Dalhousie Law Journal


France, Great Britain, United States, Soviet Union, President Eisenhower, military, aerial reconnaissance, Open Skies, disarmament, legal history


On 21 July 1955, at a four-power summit conference involving France, Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union, President Eisenhower put forward a proposal calling upon the Soviet Union to engage in an exchange of military blueprints with the United States and to accept a system of mutual, unlimited aerial reconnaissance of each others' territory. Dubbed Open Skies, the proposal was intended to test the seriousness of the Soviet Union with respect to disarmament negotiations. It was also intended, if successful, to pull back the veil of secrecy surrounding the Soviet Union and its military activities.