Timeline June 1979

On June 18, 1979, the United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) II, limiting each side's arsenals and restricting weapons development and modernization.

President Carter came to office with ambitious plans, including lower defense spending and a foreign policy based on human rights rather than military threat. In his inauguration speech, Carter called for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He inherited the framework for SALT II from the previous administration. President Ford and Soviet Premier Brezhnev had agreed upon the basic principles of SALT II in December 1974.

The U.S. Senate never ratified SALT II. While the Senate was considering the treaty in December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. On January 3, 1980, President Carter asked the Senate to stop considering the treaty. However, both the United States and Soviet Union have abided by its terms.