12. ^ "The Cold War Heats up – New Documents Reveal the "Able Archer" War Scare of 1983". 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ Gus W. Weiss. "videofact"
  14. ^ Lapennal. Human Rights, p. 1.
  15. ^ a b c Lapennal. Human Rights, p. 14–15.
  16. ^ Henry Kissinger, "Diplomacy"
  17. ^ Richard Rhodes, Arsenals Of Folly the making of the nuclear arms race. Page: 61, 2007
  18. ^ Richard Rhodes, Arsenals Of Folly the making of the nuclear arms race. (2007) Page: 112
  19. ^ David Tal, " 'Absolutes' and 'Stages' in the Making and Application of Nixon’s SALT Policy." Diplomatic History 37.5 (2013): 1090-1116, quoting pp 1091, 1092. Nixon himself later wrote, "[W]e decided to link progress in such areas of Soviet concern as strategic arms limitation and increased trade with progress in areas that were important to us -– Vietnam, the Mideast, and Berlin. This concept became known as linkage.” Richard Nixon (1978). RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. p. 346.
  20. ^ "NASA - Handshake in Space". Nasa.gov. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  21. ^ Morgan, Kellie (15 July 2015). "Celebrating historic handshake in space, 40 years later". CNN. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  22. ^ Samuels, Richard J., ed. (21 December 2005). Encyclopedia of United States National Security (1st ed.). SAGE Publications. p. 669. ISBN 978-0-7619-2927-7. Retrieved 25 May 2016. Most observers felt that the U.S. moon landing ended the space race with a decisive American victory. […] The formal end of the space race occurred with the 1975 joint Apollo-Soyuz mission, in which U.S. and Soviet spacecraft docked, or joined, in orbit while their crews visited one another's craft and performed joint scientific experiments
  23. ^ Raymond L. Garthoff, Detente and confrontation: American-Soviet Relations From Nixon to Reagan (1985).<Online free to borrow
  24. ^ http://history.defense.gov/Portals/70/Documents/special_studies/SpecStudy7.pdf
  25. ^ "Reagan, Gorbachev two paths of Détente". Washington Post. Washington Post, 29 May 1988. 29 May 1988.
  26. ^ Norman Podhoretz (January 1984). "The First Term: The Reagan Road to Détente". Foreign Affairs (America and the World 1984).


  • Bell, Coral. The diplomacy of detente: the Kissinger era (1977) Online free to borrow
  • Bowker, Mike & Phil Williams. Superpower Detente: A Reappraisal. SAGE Publications (1988). ISBN 0-8039-8042-6. Online free to borrow
  • Daigle, Craig The Limits of Detente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969–1973. Yale University Press (2012).
  • Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War. The Penguin Press (2005).
  • Garthoff, Raymond L. Detente and confrontation: American-Soviet Relations From Nixon to Reagan (1985).<Online free to borrow
  • Lapennal, Ivo. Human Rights: Soviet Theory and Practice, Helsinki and International Law. Eastern Press (1977).
  • Litwak, Robert S. Détente and the Nixon doctrine: American foreign policy and the pursuit of stability, 1969-1976 (Cambridge UP, 1986).
  • McAdams, A. James McAdams. "East Germany and Detente" (Cambridge UP, 1985).
  • Suri, Jeremi. Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Détente. Harvard University Press (2003).
  • Sarotte, M. E. Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Détente and Ostpolitik, 1969–1973. University of North Carolina Press (2001).

Brinkmanship (also brinksmanship) is the practice of trying to achieve an advantageous outcome by pushing dangerous events to the brink of active conflict. It occurs in international politics, foreign policy, labor relations, and (in contemporary settings) military strategy involving the threat of nuclear weapons, and high-stakes litigation.

This maneuver of pushing a situation with the opponent to the brink succeeds by forcing the opponent to back down and make concessions. This might be achieved through diplomatic maneuvers by creating the impression that one is willing to use extreme methods rather than concede. During the Cold War, the threat of nuclear force was often used as such an escalating measure.


CFIX-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Saguenay, Quebec. Its studios are located in the former city of Chicoutimi.

Owned and operated by Bell Media, it broadcasts on 96.9 MHz using a directional antenna with an average effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (class C). The station's transmitter is located at Mount Valin.

The station has an adult contemporary format and is part of the Rouge FM network which operates across Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

The station received CRTC approval in 1986. CFIX-FM started operations on July 31, 1987 as a sister station to the now-defunct CJMT 1420 with a beautiful music format. The latter closed on September 30, 1994 when the Télémédia network and the Radiomutuel network merged to form the Radiomédia (now Corus Québec) network.

