War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; One Step Forward; Interview with Raymond Garthoff, 1986
Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.
A career diplomat, Raymond Garthoff served as executive secretary of the SALT I delegation, and simultaneously as deputy director of the State Departments Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs. In this interview, he speaks in detail about preparations for the negotiations in Helsinki and their conduct. In his view, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger saw SALT as a component of the broader bilateral relationship, and he describes their strategy vis-a-vis the Soviets in the lead-up to the talks. Moscows interest in talks, he believes, stemmed from having just achieved strategic parity with the United States and realizing the significant economic strains of a continuing arms race. Mr. Garthoff discusses some of the atmospherics at the start of the talks and the different cultures of both delegations, such as the Soviets sensitivity to sharing information, even with their own side. He breaks down the substantive views and preferences of each U.S. agency involved in the negotiations. He comments more than once about the highly politicized nature of the entire process, specifically how it was seen by the White House within the domestic political context. This includes the negotiating that took place between Nixon and Sen. Henry Jackson over what the agreement would look like. Among other points discussed in detail are the importance of the informal exchanges that took place during the process, including the tundra talks in Lapland, and the difficult and interesting question of the value of the Kissinger-Dobrynin back-channel talks.
- War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- One Step Forward
- Program Number
Interview with Raymond Garthoff, 1986
- Series Description
The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.
In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989
- Program Description
Soviet and American nuclear forces reach rough nuclear parity in the 1970’s. Each side, pursuing its own interest, negotiates the first successful arms control agreement, SALT I.
In May 1972 President Nixon found himself in Moscow delivering a message of peace and friendship. Nixon announced the first major superpower arms control agreements, SALT I and the Anti-Ballsitic Missile (ABM) treaty. Nixon described his feeling about negotiating with the Soviets. “I didn’t trust the Russians. But I recognized that ... there was no alternative but to have some relationship of ‘live and let live’ between the two superpowers.” Two years after the historic meeting in Moscow, Nixon was forced to resign due to Watergate. ABM silos in the United States were shut down but the production of ballistic missiles armed with multiple nuclear warheads (MIRV’s) contributed to a massive increase in weapons in both the United States and the Soviet Union.
- Asset Type
- Media Type
- Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
- Smith, Gerard C.
- Antimissile missiles
- Submarine-launched ballistic missiles
- Helsinki (Finland)
- Nuclear weapons
- Newhouse, John, 1929-
- United States. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
- Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
- Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles
- United States
- Dobrynin, Anatoly, 1919-2010
- Grinevsky, Oleg, 1930-
- Nuclear arms control -- Verification
- Ogarkov, (Marshal) Nikolai Vasilyevich
- Nuclear arms control
- United States. Dept. of State
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
- War and Conflict
- Global Affairs
- Garthoff, Raymond L. (Interviewee)
- Publication Information
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; One Step Forward; Interview with Raymond Garthoff, 1986,” 12/03/1986, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed July 18, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_00E3B03573E84AA183E7C4C3711437CD.
- MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; One Step Forward; Interview with Raymond Garthoff, 1986.” 12/03/1986. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. July 18, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_00E3B03573E84AA183E7C4C3711437CD>.
- APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; One Step Forward; Interview with Raymond Garthoff, 1986. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_00E3B03573E84AA183E7C4C3711437CD