Search Results for arms control

The INF Treaty, Part II — Moving from Arms Control to Arms Reduction

From November 1983 to March of 1985 negotiations between the United States and the USSR languished, leading the U.S. to deploy the Pershing II missile to counter the Soviet SS-20, which had been deployed beginning in 1976. When talks resumed, there were two main stumbling blocks toward the progress of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Paul Nitze and A Walk in the Woods  — A Failed Attempt at Arms Control

In 1976, the USSR deployed hundreds of intermediate-range SS-20s (pictured), which were an upgrade of the older SS-3 and SS-4  missiles. They carried nuclear warheads and, with a range of about 3400 miles, were capable of reaching almost any target in Western Europe and were thus considered a threat. Oddly enough, many arms control experts […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Europe, Foreign Service, Military, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , , |
Stop the MADness — Arms Control and Disarmament

The end of World War II ushered in an era of intense arms competition between the Soviet Union and the United States. Both sides produced nuclear armaments and other weapons of mass destruction at increasing rates as the bipolar world order evolved, finally achieving a state known as “mutually assured destruction” or MAD. President Eisenhower […]

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The Reagan-Gorbachev Arms Control Breakthrough

Back to Memoirs and Occasional Papers The Reagan-Gorbachev Arms Control Breakthrough:The Treaty Eliminating Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Missiles This is a collective memoir of yesteryear when the Cold War was still icy. The Reagan-Gorbachev Arms Control Breakthrough analyzes the limitation of intermediate-range nuclear force missiles from the vantage point of history, drawing primarily on the reflections of the […]

Persuading an Arms Dealer to Come Clean in a New South Africa

Yacht trips, golf junkets, and private receptions with Oprah. These are rare events even in elevated diplomatic careers.  Yet William Center, who served in the U.S. Commercial Service during a period of tremendous economic change, experienced all this and more.  His time in South Africa after the fall of apartheid was particularly notable. He faced […]

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Geiger Counters, and a Nanny Who Became a Millionaire—Establishing a USAID Mission in Kazakhstan

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, USAID made Central Asia a top priority—“no matter where you were posted and where you were on your current assignment” employees were urged to head there. Jonathan Addleton was working for USAID in post-apartheid South Africa. Central Asia intrigued him, and the organization quickly agreed to send Addleton […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
“Not Treated as Beyond the Pale:” Cold War Nuclear Options to Respond to a Soviet Bloc Invasion

The mid-nineteen seventies are often considered a time of détente (the easing of tensions) between the United States and the Soviet Union. Arms control treaties and agreements were signed limiting the kinds of weapons of mass destruction that could be used in war. For the first time in many years, the possibility of global nuclear […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Talking to Soviet Soldiers During the 1991 Coup Attempt: A U.S. Defense Attaché’s Tale

James Cox knew that Soviet officers would stonewall a foreigner like him, but there was a chance that regular soldiers might express their grievances to him. In the midst of the 1991 Soviet coup attempt, Cox sought information to report to the U.S. Embassy. So when the officers were not looking, he launched into a […]

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Long Before He Headed the CIA, James Woolsey Challenged Paul Nitze Over the Vietnam War

For a young lieutenant to challenge the number two man in the Department of Defense over Vietnam policy in 1969 took guts. The ensuring argument pitted R. James Woolsey, still in his 20s and later to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, against Paul Nitze, Deputy Secretary of Defense and pillar of the U.S. […]

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The Rough Road to Moscow for Malcolm Toon  

Malcolm Toon was a fluent Russian speaker and one of the State Department’s top experts on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He was ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Israel, and the Soviet Union. Toon was characterized in The New York Times in 1978 as “one of the most influential of the postwar ambassadors in […]

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