1st Edition

US Strategic Arms Policy in the Cold War Negotiation and Confrontation over SALT, 1969-1979

By David Tal Copyright 2017
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the negotiations between the USA and the USSR on the limitation of strategic arms during the Cold War, from 1969 to 1979.

    The negotiations on the limitation of strategic arms, which were concluded in two agreements SALT I and SALT II (with only the first ratified), marked a major change in the history of arms control negotiations. For the first time, in the relatively short history of nuclear weapons and negotiations over nuclear disarmament, the two major nuclear powers had agreed to put limits on the size of their nuclear strategic arms. However, the negotiations between the US and USSR were the easy part of the process. The more difficult part was the negotiations among the Americans. Through the study of a decade of negotiations on the limitation of strategic arms in the Cold War, this book examines the forces that either allowed US presidents and senior officials to pave a path toward a US arms limitation policy, or prevented them from doing so. Most importantly, the book discusses the meaning of these negotiations and agreements on the limitation of strategic arms, and seeks to identify the intention of the negotiators: Were they aiming at making the world a safer place? What was the purpose of the negotiations and agreements within US strategic thinking, both militarily and diplomatically? Were they aimed at improving relations with the Soviet Union, or only at enhancing the strategic balance as one component of the strategic nuclear deterrence between the two powers?

    This book will be of much interest to students of Cold War history, arms control, US foreign policy and international relations in general.


    1. SALT: The New Era: Nixon’s Years

    2. SALT Begins

    3. From Stalemate to Breakthrough, Summer 1970- 1971

    4. Negotiating ABM

    5. The Road to Moscow

    6. Nixon in Moscow, May 1972

    7. SALT Resume

    8. From Summit (6/1973) to Summit (1974)

    9. "From the Glamorous Times of Détente into a Time of Testing" - Ford in Power

    10. The Demise of SALT II

    11. Carter

    12. The Fall & Rise of SALT II



    David Tal is the Yossi Harel Chair in Modern Israel Studies at the University of Sussex, UK and author of The American Nuclear Disarmament Dilemma, 1945–1963 (2008) and War in Palestine 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy (2004).

    "This book is a timely, well-researched and finely articulated account on the history of the SALT process of arms control. Broad in scope and drawing from an impressive wealth of archival sources, the book details how technology and personality influenced US and Soviet arms control policies." Stephan Kieninger, Mannheim University