chapter  8
13 Pages

From INF to SDI: How Helsinki reshaped the transatlantic dimension of European security


The focus of this chapter is the radical transformation of shared Western security policy priorities that was eventually produced by the first Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki from 1973 to 1975. This conference concluded a long and multifaceted negotiation process that involved both US and West German efforts to shape – albeit on a different scale – a definitive compromise with the Soviets and which only apparently was the same as the process of détente. The result of this gradual but deep transformation in transatlantic relations emerged only a decade later, when, despite the Western allies’ doubts and uneasiness, the Reagan administration engaged in the enthusiastic promotion of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).