ABSTRACT

After the Cuban missile crisis, the Soviet government reversed its previous policy of trying to match US power through (mainly nuclear) strategic shortcuts (Carrere d'Encausse 1984). Disposing of Khrushchev, the new Soviet government embarked on a policy of massive rearmament and accelerated its policy of world-wide projection. The US became engulfed in the quagmire of Vietnam, draining its forces abroad, and undercutting consent and legitimacy at home. By the end of the sixties US superiority, so tangible only a decade before, was vanishing: the USSR, it could be claimed, had reached strategic parity.