Since the second World War, the thought of nuclear war has been lurking in the heads of government officials. Several steps have been taken to prevent this horrific situation. The debate on nuclear weapons has moved towards strategies of limited nuclear encounters, defense systems, and plans for human survival after a nuclear war. Several negotiations, such as SALT I and SALT II, produced treaties and limited the production of US and USSR missile launchers.

After a year of negotiation, Mikhail Gorbachev came to Washington in December 1987, and he and Reagan signed a treaty providing for the elimination of medium and shorter- range nuclear arms. The Soviet Union would destroy 1,752 missiles and the US would dispose of 867. Even though the intermediate nuclear forces (INF) treaty covered less than 4 percent of the war heads existing, many believed this agreement would lead to further actions and agreements.

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During the negotiations, Gorbachev made a strong impression on the American public and on Reagan himself. Reagan soon after remarked that the Soviet Union had given up its quest for world domination. This statement upset some of Reagans supporters. Other critics felt that the agreement would weaken the US involvement with NATO and leave Western Europe defenseless to the Soviet forces.

This movement could be seen as a positive or a negative action. The idea of communicating with the Soviet Union was a worthwhile one. The agreements could have brought upon new trades and advantages for the economies of each nation. Also, the threat of nuclear war was reduced. However, talking with the evil empire could also be viewed negatively. The treaty only dealt with a very small portion of weapons. In addition, there was really no way of ensuring each country would abide by the treaty. In my opinion, this movement was quite important and influencial. It would open the doors to further talking in the future. Most importantly though, was the decrease in chances for nuclear war.