Up until 1992, CFIX-FM had a beautiful music format. The station switched to adult contemporary music and became part of the RockDétente network as the station was renamed "CFIX Rock-Détente".

In 2004, Astral Media revamped the Rock Détente network with a new logo. This resulted in "CFIX Rock-Détente" being renamed to simply "Rock Détente". As such, the station no longer publicly uses its callsign (although the callsign was resurrected on the station ID in 2011 ).

On August 18, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, all RockDétente stations, including CFIX-FM, rebranded as Rouge FM.

CFIX was formerly the callsign of a now-defunct AM radio station at 1170 kHz out of Cornwall, Ontario until 1983 when the station went dark due to technical and financial problems.


CIMF-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Gatineau, Quebec, near Ottawa, Ontario.

Owned and operated by Bell Media, it broadcasts on 94.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 84,000 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna located in Camp Fortune. Its current offices are located in Gatineau at 215 Boulevard Saint-Joseph in the same building as CKTF-FM for the NRJ radio group.

The station has an adult contemporary format and is part of the Rouge FM network which operates across Quebec and Eastern Ontario. It started operations with a beautiful music format as a sister station to the now-defunct CKCH 970, which closed on September 30, 1994 when the Telemedia and Radiomutuel networks merged to form the Radiomédia network (now Corus Québec).

Up until 1990, CIMF-FM had a beautiful music format. The station switched to adult contemporary music in 1990 and the station was renamed "CIMF Rock-Détente".

On October 31, 2000, Télémédia Radio was denied a licence to add a new FM transmitter to operate on 107.7 MHz at Hawkesbury, Ontario.In 2004, Astral Media revamped the Rock Détente network with a new logo. This resulted in "CIMF Rock-Détente" being renamed to simply "94,9 RockDétente". As such, the station no longer publicly uses its callsign (although the callsign was resurrected as station identification in 2011).

Since 2001, the station also operates a relay in Hawkesbury, Ontario, approximately 100 kilometres east of Ottawa/Gatineau. This results from a deal between Telemedia (which then owned CIMF-FM) and Radio-Canada to allow the latter to raise the power of CBF-FM 95.1 MHz in Montreal, Quebec from 17,030 to 100,000 watts. The relay, CIMF-FM-1, operates on 88.9 MHz using a directional antenna with an average effective radiated power of 759 watts and a peak effective radiated power of 1,250 watts (class A).On August 18, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, the station ended its longtime 21-year run with the RockDétente branding. All RockDétente stations, including CITE-FM, rebranded as Rouge FM. The last song under the RockDétente branding was Pour que tu m'aimes encore by Celine Dion, followed by a tribute of the branding. The first song under Rouge FM was I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas.


CITF-FM is a French-language Canadian radio station located in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

Owned and operated by Bell Media, it broadcasts on 107.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 37,000 watts (class C1) using an omnidirectional antenna. The station's transmitter is located at Mount Bélair.

The station has an adult contemporary format since 1990 and is part of the Rouge FM network which operates across Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

CITF-FM started operations on July 22, 1982 as a sister station to the now-defunct CKCV 1280 with a beautiful music format. The latter closed in September 1990, as part of a failed attempt of Telemedia (then owner of both stations) to buy CHRC 800, as at the time owners were limited to only one AM station and one FM station per market. (Even though the purchase of CKCV was denied by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), that station remained dark.)

Up until 1990, CITF-FM had a beautiful music format. The station switched to adult contemporary music in 1990 and the station was renamed "CITF Rock-Détente".

In 2004, Astral Media revamped the Rock Détente network with a new logo. This resulted in "CITF Rock-Détente" being renamed to simply "107,5 RockDétente". As such, the station no longer publicly uses its callsign (although the callsign was resurrected as station identification in 2011).

CITF-FM is programmed locally with their own staff, personalities and playlist, independent from the rest of the Rouge FM network. On August 18, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, the station ended its longtime 21-year run with the RockDétente branding. All RockDétente stations, including CITF-FM, rebranded as Rouge FM. On CITF-FM, the last song under the RockDétente branding was Salut les amoureux by Joe Dassin, followed by a tribute of the branding. Being locally programmed, it was the only station not to sign off the RockDétente branding with Pour que tu m'aimes encore by Celine Dion. The first song under Rouge FM was I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas. As a Rouge FM station, CITF-FM remains locally programmed, aside from a few network programs it carries.

