Signing of the SALT treaty November 1969 - May 1972

1. Explain the background to the event/person/policy

The strategic arms limitation (SALT 1) was a political agreement to disarm highly dangerous weapons in response to the tension and destruction that the A bomb caused. The treaty was signed on the November 1969 between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was officially signed and and finally enforced 6 months after with the policy that the treaty would take effect for 5 years. The developement of Nuclear weapons was halted for both nations as the aim of the treaty was to reduce the risk of nuclear warfare. the research and construction of both offensive and defence technology was prohibited. Though the treaty was eventually signed in 1969, there were many difficulties to create a policy that both nations agreed upon. With numerous earlier proposals denied, it was finally announced on 1st of July 1968 by President Johnson that both sides negotiated a reduction in their nuclear weapons.

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Cartoon illustrating the signing of Salt treaty II while still hiding nuclear weapons behind their backs. This takes on a more sinister and negative approach and illustrates the idea that both countries were still hiding secrets. This of course it due to the tension that was created by the cold war and could possibily indicate a 'silent growing tension' behind the public eye.

2. Outline the event/person/policy from beginning to resolution

The policy of the SALT treaty was to limit the production and influence of nuclear weapon on both the super powers and other countries. It involved numerous reductions in the amount of defence and offensive weapons that each super power could own. The main authorities involved in the discussion of the first SALT treaty included Richard Nixon (for America) and Leonid Brezhnev (Soviet Union ) . The resolution for the total disarment of nuclear weapons has not been entirely solved but both nations are contributing efforts into restricting the beginning of nuclear warfare. They are achieving this through discussion and conferences but also through constantly restablishing more SALT treaties. There has been 3 more treaties created with the latest one being signed by Barack Obama and Medvedev. The SALT treaty itself is only a temporary solution to the problem of nuclear warfare breaking out and an attempt to control the tension created by the cold war.

Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev signing the secound SALT treaty on November 24, 1974. The SALT treaty was a positive step to diminishing the tension that had arised between Russia and America. The treay had also helped stablise the situation and conclude the era of Nuclear destructive threats.
Visual indicator of the policy of the treaty and the amount of military weapons / defences that were limited for each nation. With slight variations, the overall limitations was consistant for both nations.

3. Explain the different perspectives on the issue or person - e.g. What was the Soviet Stance and why? What was the U.S.A.’s stance and why?

Though the united states and the Soviet Union disagreed on many issues they put aside their differences and both ended up agreeing on a limitation on the amount of offensive and defensive weapons that each nation could obtain. This provided safety for both major powers and assisted in disarming the growing tension. So both nations witnessed the damage and destruction that Nuclear weapons, and saw that the treaty of SALT was a internationally supportated idea that would have a postive effect on both sides. It also removed majour stress and tension off both sides as they both agreed upon avoiding confrontations.
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In this cartoon it illustrates the signing of the SALT treaty on 5 December 2009. It depicts Obama discussing the future events and asking what will happen next. The most emphasis is placed upon the Nuclear weapon in small trash bin, symbolising that the delay of nuclear warfare is coming to an end and that there is no space left to be constantly patching the tension with the SALT treaty

4. What short and long term implications did the event have? i.e. its significance.

The SALT treaty had a very positive effect for both short and long term situations. Though each treaty would eventually conclude, both nations created more stability and safety for the world as the start of nuclear warfare was further delayed. To achieve a temporary long-term effect, the treaty had to be constantly signed and required the support of the new presidents of each country. This treaty also heavily restricted other countries from obtaining a dangerous amount of nuclear weapons which overall helped control the threat of enormous destruction.
(Presidents Obama and Medvedev Sign Arms treaty) This is a mjaour peaceful event that relieves the tension across the globe. It indicates that both nations are continuing to support the restriction of Nuclear warfare and are acting upon their beliefs on what is best for their own country and their international relations.


“Cold War? Heck, it was a hot war!”
To what extent do you agree with Robert McNamara’s statement that it was a ‘hot war’?

Robert McNamara’s statement refers to the great tension and dangerous peril that the world faced. The Cold war was considered a passive war as no direct physical action was taken between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, those who lived and experienced the threat of Nuclear warfare saw it as a heated and tense situation.

The Cold war was considered a passive war because there was no physical and direct contact between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was essentially a military, technological and ideological development between the two great powers that did not involve a “shooting war” (Bernard Barmel 1947). This major war was less physically confronting and only contained minor casualties compared to the Great wars. Historians such as Margret Thatches saw positive effects of the Cold war and believe that it actually introduce stability, “a world without Nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous”. With the great tension between America and the Soviet Union accumulating to no direct military combat, the cold war was considered a passive war.

However, with the accumulating tension between the United States and the Soviet Union rising, many saw the cold war as a tense and heated situation. Robert McNamara, the American defence minister witnessed the events that contributed to the hot war. The most devastating and dangerous event that occurred during this period was the development of Nuclear weapons. While tension between The United States and the Soviet Union had reached a climatic point, both nations had also successfully developed and tested Nuclear weapons by 1914 August 24. The threat of an apocalyptic Nuclear warfare breaking out caused international tension. Richard Nixon the 37th priminster of America addressed the dangerous situation and confirmed that everyones life was at risk, “This is the reality of nuclear weapons: they may trigger a world war; a war which, unlike previous ones, destroys all of civilization”. Though the tension was present earlier between the two superpowers, it was not until the development of Nuclear weapons that a physical threat could transpire. Robert McNamara experienced the pressure of the war and ultimately observed it as a heated and hot situation.

This major war was based on technological development that involved the creation of devastating weapons that threatened the world. Though considered a passive war, the threat and tension that existed during the period was extremely dangerous.

Bryant, M. 2005. World War II in cartoons. London: Grub Street.
This is a book that documents all the cartoons produced during this time and the propganda / bias ideas of each nation. It aslo showed the current culture and how people were feeling at the time, espiecally the tension. 2011. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Aug 2013].
Wikipedia, is a great websitesite for a overview of the treaty of SALT and the key dates that are associated with it. It also provides other great websites to gather more reasearch.

Grant, R. 2008. World War II. New York, N.Y.: Dk Pub..
World War II is a great book that explained the current situation of the Cold War and how nuclear weapon were being developed and the dangerous situation created because of that. It also discussed the tension that developed and how the two major nation both had the power to cause great destruction.

NTI: Nuclear Threat Initiative. 1972. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) | NTI. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 13 Aug 2013].
With the other sites gave a general outline, this website gave more specific information and minor events that occured throughout the major events. It also explained 1969. SALT I. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 12 Aug 2013].