On June 18, 1979, President Jimmy Carter and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev signed the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (salt II) in Vienna. Carter considered the treaty to be very significant; a month before signing the treaty, he told a congressional delegation: “I will never have a chance so momentous to contribute to world peace as to negotiate and to see ratified this salt treaty. And I don’t believe that any member of the Senate will ever cast a more important vote than when a final judgment is made to confirm and ratify this negotiated treaty.”1 Members of Congress agreed. Senate minority leader Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) called salt II “the most important treaty this country has undertaken since World War I.”2 Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio) concurred: “Not since Woodrow Wilson’s time and the League of Nations debate has a treaty been so important, yet so contentious, as the salt II Treaty.”3


Foreign Policy Ballistic Missile Cruise Missile Present Danger Ratification Campaign 
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Selected Bibliography

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Copyright information

© Henry L. Stimson Center 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Caldwell

There are no affiliations available

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