Cold War

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc), and the United States with its allies (the Western Bloc) after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe as well as in other areas, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were generally liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies. Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina, Indonesia, and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, and a small committee called the Politburo. The Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, and many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, and funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in poor, low-developed regions known as the Third World.

In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding relatively isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were heavily armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war. Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD). Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, and their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.

The first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe (for example, supporting the anti-communist side in the Greek Civil War) and creating the NATO alliance. The Berlin Blockade (1948–49) was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War (1950–1953), the conflict expanded. The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which was perhaps the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon also in Europe and the US. The peace movement, and in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and continued to grow through the '70s and '80s with large protest marches, demonstrations, and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies, particularly France, demonstrated greater independence of action. The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War (1955–75), which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments.

By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. The early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was already suffering from economic stagnation. On 12 June 1982, a million protesters gathered in Central Park, New York to call for an end to the Cold War arms race and nuclear weapons in particular. In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the liberalizing reforms of perestroika ("reorganization", 1987) and glasnost ("openness", c. 1985) and ended Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. Pressures for national independence grew stronger in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. Gorbachev meanwhile refused to use Soviet troops to bolster the faltering Warsaw Pact regimes as had occurred in the past. The result in 1989 was a wave of revolutions that peacefully (with the exception of the Romanian Revolution) overthrew all of the communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union itself lost control and was banned following an abortive coup attempt in August 1991. This in turn led to the formal dissolution of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse of communist regimes in other countries such as Mongolia, Cambodia, and South Yemen. The United States remained as the world's only superpower.

The Cold War and its events have left a significant legacy. It is often referred to in popular culture, especially in media featuring themes of espionage (notably the internationally successful James Bond book and film franchise) and the threat of nuclear warfare. Meanwhile, a renewed state of tension between the Soviet Union's successor state, Russia, and the United States in the 2010s (including its Western allies) has been referred to as the Second Cold War.

Cold War (1962–1979)

The Cold War (1962–1979) refers to the phase within the Cold War that spanned the period between the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis in late October 1962, through the détente period beginning in 1969, to the end of détente in the late 1970s.

The United States maintained its Cold War engagement with the Soviet Union during the period, despite internal preoccupations with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement and the opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War.

In 1968, Eastern Bloc member Czechoslovakia attempted the reforms of the Prague Spring and was subsequently invaded by the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact members, who reinstated the Soviet model. By 1973, the US had withdrawn from the Vietnam War. While communists gained power in some South East Asian countries, they were divided by the Sino-Soviet Split, with China moving closer to the Western camp, following US President Richard Nixon's visit to China. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Third World was increasingly divided between governments backed by the Soviets (such as Libya, Iraq and Syria), governments backed by NATO (such as Saudi Arabia), and a growing camp of non-aligned nations.

The Soviet and other Eastern Bloc economies continued to stagnate. Worldwide inflation occurred following the 1973 oil crisis.


Containment is a geopolitical "strategic foreign policy pursued by the united states". It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. The strategy of "containment" is best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism after the end of World War II.

As a component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to the Soviet Union's move to increase communist influence in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Containment represented a middle-ground position between detente (relaxation of relations) and rollback (actively replacing a regime).

he basis of the doctrine was articulated in a 1946 cable by U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan during the post-WWIof U.S. President Harry S. Truman. As a description of U.S. foreign policy, the word originated in a report Kennan submitted to U.S. Defense Secretary James Forrestal in 1947, which was later used in a magazine article.

Detente (band)

Detente was a thrash metal band founded in 1984 in Los Angeles, California. The group's original line-up included Dawn Crosby on vocals, Steve Hochheiser on bass, Dennis Butler on drums and Ross Robinson and Caleb Quinn on guitars,.In 2012, the band was the subject of controversy over their 2010 song "Kill Rush", which referred to Rush Limbaugh with Conservative Talk Show host Sean Hannity discussing the band as part of a left-wing hate conspiracy with then USA House Member Michele Bachmann.

Eugene V. Rostow

Eugene Victor Debs Rostow (August 25, 1913 – November 25, 2002) was an American legal scholar and public servant. He was Dean of Yale Law School and served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President Lyndon B. Johnson. In the 1970s Rostow was a leader of the movement against détente with Russia and in 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed him director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

History of East Germany

The German Democratic Republic (GDR), German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), often known in English as East Germany, existed from 1949 to 1990. It covered the area of the present-day German states of

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin (excluding West Berlin), Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, and Thüringen.

Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (; Russian: Леони́д Ильи́ч Бре́жнев, IPA: [lʲɪɐˈnʲid ɪˈlʲjidʑ ˈbrʲeʐnʲɪf] (listen); Ukrainian: Леоні́д Іллі́ч Бре́жнєв, 19 December 1906 (O.S. 6 December) – 10 November 1982) was a Soviet politician. The fifth leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1964 until his death in 1982. Ideologically, he was a Marxist-Leninist. He presided over the Soviet Union's greatest involvement in world affairs, including détente with the West. But he also increasingly confronted the Sino-Soviet split, which divided and weakened communist parties across the world. In domestic affairs, he presided over a steady decline in the economy, marked by corruption, inefficiency, and rapidly widening weakness in technological advances, especially computers. Nevertheless he was a force for political stability inside the Kremlin, maintaining his power despite his rapidly declining health after 1975.

Brezhnev was born to a Russian worker's family in Kamenskoye in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine). After graduating from the Kamenskoye Metallurgical Technicum, he became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industry. After the October Revolution led to the formation of a one-party state led by the Communist Party, Brezhnev joined the party's youth league, Komsomol, in 1923, and then became an active party member by 1929. With the invasion by Germany in 1941, he joined the Army and held increasingly important political posts as the Communist Party closely monitored the generals. After the war he rose steadily in the top ranks of the party, and became a protégé of Joseph Stalin. In 1952 Brezhnev was promoted to the Central Committee and in 1957 to full member of the Politburo. In 1964, he ousted Nikita Khrushchev and took over as First Secretary of the CPSU, the most powerful position in the Kremlin.

As the leader of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev's conservatism and carefulness to reach decisions through consensus within the Politburo resulted in sustained political stability within the party and the country. On the world stage, Brezhnev pushed hard for the adoption of détente to relax tensions and foster economic cooperation between the two Cold War superpowers. Brezhnev's health rapidly deteriorated after 1975 and he increasingly withdrew from international affairs. Détente finally collapsed after Brezhnev ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The widespread response of boycotting the Moscow Olympics of 1980 was a bitter humiliation.

Brezhnev's hostility towards reform and tolerance of corruption ushered in a period of socioeconomic decline known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. His regime presided over widespread military interventionism and a massive arms buildup that ultimately grew to comprise 12.5% of the nation's GNP. In terms of technology, especially computers, the Soviet Union fell further and further behind the West. After years of declining health, Brezhnev died on 10 November 1982 and was quickly succeeded as General Secretary by Yuri Andropov. Upon coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev denounced the Brezhnev regime's pervasive inefficiency and inflexibility before overseeing steps to liberalize the Soviet Union.

Brezhnev's eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in duration. During Brezhnev's rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew dramatically, in part because of the expansion of its military during this time. His tenure as leader was also marked by the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation in the Soviet Union.

Linkage (policy)

Linkage was a foreign policy that was pursued by the United States and championed by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1970s détente, during the Cold War. The policy aimed to persuade the Soviet Union and Communist China to co-operate in restraining revolutions in the Third World in return for concessions in nuclear and economic fields. However, despite the lack of Soviet intervention, a large number of revolutions still occurred in Third World countries, thereby undermining the policy.

The premise behind linkage, as a policy, was to connect political and military issues, thereby establishing a relationship making progress in area "A" dependent on progress in area "B."

An important aspect of the policy was that deviations from respecting the rights and interests would go punished. The intent of the action was to bring home to the offending state the limitations of acceptable international behavior and demonstrate that attempts at expansion (and upsetting international stability) would go punished. Thus, conflict itself would contribute to stabilizing the international order.

The Nixon-Kissinger approach did not link foreign and domestic areas.

Selective relaxation of tensions is an opposing policy to linkage. In that case, an issue of arms control could be addressed and tension diminished, with the status quo being maintained in other strategic areas.

Moscow Summit (1972)

The Moscow Summit of 1972 was a summit meeting between President Richard M. Nixon of the United States and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was held May 22–30, 1972. It featured the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), and the U.S.–Soviet Incidents at Sea agreement. The summit is considered one of the hallmarks of the détente at the time between the two Cold War antagonists.

Nuclear arms race

The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.


In international relations, a rapprochement, which comes from the French word rapprocher ("to bring together"), is a re-establishment of cordial relations between two countries. This may be done due to a mutual enemy, as was the case with Germany for France and the United Kingdom and their signing of the Entente Cordiale. It has also been done, particularly in the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States, in an effort to reduce tensions and the likelihood of war.

In the political scene of an individual country, rapprochement means the bringing together of diverse political factions as, for example, during metapolitefsi in Greece.


