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What are some examples of why detente was more effective than brinksmanship in ending...

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tiraninbg | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM via web

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What are some examples of why detente was more effective than brinksmanship in ending the Cold War?

I am writing a research paper on how detente was more effective in ending the Cold War than brinksmanship, so I am looking for examples that i can write full paragraphs about each of the examples(positives of detente in ending some of these events).

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:24 PM (Answer #1)

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As with the other question of yours I just answered, it seems that you are asking about general attitudes in the Cold War, not about the time period that is generally known as the time of detente by scholars.  You seem to be asking about episodes in which negotiation and efforts to calm tensions were more effective than aggressive acts of brinkmanship in solving problems during the Cold War (as opposed to ending the entire Cold War). 

There are a number of incidents that you can use as proof that negotiation is better than aggression in bringing about solutions.  They might include:

  • The Suez Crisis.  There, diplomatic pressure from the US in particular forced Britain, France, and Israel to back off of their aggressive actions against Egypt.
  • The Vietnam War.  The war was ended not through military threats on either side but through negotiations.  It was when Nixon came into office, determined to end the war even if compromise was necessary, that the war ended.
  • Relations with China.  Nixon's use of secret diplomacy and "ping-pong diplomacy" was fairly effective in bringing about better relations between the US and China.  These relations were, again, not brought about by threats or brinkmanship.
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etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM (Answer #2)

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Brinksmanship is a world coined during the Eisenhower or maybe the Truman adminstration.  It must have gone out of fashion, the word, maybe not the idea later in the cold war.

The only time I ever heard the word, detente, it was spoken by Frank Church in an old grainy video of the 1960 Democrat National Convention.  

Any way, I don't think detente did must to end the Cold War.  It only made life easier for the Soviet Union.  The financial strain of the Cold War caused by the Reagan Adminstration's 600 ship navy and the High Frontier Program caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was a kind of brinksmanship, but I don't think they called it brinksmanship.

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