The Nixon administration was unconvinced about Brandt’s Ostpolitik and a firm stance on Germany was difficult to achieve. Kissinger eventually accepted the US’s limited authority on the détente in Germany but did attempt to influence it through talks over Berlin’s status. Nixon’s acceptance of the détente was motivated by tactical reasons rather than to develop a relationship with the Soviets (Gates 2004). Although the US cast doubts on Ostpolitik, its ramification was felt long afterward. The US felt that more comprehensive dialogue with the Soviets was possible and during the period the two superpowers went through a phase of cooperation. Yet the cold war refused to go away. Their rivalry influenced global politics with each attempting to insert their ideology in European and other nations around the world. States which were not directly united with either the US or Soviets started the Non-aligned movement but were pawns in the hands of the superpowers who tried to win their support through economic and military aid. Despite the competition between the superpowers, negotiation between the US and the Soviets improved in the era of détente which was occurring as a result of Brandt’s Ostpolitik. Increased cooperation led to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in 1972 and 1974 where both powers initiated a long process spanning decades of reducing their military armaments. Ostpolitik was a precursor to the Helsinki Accords where the US and the Soviet Union along with 32 other European nations....
One of the measures to do this was to abandon the use of force in any dispute and resolve issues by diplomatic negotiations.
The other element of Brandt's Ostpolitik was the recognition of the Oder-Neisse Line as the actual border between Poland and Germany. This border meant Poland took some of German territory thereby displacing millions of Germans from this area (Pittman 1992). The effect of Ostpolitik was that displaced East Germans were able to make visits to Poland and reunite with family and friends. The treaty did not change the duties of the four powers governing Germany and maintained the commitment of West Germany towards future unification.
Brandt's Ostpolitik also aimed at improving relations with the Soviet Union and Poland but this policy created divisions among the people. Two camps with opposing views on Ostpolitik had formed. The policy was especially unpopular among the victims of ethnic cleansing in East Germany who decried it as illegal. Moscow too was sceptical about openings between West and East Germany and wanted to control it (Wolf 1999). The other camp commended the policy as creating change through rapprochement or a process of developing healthy relations rather than maintaining seclusion. The process of rapprochement was aided by socialist government expectations that a West German Social Democratic management would comprehend the situation more. Ostpolitik did encourage the gradual waning of the siege mindset present with East Germany and improve the recognition of the economic system operating within each state. Ostpolitik also differed ardently with social democrats and conservatives.
When the soviets agreed to open negotiations on the Berlin situation, the Treaty of