THE KHRUSHCHEV DECADE IN RETROSPECT: THE DRIVING FORCES
The ten years ending with the limited arms controls of 1963- 1964 and Khrushchev's removal soon thereafter, constitute a distinctive chapter in the evolution of both Soviet foreign policy and Soviet interest in arms control and disarmament. The rise of Khrushchev by 1955 coincided with a number of epochal developments affecting the basic outlook of Soviet foreign policy: the end of the West's nuclear monopoly and the imminence of both the missile and space ages; accumulated Stalin-fatigue in the Soviet Union; a U.S. President devoted to creating a new "spirit" in East-West relations; new vacuums in the "third world"; and the beginnings of the Sino- Soviet rift. The composition of the United Nations was about to be irrevocably altered, and under the monolithic façade of international communism there were surging eddies of polycentrism that would swell into a current of rebellion against Soviet hegemony. But of all the forces creating an environment for wholesale change in Soviet policy, the most significant was the growing conviction on both sides that general thermonuclear war was not to be permitted.