Strategic Arms and Limitations Talk/ Treaty (SALT) I & II
SALT I came about in the late 1960s. The United States learned that the Soviet Union had started to make an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) "designed to reach parity with the United States." In 1977, President Lyndon B. Johnson said that the Soviet Union was making an Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM.) Johnson then called for SALT to be formed. He and Alexei Kosygin met that year at Glassboro State College in New Jersey. "Johnson said they must gain 'control of the ABM race.' " Robert McNamara said that the more they reacted to each other the more insane it would get. Nuclear weapons could not be terminated, so they limited defensive and offensive strategic systems.
Richard Nixon also believed in SALT. On November 17, 1969 formal SALT talks began in Helsinki, Finland. For two and a half years both sides argued over the concept of whether or not both of them should complete their plans for ABMs. Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev, the general secretary of the USSR, signed the ABM Treaty and the interim SALT agreement on May 26, 1972, in Moscow. The United States and The Soviet Union agreed to limit nuclear missiles in their arsenals for the first time. SALT I was “considered the crowning achievement of the Nixon-Kissinger strategy of détente.” “The ABM Treaty limited strategic missile defenses to 200 interceptors each and allowed each side to construct two missile defense sites, one to protect the national capital, the other to protect one ICBM field.”
SALT II came about in late 1972. SALT I didn't stop either side from growing their forces through the deployment of Multiple Independently Targeted Re-Entry Vehicles (MIRVs.) MIRVs were payload that contained warheads that were ready to fire. SALT II focused on reducing MIRVs. “Negotiations also sought to prevent both sides from making qualitative breakthroughs that would again destabilize the strategic relationship” Nixon, Ford, and Carter all worked on SALT II. SALT did not end the arms race, but it did open up doors for future agreements.
The Kitchen Debates
The Kitchen Debates were an American Expo. in the Soviet Union on July 24, 1959. Vice President Richard Nixon and Premier Nikita Khrushchev engaged in an impromptu debate regarding the merits if communism vs. capitalism. They discussed technological advancements under capitalism and communism. Khrushchev claimed exhibit was not well organized and that the Soviet Union would surpass the U.S. economically and technologically within a few years. The conversation was video taped in color and both men agreed to broadcast the debate in their respective countries.
Richard Nixon was more interested in foreign affairs than domestic affairs. His base was the "Conservative wing of the Republican Party", but he wanted to improve relations with the Soviet Union and establish relationships with China even though he was strongly against communism. Nixon wanted to ease the tension of the Cold War, end or interrupt the Vietnam War, turn China and the Soviet Union against each other while turning them both against North Vietnam. Nixon had secret meetings with Chinese officials, but on February 1972 his visit to China was broadcasted and highly viewed by American citizens. The Soviet Union was scared about the improving relationships between America and China, so Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nixon met together. Nixon was the first president to go to Moscow.