The Salt I Agreement

Given the many asymmetries in both countries, the imposition of equivalent restrictions required quite complex and precise provisions. At the time of signing, the United States had 1,054 operational land-based ICBMs, none of which were under construction; the Soviet Union had an estimated 1,618 people in service and under construction. Launchers under construction could be completed. Neither side would start building other fixed ground-based launchers during the term of the contract, which prohibits the relocation of existing launchers. Launchers for light or older ICBMs cannot be converted to launchers for modern heavy ICBMs. This prevents the Soviet Union from replacing older missiles with missiles such as the SS-9, which in 1972 was the largest and most powerful missile in the Soviet stockpile and a source of particular concern for the United States. Negotiations lasted from 17 November 1969 to May 1972, in a series of meetings that began in Helsinki with the American delegation led by Gerard C. Smith, Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Subsequent meetings followed one another between Vienna and Helsinki. After a long stalemate, the first results of SALT I came in May 1971, when agreement was reached on ABM systems. Further discussions ended negotiations on 26 Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev signed both the Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Interim Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on certain measures to limit strategic offensive weapons.

[5] At the Vladivostok Summit in November 1974, Ford and Brezhnev agreed on the basic framework of a SALT II agreement. This provided for a ceiling of 2,400 for strategic carrier nuclear vehicles (ICBMs, SLBM and heavy bombers) for each party; a limit of 1,320 for MIRV systems; the ban on new ICBM ground launchers; and restrictions on the use of new types of strategic offensive weapons. The link between strategic arms restrictions and outstanding issues, such as the Middle East, Berlin and especially Vietnam, has become so central to Nixon and Kissinger`s policy of détente. By using the link, they hoped to change the nature and course of U.S. foreign policy, including U.S. nuclear disarmament and arms control policy, and separate it from those practiced by Nixon`s predecessors. They also intended to make U.S. arms control policy part of the détente by binding. […] Its interconnection policy had indeed failed. It failed mainly because it was based on erroneous assumptions and assumptions, the most important of which was that the Soviet Union wanted far more strategic arms control agreements than the United States. [9] This was the first agreement between the United States and the USSR to set limits and restrictions on their nuclear weapons systems. .

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