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The breakdown of the 1970s dtente can be attributed to many different issues and events In researching these events the varying opinions from both superpowers would establish the failure of dtente in history as a breakdown in communication and talks between the White House and the Kremlin with the collapse of dtente marking the end of the 1970s During the 1976 presidential campaign the tension between the objective of transformation and the importance of coexistence became crucial Conservatives criticized dtente for not moderating the Soviets involvement in the Third World In the United States many saw accumulative series of Soviet interventions which involved military means Angola Ethiopia Kampuchea Afghanistan as a pattern of Soviet expansion which was not consistent with dtente Many actually believed that these expansionist moves were encouraged by dtente Ultimately the expectations that dtente would achieve more were held by both powers It was the failure to satisfy these expectations which led to its demise Kissinger suggested that dtente with all its weaknesses should be judged not against some ideal but against what would have happened in its absence Dtente did not cause the Soviet arms build-up nor could it have stopped it However it may have slowed it down or made it more benign Garthoff 19941123 Perhaps dtente could be viewed not as a method of preventing or deterring tension which might lead to war but as a way of postponing their effect until the United States could more effectively deal with them By 1976 dtente was a controversial term with both left and right had criticizing its development With the new Carter administration a campaign for restoring confidence in government institutions and reforming American foreign policy was implemented Froman 199174 Carter appointed Brzezinski as National Security Adviser and Vance as Secretary of State Their ongoing differences resulted in turmoil for the Carter administration and his efforts to develop a set of boundaries for the principles of
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