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

3
The Big Five and the Small Five

From the late 1960s into the 1970s, the strategic arms control talks with the United States required little or no technical expertise, because of the relative simplicity of the task facing the negotiators: they simply set numerical ceilings for individual weapons systems. This task was easily accomplished by the military experts who were involved in the preparation of the documents; the Big Five required no additional information upon which to make more complicated decisions. The Instructions to the Delegation rarely had to be altered, and the few changes that were made related mostly to emphasizing, clarifying, or amplifying political goals or priorities rather than to any issues dealing with the details of military technology. It was only at the final stage of the SALT I talks--when the ABM problem appeared on the agenda--that special technical questions began to crop up which the members of the Politburo Commission themselves were unable to resolve. It was at this point that the Big Five had to turn to technical experts.

Initially during SALT I, Dmitri Ustinov personally selected experts invited them to participate in discussions on a case-by-case basis. The advice that the experts gave covered such topics as major radar systems related to ballistic missile defenses, and heavy ICBM. During the meetings of the Big Five, however, its other members also sought advice from the

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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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