Are the following actions examples of the American policy of detente, deterrence, appeasement or brinkmanship?A. President Nixon visits the People's Republic of China B. SALT I is signed C....

Are the following actions examples of the American policy of detente, deterrence, appeasement or brinkmanship?

A. President Nixon visits the People's Republic of China

B. SALT I is signed

C. American and Soviet space agencies agree to a joint space mission

Asked on by offord521

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

"Détente was a permanent relaxation in international affairs."

After the Vietnam War, the US realized that it wasn't possible to deal with all problems using military power. The same was the feeling on the side of the USSR too. The huge amounts being spent towards building up military resources could benefit civilian programs in both the nations. It only required one of the nations to take the initiative.

The US could not show that it was in any way weaker, or take conditions to an extent that made war imminent. This made it start with relaxing relations with the USSR and involved China too and it was the next communist super power after the USSR.

The visit by President Nixon to China, starting with the strategic arms limitations talks and beginning a joint space program served all the purposes of the US. They neither made the US look weaker in any way nor did they take situations to extremes.

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In order to answer this question, you need to know the meanings of the potential answers.

Detente refers to a time when tensions between the superpowers were being reduced.  It was a time when the US and the communist bloc got along a bit better than they had.

Deterrence is when you have enough military power (especially nuclear weapons) to scare the other side so they won't attack you.

Appeasement is when you give in to the other side and let them have what they want.  You hope that will satisfy them so there won't be a war.

Brinkmanship is when you take things to the brink.  It is when you get close to having an all out war in hopes of making the other guy back down first.

So... which of these would you say is involved when the US opens diplomatic relations with China, when they make an agreement with the Soviets to limit nuclear weapons and when they and the Soviets have a joint space mission?  Hopefully, you answered A because all of these show tensions being reduced.

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