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The Cuban Missile Crisis - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS Cuban Missile Crisis [Name] [University] Cuban Missile Crisis Background and Causes Tensions began to mount between the new revolutionary government of Fidel Castro and the Eisenhower administration in 1959. By the autumn of that year, Eisenhower had decided that the growing influence of communists on the Cuban government was a threat to American interests in Latin America (Andrew 1995; Blum, 1986)…
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Download file to see previous pages 253) By January, the decision seemed to have been made to remove Castro (Freedman 2002). In the spring and summer of 1960, Richard Bissell, the Deputy Director (of Plans) of the CIA, planned various assassination schemes for Castro, and started training a group of anti­ Castro fighters. In the beginning, the plan was to send in small groups of guerrillas that were being trained in Guatemala, which could infiltrate the island nation and start uprisings and eventually a counter-revolution. Bissell and the CIA had used similar covert operations (though on a smaller scale) to overthrow governments successfully in Guatemala and Iran, and not so successfully in Indonesia (Freedman 2002; Blum, 1986). However, by the Fall the plan had evolved from inserting small bands of guerillas to a conventional amphibious invasion, and by November the group swelled to a l500-man paramilitary force of anti­Castro Cubans that even had their own "air force" of B-26 bombers (Andrew 1995; Blum, 1986). Given the sheer size of this force, it did not remain covert for long. By 10 January 1961, The New York Times ran a full story on the training camp with a detailed map (Andrew 1995; Blum, 1986). Moreover, in his last State of the Union address, Eisenhower warned Castro that, "Although, unhappily, Communist penetration of Cuba is real and poses a serious threat, Communist dominated regimes have been deposed in Guatemala and Iran." (Andrew 1995: p. 255). This overt and covert pressure against Cuba continued under the Kennedy administration. The earlier plans to assassinate Castro, including subcontracting with the Mafia, continued in the spring of 1961 (Andrew, 1995; Blum, 1986). In April, Kennedy authorized Operation ZAPATA, which became the Bay of Pigs fiasco. After the failed invasion, the debate within the administration was between the overthrow or the containment of Castro (Freedman, 2002). The difficulty was that though the administration agreed that Castro should go, Kennedy was not interested in a direct American invasion. Instead President Kennedy, with the enthusiastic urging of his brother Robert Kennedy, decided upon a mixed policy of economic warfare and covert operations. The combination of these, it was thought, would produce some sort of anti-Castro uprising (Freedman, 2002). On the covert action side of the policy, in June 1961, Kennedy set up the Special Group (5412) - consisting of John McCone (the new Director of Central Intelligence, or DCI), the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the JCS), and the undersecretaries of the State and Defense Departments, to plan more covert action against Castro. Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General, became a supporter and advocate of covert action to eliminate Castro during his time overseeing the reorganization ofthe CIA after the Bay of Pigs. As Robert Kennedy wrote, "My idea is to stir things up on island with espionage, sabotage, general disorder, run [and] operated by Cubans themselves with every group but Batistas [and] Cornmunists" (Freedman, 2002: p. 158). American covert action against Castro's regime continued and intensified in the spring of 1962 under the code name Operation MONGOOSE (The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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