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.