The Big Five: Arms Control Decision-Making in the Soviet Union

By Aleksandr' G. Savel'Yev; Nikolay N. Detinov et al. | Go to book overview

Foreword

That this book was written is astonishing. That we here in the West have the opportunity to read it is just short of a miracle. The Big Five is an insider's book written by two men within one of the most secret establishments of the twentieth century, the Soviet arms control leadership. Its existence is testament to the extraordinary changes we have witnessed in the past few years--above all, of course, the end of the Soviet Union, for which this information would have been as closely guarded as the capabilities of the weapons themselves.

As one of the "opposite numbers" of the authors for many years in the arms control talks, I take special pleasure in being asked to add my thoughts here. It is a pleasure to know that our collective efforts were not in vain, and a greater pleasure to find that in the world of today the threat of nuclear holocaust is no longer an omnipresent fear for us all. In the course of the events described here, both sides harbored deep suspicions of each other's intentions and of the lasting effect of what they might be able to accomplish. To read these pages after those years of frustration crowns the success we forged together.

Of course, Soviet-American arms control was not the sole cause of the relaxation of superpower tensions and the end of the Cold War. However, in the political vacuum of much of

-xi-

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The Big Five: Arms Control Decision-Making in the Soviet Union
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1- The Historical Background 1
  • Notes 13
  • 2- The Politburo Commission For The Supervision of The Negotiations 15
  • Notes 30
  • 3- The Big Five and The Small Five 31
  • Note 42
  • 4 - The Salt II Talks: The Decision-Making Mechanism in Action 43
  • Notes 53
  • 5- "Euromissiles" and The Principle of Equal Security 55
  • Notes 68
  • 6- The Start Negotiations And the Final Period Of Superpower Confrontation 71
  • Notes 80
  • 7- The Return to The Negotiations: the Prelude To Perestroyka 83
  • Notes 94
  • 8- The Krasnoyarsk Affair 95
  • Notes 109
  • 9- Perestroyka and the Further Refinement of The Decision-Making Mechanism 111
  • Note 122
  • 10- Medium-Range Nuclear Weapons Negotiations: Was the "Zero Option" Really So Bad? 123
  • Notes 139
  • 11- The Start Treaty: Who Made Concessions to Whom? 141
  • Note 150
  • 12- The Difficult Path to The Start Treaty 151
  • 13- Defense and Space Issues: A Field for Future Negotiations? 163
  • Notes 182
  • 14- The Big Five: from Its Birth To Its Death 183
  • Note 192
  • 15- Reflections 193
  • Index 195
  • About the Authors and Editor 205
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