chapter  11
24 Pages

From Cold War to détente, 1962–79

The failure of détente was, in large part, a reflection of its shortcomings in the early 1970s. In particular, one major problem was that the relaxation of Soviet-American tensions did not lead to any agreement on appropriate action in the Third World. Starting in the mid-1970s Moscow and Washington increasingly clashed over areas far removed from the original causes of the Cold War: the Middle East, South-East Asia and Africa. This, as well as the lack of a domestic consensus in support of détente, eventually undermined the positive gains of the Soviet-American rapprochement. Only in Europe, where détente was a far more multilateral and comprehensive construct, did the détente process last beyond the late 1970s.