Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) describe two rounds of bilateral negotiations of arms control treaties held between 1969 and 1979 between the Soviet Union and the United States. The two rounds are referred to as SALT I and SALT II, respectively.
The first SALT agreement froze the number of strategic ballistic missile launchers and prevented the construction of new ballistic missile weaponry in the US and the USSR. It authorized for new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers only after an equal number of older intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and SLBM launchers had been dismantled.
Both nations were deploying heavy land-based missiles, constructing powerful multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), and developing anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems.
The ultimate result of the first round of discussions was the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, signed by President Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev on May 26, 1972. The treaty limited each country's defensive missile system to two anti-ballistic missile (ABM) sites containing no more than 100 missiles at each site. The treaty was later amended to permit only one site in each nation.
The other SALT I treaty limited the distribution of certain offensive nuclear weapons for five years. Both agreements entered into forice in 1972.
An Interim Agreement Between The United States of America and The Union of Societ Socialist Republics on Certain Measures With Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms was also concluded along with a number of other statements.
In 2002, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty. US President George W. Bush asserted that the development of an extensive missile defense system was central to the security of the United States.
The second round of talks between the USSR and the US occured between 1972 and 1979. It was a continuation of the progress made during SALT I. On June 18, 1979, an agreement to limit strategic launchers was reached and signed by Jimmy Carter and Leonic Brezhnev. The treaty limited long-range bombers and missiles. Unfortunately, six months after the signing, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, a highly unfavorable move with the Americans. The US Senate refused to ratify the treaty. Nonetheless, the terms of SALT II were honored by both nations.
President Jimmy Carter and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II treaty in Vienna
June 18, 1979
- "President Jimmy Carter and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II treaty." Wikipedia Commons. 25 July 2005. 12 Mar 2006. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Carter_Brezhnev_sign_SALT_II.jpg> - US Government Public Domain.
- Pranger, Robert J. "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006. 26 Apr 2006. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar535610>.
- "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks." US Department of State. FirstGov. 5 Mar. 2006
- “Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. 8 Mar. 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Arms_Limitation_Talks>.