Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 26 May 1972 (Detente): The crises of the early '60s (Cold War (1953-1962)) brought the world to the edge of nuclear war, prompting the United States and the Soviet Union to make serious efforts to ease tensions and reduce their arsenals (Detente). Meanwhile, the world itself became less bipolar as fractures grew in US-French (NATO#French withdrawal) and, more seriously, Soviet-Chinese (Sino-Soviet Split) relations.