Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) SALT -- Background • Ever since the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, there have been attempts to bring about either complete nuclear disarmament or to achieve some sort of arms control agreement whereby the growth of nuclear stockpiles might be restricted. SALT -- Background • The need for some sort of agreement on restricting or banning altogether nuclear weapons became more pressing as the USA and the USSR developed increasingly powerful nuclear arsenals. • In 1949 the USSR tested its first atom bomb; SALT -- Background • In 1952 the USA developed the H-bomb, closely followed by the USSR the next year; • In 1957-1958 the USSR and the USA produced the first intercontinental ballistic missiles. • In 1970 the USA developed the first MIRV (multiple independently-targeted warhead), five years ahead of the USSR. SALT -- Background • By the 1980s, the USA and the USSR each had over 10,000 nuclear warheads. • Furthermore the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons steadily increased; by 1960 the UK and France had joined the “nuclear club”, SALT -- Background • China did so in 1964, India tested a nuclear device in 1974 and a number of other countries were working on developing nuclear weapons. • The desirability of disarmament or arms control naturally increased as the destructive capacity of nuclear devices grew and after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 brought the world close to a nuclear war. SALT -- Background • Proposals for complete disarmament were discussed quite regularly in the 1950s and early 1960s but since then arms control has been the dominant approach. • No disarmament agreement was successful in the period up to the mid-1980s. SALT -- Background • Thereafter, the USA and the USSR signed a series of historic disarmament treaties which reduced the number of nuclear weapons held by the superpowers; the INF (Intermediaterange nuclear forces) Treaty in 1987, START I (strategic arms reduction treaty) in 1991 and START II in 1993. SALT -- Background • In 1959 the USA and the USSR produced a joint resolution on disarmament which led to the setting up of a Committee of Ten Nations to draft a Treaty of World Disarmament. • The Committee met in Geneva in 1960 but no progress was made. SALT -- Background • More successful was the first arms control agreement, the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which banned the military use of Antarctica and was signed by 40 countries. The McCloy-Zorin Agreement, September 1961 • In 1961 the USA and the USSR took part in disarmament talks to Moscow. • A “joint statement of agreed principles as a basis for multilateral negotiations on disarmament” was issued by the superpowers in September 1961. • This was known as the McCloy-Zorin Agreement. The McCloy-Zorin Agreement, September 1961 • The McCloy-Zorin Principles were adopted by the general Assembly of the United Nations. • The UN then set up the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC) which met in Geneva in March 1962. The McCloy-Zorin Agreement, September 1961 • Just before the formal proceedings opened the US, Soviet and British foreign ministers met in Geneva to discuss Soviet and US proposals for disarmament. • There then followed three years of negotiations which failed to produce any agreement. Arms Control & Détente • August 1963 • Test Ban Treaty • The USA, USSR and Britain signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty which banned above ground testing of nuclear devices. • Over the next two years over 90 other countries signed the treaty but France and China did not. Arms Control & Détente • July 1968 • The Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty • Signed by the UK as well as the USA and the USSR Arms Control & Détente • November 1969 • SALT (Strategic Arms Limitations Talks) • Negotiations between the USA and the USSR began in Helsinki Arms Control & Détente • September 1971 • US-Soviet Nuclear Accidents Agreements • April 1972 • Biological Weapons Convention • Signed by 126 countries Arms Control & Détente • • • • May 1972 SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) Signed by Nixon and Brezhnev This was composed of two treaties: first was the SALT I Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty • The second treaty was SALT I Interim Agreement on Offensive Arms. Arms Control & Détente • June 1973 • The Prevention of Nuclear War Agreement • Signed by the USA and the USSR Arms Control & Détente • August 1975 • The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) • Signed in Helsinki • The conference had started back in 1973 • All European governments (except for Albania) and the USA and Canada participated. Arms Control & Détente • The Helsinki Declaration (the Final Act), signed by 35 governments, covered three broad issues, or “baskets” as they were referred to: security cooperation and human rights. • A significant agreement in the security basket was that all signatories would provide prior notification of any military exercises involving more than 25,000 troops. Arms Control & Détente • June 1979 • SALT II • This agreement was signed by the USA and the USSR and went further than SALT I. • However, this agreement was never formally agreed to by the USA because it was not ratified by the Senate. • None the less, both sides kept to the agreement until 1986. A Return to Disarmament: the UN Special Sessions on Disarmament 1978 & 1982 • The 1978 US Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament was the first major international disarmament conference since the 1932 League of Nations Disarmament Conference. A Return to Disarmament: the UN Special Sessions on Disarmament 1978 & 1982 • The Special Session agreed a Final Document highlighting the dangers of nuclear war but no significant action on disarmament followed. • A second Special Session in 1982 was less harmonious and achieved nothing.