What Was the Overall Purpose of the Salt Agreement
Intensive research aimed to find ways to examine possible agreements without requiring access to the other party`s territory. Both the ABM Treaty and the Interim Agreement stipulate that compliance must be achieved by «national technical means of verification». In addition, the agreements contain provisions that are important steps to strengthen security against violations: both parties undertake not to interfere with national technical means of verification. In addition, both countries agree not to take deliberate obfuscation measures to impede the review. Let me stress – and I can never do so forcefully enough – that our decision to carry out a limited deployment of templates does not in any way indicate that we consider an agreement with the Soviet Union on the limitation of strategic nuclear offensive and defence forces to be in no way less urgent or desirable. Two initial disagreements were obstacles. Soviet representatives tried to define any American or Soviet weapons system capable of reaching the territory of the other side as «strategic» – that is, negotiable in SALT. This would have included US «forward-based systems», mainly short- or medium-range bombers stationed on aircraft carriers or in Europe, but it would have excluded, for example, Soviet intermediate-range missiles targeting Western Europe. The United States believed that the weapons to be negotiated in SALT included intercontinental systems. Its forward-facing forces were used to repel Soviet intermediate-range missiles and aircraft targeting U.S. allies. Accepting the Soviet approach would have undermined the Alliance`s obligations. After the failure of the first attempts to reach a comprehensive agreement, the Soviets tried to limit negotiations to anti-ballistic missile systems, saying that restrictions on offensive systems should be postponed.
==References=====External links===The position was that limiting ABM systems would be incompatible with the fundamental objectives of salt, but allowing the unrestricted growth of offensive weapons, and that it was important to at least begin to limit offensive systems. A long stalemate on this issue was eventually broken by exchanges at the highest levels of the two governments. On May 20, 1971, Washington and Moscow announced that an agreement had been reached to focus on a permanent treaty to limit ABM systems, but at the same time to elaborate certain restrictions on offensive systems and continue negotiations on a more comprehensive and long-term agreement on them. Mobile ICBMs are not covered. The Soviet Union considered that, since neither party had such systems, a freeze should not apply to it; it also opposed their ban in a future comprehensive agreement. The United States considered that they should be banned because of the difficulties in examination they represented. ==References=====External links===* Official website, the United States stated that the deployment of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles during the term of the agreement would be incompatible with its objectives. Among the resulting set of agreements (SALT I), the most important were the Treaty on Ballistic Missile Defence Systems (ABM) and the Interim Agreement and Protocol on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Weapons. Both were developed by Pres. Richard M. Nixon for the United States and Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, for the USSR signed on 26 May 1972 at a summit in Moscow.
An important breakthrough for this agreement took place at the Vladivostok Summit in November 1974, when President Gerald Ford and Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev reached agreement on the basic framework of the SALT II Agreement. It has been indicated that the elements of this agreement will be in force until 1985. The most important element of the summit concerned the SALT agreements. Discussions on SALT have been going on for about two and a half years, but with little progress. However, during the meeting between Nixon and Brezhnev in May 1972, a monumental breakthrough was made. The SALT agreements signed on 27 May addressed two important issues. First, they limited to two the number of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) sites that each country could have. (ABMs were missiles designed to destroy incoming missiles.) Secondly, the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-fired ballistic missiles has been frozen at the existing level. However, the agreements did not cover several re-entry missiles that could be targeted independently (single missiles with multiple nuclear warheads) or the development of new weapons. Nevertheless, most Americans and Soviets celebrated the SALT accords as huge achievements.
Through diplomatic channels in Washington and Moscow, talks with Soviet representatives at the ENDC, and exchanges at the highest level of the two governments, the United States continued to push for a Soviet commitment to discuss strategic arms control. But it was not until the following year that evidence emerged of a Soviet reassessment of his position. On July 1, 1968, at the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, President Johnson announced that an agreement had been reached with the Soviet Union to begin talks on the limitation and reduction of strategic nuclear weapon delivery systems and ballistic missile defence. The date and place of the talks had not yet been announced when the Soviet Union was liberated on 20 September. August began with the invasion of Czechoslovakia, an event that postponed talks indefinitely. The combination of restrictions on strategic weapons and open issues such as the Middle East, Berlin and, above all, Vietnam thus became a central element of Nixon and Kissinger`s policy of détente. Using connections, they hoped to change the nature and course of U.S. foreign policy, including U.S.
nuclear disarmament and arms control policies, 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 it. […] Its liaison policy had indeed failed. It failed mainly because it was based on erroneous assumptions and false premises, the most important of which was that the Soviet Union wanted many more strategic arms limitation agreements than the United States.  Given the many asymmetries in the armed forces of 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 about 1,618 operational and under construction. The launchers under construction could be completed. Neither side would begin construction of additional fixed ground-based ICBM launchers during the term of the agreement – which, in fact, also prevents the relocation of existing launchers. .