A final Soviet salute
The ten years which elapsed between 1975 and 1985 were amongst the most decisive, and divisive, in the history of the United States and the Soviet Union. At few other times in the 20th century did the pendulum of change in their relationship swing so sharply between harmony and hostility. At its root, of course, lay their qnite distinct political doctrines, their underlying distrust of one another, their respective opinions about freedom of speech and basic human rights and their mutual meddling in international affairs. With the Soviets wary of Chinese aggression and America embroiled in the bloodbath of Vietnam, sincere efforts had been made between the two superpowers to reduce their ballistic missile stocks in the early 1970s, with General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and President Richard Nixon signing a series of agreements to refrain from hostilities.