“Détente is a French term, meaning a relaxing or easing; the term has been used in international politics since the early 1970s. Generally, it may be applied to any international situation where previously hostile nations not involved in an open war “warm up” to each other and threats de-escalate. However, it is primarily used in reference to the general reduction in the tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and a thawing of the Cold War, occurring from the late 1960s until the start of the 1980s.”
Ah, that worked out great. Obviously it had to be a French word.
Every time I see footage of the US at the end of the 70s I get spooked. The strikes, the complete lack of confidence, the economic mess created by FDR and all the boobs that came after him… I almost threw up when I saw Carter kissing Brezhnev, and when Ford denied that the Helsinki Accords were confirming our defeat in East Europe.
That was really a time when things were spinning out of control and I believe that Reagan’s victory was like a last minute lucky strike. Another 4 years and things could have really been lost.
Another thing that is clear when we compare our current situation with the cold war is that terrorism is really a small problem compared to communism. I know there are people dying and that is always sad and clearly 9/11 was a horrendous day. But putting in perspective, we live in a much more stable and prosperous world today. Bin Laden and his thugs are dangerous but comparing them to the old USSR is really ludicrous.