was Detente superficial essay

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Pages: 5

“Despite the claims of those who promoted Détente, its achievements were superficial.”

Superficial means that something appears to be deep and true only at the surface, until it is closely examined. This definition does apply to Détente because it only reduced tension on the surface, but behind the scenes the arms race did not change and the many agreements limiting the use of nuclear arms were shallow in the types and amounts of arms they limited. In truth, détente did bring some temporary stability to Europe but that was never built to last as the two systems were too different to be able to cooperate successfully.

On the the biggest issues during the cold war and so inevitably when establishing the Détente was the nuclear arms
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This shows the two superpowers on ultimately opposite sites, even if it was not evident in their own conflict it can be seen in who they supported. Therefore, détente was never going to be a groundbreaking peace treaty that would bring significant change to the cold war, it was only ever going to be a temporary solution.

The idea of deception can further be seen in the contrast between what Nixon believed and what was going on. Nixon thought that détente allowed superpower relations to get better as it can be seen that the leaders are getting along, agreeing that it was advantageous to develop personal relationships. This idea in itself was good, because its easier to compromise with one person than a whole state, but Richard Pipes (an orthodox historian) argued that the détente was 'a more subtle low risk strategy aimed at making gains in the third world... By lulling the West into a false sense of security.' This would have people believe that the détente for the USSR was a smokescreen for their actions in the third world and their plans to gain access to the western technology. Therefore, détente was a superficial means to an end which would lead the US to a state of security and they would miss what the USSR were really doing, it was never aimed at maintaining peace. Both those views are predictable and therefore unreliable because Nixon as an architect of détente was always