The Search for World Peace since 1970

The Search for World Peace since 1970

Israel and Palestine (1970s-1990s)

  • The Yom Kippur War in 1973, initiated by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel, resulted in a military victory for Israel but triggered further tension in the Middle East.
  • The Camp David Accords in 1978, facilitated by US President Jimmy Carter, led to the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country, Egypt.
  • The First Intifada (1987-1993), a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, brought international attention to the hardships of Palestinians.

Détente and the Cold War (1970s)

  • The Nixon administration promoted détente (‘relaxing tensions’), a shift in Cold War policies aimed at easing hostilities with the USSR.
  • The SALT I treaty signed in 1972 limited the production of nuclear weapons and marked a period of improved relations between the US and USSR.
  • The Helsinki Accords (1975) acknowledged the borders established after World War II, increasing stability in Europe, but their human rights provisions created new complexities.

The End of the Cold War and the Collapse of the USSR (1980s-1990s)

  • Perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness), introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, were significant reforms aimed at reviving the Soviet economy and political system.
  • The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 symbolising the end of Soviet control over Eastern Europe and marked the beginning of the end for the Cold War.
  • The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 effectively ended the Cold War and marked a significant victory for the USA.

USA’s Role in World Peace (1970s-2000)

  • The USA pursued a policy of détente during the 1970s, seeking to establish peace through dialogue rather than armed conflict.
  • The Reagan era marked a return to a harder stance against communism and the USSR, escalating the arms race but also pushing the USSR towards exhaustion and eventual collapse.
  • In the post-Cold War era, the USA assumed a ‘policeman’ role, intervening in global conflicts such as the Gulf War (1990-1991) and the war in the Balkans (1990s) to maintain international peace and stability.