Khrushchev and the Arms Race: Soviet Interests in Arms Control and Disarmament, 1954-1964

By Lincoln P. Bloomfield; Walter C. Clemens Jr. et al. | Go to book overview

16
Foreign Policy: Constraints and Opportunities

The failure at Cuba, forcing Moscow as it did to live with an adverse strategic balance, destroyed the basis of a further political-military offensive against the Western alliance. At the same time, the responsiveness of the Kennedy administration to the conciliatory element in the Soviet post-Cuba policy line, combined with the existence of mounting centrifugal forces in NATO, offered Moscow increasingly good reasons to seek a détente and even certain agreements with the West. But the Soviet approach to arms controls was also conditioned by an awareness that the balance of forces within NATO and in the NATO capitals made all but the most limited of East-West agreements improbable.1 These

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1
According to Robert F. Kennedy, President Kennedy considered that "the greatest failure during the first two and one-half years of his presidency was the fact that we had reached no concrete agreement with the Soviet Union in the direction of a lessening of international tensions. After the Cuban nuclear confrontation, however, he felt the world had changed and that perhaps there would be less opposition to a renewed effort for agreement. This view was not

-209-

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