History 9-18

History 9-18 - Last time: SALT II hit the rocks, linkage...

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Last time: SALT II hit the rocks, linkage -- Midway during Carter administration, things began to change Dec. 1979- USSR moves into Afghanistan USSR were unwilling to accept Afghani impartiality to USSR. First time since WWII end that USSR went beyond areas where they already were. Reaction of US was remarkably muted- the boycott on Moscow Olympics. In 1980 election, Ronald Reagan was elected president One of first things he’d say was to use expression “evil empire” about the USSR Immediately, the number of flashpoints between USSR and US increased (was the 1979 invasion that did it though) Carter was a detail-oriented person; had difficulty seeing raw issues. He drew out the schedule for the White House tennis court; Reagan was the opposite- big picture man. The details are for his assistants. Solidarity- freedom movement in Poland, pushing for greater liberty Dec 1981- martial law was declared in Poland. Polish communist party cracked down; if it hadn’t been done, USSR troops would have entered Poland. Reagan was as unwilling to act on this, rightly so- not much we can do. Americans were encouraged to light candles to show our solidarity. Sept 1983- Korean Airlines (KAL), flight number 007 (South Korea), strayed over USSR airspace accidentally. USSR shot down passenger airline. Onboard was American Congressman; everyone was killed. Mar 1985- Major Arthur Nicholson, who was legally carrying out duties in E. Germany under treaty arrangements between 4 powers, was shot dead by E. German personnel. They would never have done this without the permission of USSR. Central America- increasing danger w/Marxist groups in Nicaragua, where they took power, and in El Salvador, where they came close to taking power. *Late 70s, USSR deployed MRBM in E. Europe, targeted at W. European capitalists. Reagan’s decision was to ratify Carter’s decision to say we are going to go ahead with it? …how do we deal with that? On a mike check, Reagan pretended to announce US had launched some bombers. A technician had not turned off the microphones to the rest of the country. Oops.
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SS-20 Missiles- range of 2800 miles; they could hit every important target in Western Europe. They could carry 3 warheads, each of which would be 50 kiloton device. The bombs that destroyed Hiroshima were 30 kiloton (to put it in perspective). Decision was made to deploy 464 cruise missiles and 96 Pershing missiles (old- fashioned) if USSR didn’t degree to remove the targets (deploy). Great Britain 160 cm; Italy- 112 cm; W.Germ 96 cm; Neth 48 cm; Bel 48 cm; 96 (all) Pershings would go to W.Germ. France already had substantial force of nuclear missiles, Force de Frappe “striking force”. Serious counter to SS-20s Nov. 1983- First of these new missiles were delivered USSR replied by breaking off all negotiations between the US about anything. Yikes! US thought it had once again decided to solve the problem of anti-ballistic missile
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This note was uploaded on 06/14/2009 for the course HIST 2023 taught by Professor Martin during the Fall '08 term at LSU.

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History 9-18 - Last time: SALT II hit the rocks, linkage...

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