18, 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet
Premier Leonid Brezhnev signed a treaty in
Vienna, Austria, that had grown out of a long
round of negotiations known as the Strategic Arms
Left: Carter and Brezhnev
exchange signed copies of the SALT II treaty.
Right: Carter and Brezhnev after signing the
The treaty signed by the two
nations limited the number of nuclear delivery
systems (long-range bombers and missiles) each
nation could have. In the first step of the
treaty, each nation agreed to limit its number of
delivery systems to 2,400. In the second step,
the number was to be reduced to 2,250 by 1981.
The treaty was to remain in effect until 1985, at
which time it was hoped that further talks would
have set the stage for a SALT III treaty.
Committee on Foreign Relations opened preliminary
hearings on the treaty on July 9, began
consideration of the treaty itself on October 15,
and voted 9 to 6 on November 9 to send the treaty
to the full Senate.
Left: Senator Howard H.
Baker (right) chats with Secretary of State Cyrus
Vance and Secretary of Defense Harold Brown
before SALT II committee hearings begin.
Questions or comments about