Negotiation from Weakness: The INF Talks, 1980–83
The shift in Western policy towards the Soviet Union represented by the dual-track decision found the Russians completely unprepared. They failed to see the significance of what was happening. Under the ageing Brezhnev, backed by the equally ageing Gromyko, the Soviet Government lost all diplomatic initiative. It was easier to assume that the correlation of forces was still to Soviet advantage, that détente was irreversible because the economic crisis in the West had undermined NATO’s resolve to confront the Russians in Europe, and that the resurgence in Western determination to bolster NATO’s defences was ultimately unsustainable, than to reconsider long-held assumptions and re-orchestrate policy along entirely new lines. For this reason it took a considerable period of time for the Russians to adjust to the new reality.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Central Committee Foreign Minister Defence Minister Soviet Leadership
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