Your Name Name of Instructor Book review of the "Essence of Decision Exploring the Cuban Missile Crisis - 2nd Edition" Introduction In their explanation of the Cuban missile crisis, in Essence of Decision, Allison and Zelikow reflect on the momentous missile crisis in Cuba as one of the greatest successes of cold war diplomacy in three conceptual lenses, thus making the reader to think beyond common foreign analysis methods…
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At their disposal, the authors use unclassified tapes and documents that provide enough historic evidence thus providing a thorough analysis of that crucial moment during this nuclear age and a good example of important and new ways of considering policy actions. As seen in policy papers, informal conversations press, and academic literature, Allison and Zelikow (13) outlines that the most contemporary thought about foreign policy proceeds within the conceptual model. According to Allison and Zelikow (15), an actions explanation consists of indicating how the goal of government was pursued during its action and if the act was a good choice, given the objective of the nation. Allison’s and Zelikow’s Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis address the Cuban Missile Crisis like a case study that calls for further studies in the future concerning governmental decision making. His work became the basis of John F. Kennedy School of Government study and this revolutionalised international relations field. The title of the book is based on John F. Kennedy speech, where he said that the essence of final decision is normally impenetratable so often to the observer than to the one who makes decision by himself. In writing the book, Allison observed that international relations study and political science were full of rational expectations theories that had been inherited from economics field. With such views, state actions were analyzed by the assumption that rational nations consider every option and hence take rational actions for utility maximization. He attributes such views to economists like Milton Friedman, a dominant economist, and Henry Kissinger and Robert McNamara, who were statesmen, together with game theory disciplines and organizations like RAND Corporation. His rational actor model causes violation of fallibility law. He further says that rational analysts need to ignore very many facts for their analysis to fit their models. Therefore, he used three different lenses that analysts can use to examine events: Organizational Behavior, Rational Actor and Governance Politics. In each of the three models, he poses a question as follows, why Soviet Union decided to use offensive missiles against Cuba, why Soviet Union withdrew the missiles, and why United States responded to the deployment of missiles with a blockade respectively. Development The message of Alison when the book was first published was that mutually assured destruction concept was unfounded as a barrier to war of nuclear. By looking at political and organizational models, their outcomes were possible against what rational viewpoint had predicted, this could possibly make nations commit suicide. He pointed several historical incidences that backed this assertion. His most important point, before Pearl Harbor attack was that Japanese civilian leaders and military including the decision makers knew well that they did not have military and industrial capacity to fight US and win, but they went ahead and attacked it. Allison believes that the model of organization explained military history’s inexplicable gaffes. By reflecting 1941, he observed that US intercepted sufficient evidence to show that Japan was almost attacking Pearl Harbor, but the commander failed to prepare. He revealed
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“Book Review of the Essence of Decision Exploring the Cuban Missile Report/”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1426147-book-review-of-the-essence-of-decision-exploring.
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