In political science, rollback is the strategy of forcing a change in the major policies of a state, usually by replacing its ruling regime. It contrasts with containment, which means preventing the expansion of that state; and with détente, which means a working relationship with that state. Most of the discussions of rollback in the scholarly literature deal with United States foreign policy toward Communist countries during the Cold War. The rollback strategy was tried, but was not successful in Korea in 1950 and in Cuba in 1961. The political leadership of the United States discussed the use of rollback during the uprising of 1953 in East Germany and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, but decided against it to avoid the risk of Soviet intervention or a major war.Rollback of governments hostile to the U.S. took place in World War II (against Italy 1943, Germany 1945 and Japan 1945), Afghanistan (against the Taliban 2001) and Iraq (against Saddam Hussein 2003). When directed against an established government, rollback is sometimes called "regime change".

Rouge FM

Rouge FM is a network of French-language adult contemporary radio stations broadcasting throughout Quebec, Canada. Established in 1990 as RockDétente, they are owned by Bell Media.

All Rouge FM stations broadcast in the same markets as Bell's contemporary hit radio network, Énergie, which, however, also has a few stations in markets not served by Rouge FM.

Although the stations concentrate on French adult contemporary music, it would mix in English music as well, much like Cogeco's Rythme FM network, which has fewer stations than Rouge FM. The flagship radio station is Montreal's CITE-FM. The Astral jingles on this network are different from the adult hits jingles used by Astral's English-language adult contemporary stations, nut the network uses a very relaxing acoustic tune.

On August 18, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, all RockDétente stations were rebranded as Rouge FM, when the longtime RockDétente branding was retired after a 21-year run. On most stations, the last song as RockDétente was Pour que tu m'aimes encore by Celine Dion, followed by a tribute of the branding. The first song under Rouge FM was I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas. After rebranding, most of the soft rock songs were dropped, leaving the Rythme FM network to continue broadcasting them and moving Rouge FM towards a hot adult contemporary direction. By 2012, most of the classic hits and ballads returned due to the 35th anniversary of flagship CITE-FM Montreal, going towards its old RockDétente direction. From May 2011 to March 2012, the stations started identifying their call letters during station identification, and in April 27 to 29, 2012, the network was briefly rebranded Rose FM as a charitable promotion for breast cancer research.

All stations carry most Rouge FM programming simultaneously except for CITF-FM in Quebec City, all of which is programmed locally except for a few networked programs.

Soviet Union–United States relations

The relations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922–1991) succeeded the previous relations from 1776 to 1917 and predate today's relations that began in 1992. Full diplomatic relations between the two countries were established late (1933) due to mutual hostility. During World War II, the two countries were briefly allies. At the end of the war, the first signs of post-war mistrust and hostility began to appear between the two countries, escalating into the Cold War; a period of tense hostile relations, with periods of détente.

Victoria Falls Conference (1975)

The Victoria Falls Conference took place on the 26th August 1975 aboard a South African Railways train halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge on the border between the unrecognised state of Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) and Zambia. It was the culmination of the "détente" policy introduced and championed by B. J. Vorster, the Prime Minister of South Africa, which was then under apartheid and was attempting to improve its relations with the Frontline States to Rhodesia's north, west and east by helping to produce a settlement in Rhodesia. The participants in the conference were a delegation led by the Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on behalf of his government, and a nationalist delegation attending under the banner of Abel Muzorewa's African National Council (UANC), which for this conference also incorporated delegates from the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) and the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI). Vorster and the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda acted as mediators in the conference, which was held on the border in an attempt to provide a venue both sides would accept as neutral.

The conference failed to produce a settlement, breaking up on the same day it began with each side blaming the other for its unsuccessful outcome. Smith believed the nationalists were being unreasonable by requesting preconditions for talks—which they had previously agreed not to do—and asking for diplomatic immunity for their leaders and fighters. The nationalists contended that Smith was being deliberately intransigent and that they did not believe he was sincere in seeking an agreement if he was so adamant about not giving diplomatic immunity. Direct talks between the government and the Zimbabwe African People's Union followed in December 1975, but these also failed to produce any significant progress. The Victoria Falls Conference, the détente initiative and the associated ceasefire, though unsuccessful, did affect the course of the Rhodesian Bush War, as they gave the nationalist guerrillas significant time to regroup and reorganise themselves following the decisive security force counter-campaign of 1973–74. A further conference would follow in 1976, this time in Geneva.

Events (1964–1982)
Events (1982–1985)
Politburo members
National economy
Brezhnev's family
Life and
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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