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

1
The Historical Background

In the 1960s, the Soviet leadership as well as the rest of Soviet society considered military--and, above all, nuclear--parity with the United States and the other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries as the main, and probably sole, means of strengthening national security. Gaining superiority over the "probable enemy" was, of course, an even more desirable goal. Given these conditions, no serious arms control and disarmament mechanism was perceived as necessary. In fact, that option was not even discussed.

To better understand the mentality of the Soviet leadership of that period, we have to remember that practically the entire Politburo had participated in the World War II--called "The Great Patriotic War" in the Soviet Union--a defining event for that country and one which burned its imprint on the Soviet soul. Thus, the Soviet leaders' ideas about security were based on their personal war experience and the lessons they took from that war.

Added to this was the Cuban missile crisis syndrome, another powerful factor behind the accelerated Soviet military buildup in the latter half of the twentieth century. Whereas World War II made itself felt in Soviet strategic planning because of a shared national experience, the Cuban missile crisis negatively impacted the self-esteem of the Soviet leadership.

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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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