External and Internal Political Factors
What did Moscow expect to achieve with its shifts in foreign policy manifested in the détente of 1955 and in the new line adopted at the Twentieth Party Congress? In adopting a more conciliatory foreign policy toward the West and in taking a more "reasonable" approach to disarmament and arms control, was Moscow seeking merely to attenuate the struggle with the Western powers, and thereby to set tacit limits to the arms race and lower the danger of war? Did Moscow now perceive an additional interest in cultivating those in Western governments who were more favorably disposed to agreements with the Soviet Union? These are some of the questions that arise in considering the political factors that influenced Soviet conduct in these formative years of a new approach to the West.
The developments in 1954-1956 in both the Soviets' negotiating position and their political use of the disarmament issue were part of a more pervasive but not unprecedented shift from a relatively antagonistic to a somewhat more re