Between the late s and the late s, there was a thawing of the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the decade began with vast improvements in bilateral relations, by the end of the decade events had brought the two superpowers back to the brink of confrontation. Fears of nuclear conflict between the two superpowers peaked in in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis , paving the way for some of the earliest agreements on nuclear arms control, including the Limited Test Ban Treaty in Although these agreements acted as important precedents, the U. By the late s, however, both countries had several concrete reasons for resuming arms talks. The ongoing nuclear arms race was incredibly expensive, and both nations faced domestic economic difficulties as a result of the diversion of resources to military research.
Relations cooled again with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Richard M. We seek an open world—open to ideas, open to the exchange of goods and people—a world in which no people, great or small, will live in angry isolation Those who would be our adversaries, we invite to a peaceful competition—not in conquering territory or extending dominion but in enriching the life of man. By improving U. Kosygin and Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev.
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The term, in diplomacy, originates from around when France and Germany tried unsuccessfully to reduce tensions. Most often, the term is used for a phase of the Cold War. It was the policy of relaxing tensions between the Soviet Union and the West, as promoted by Richard Nixon , Henry Kissinger and Leonid Brezhnev , between and With the United States showing weakness at the top that forced Nixon out of office, Brezhnev used the opportunity to expand Soviet influence. The term is also used to refer to the Cuban thaw , which resulted in Cuba and the United States restoring diplomatic relations with each other in The term is most often used to refer to a period of general easing of the geopolitical tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States that was a distinct lessening of the Cold War. It began in , as a core element of the foreign policy of US President Richard Nixon , in an effort to avoid nuclear escalation. The Nixon administration promoted greater dialogue with the Soviet government, including regular summit meetings and negotiations over arms control and other bilateral agreements. The so-called red telephone enabled leaders of both countries to communicate with each other quickly in times of urgency and to reduce the chances of future crises escalating into an all-out war.