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Cuban Missile Crisis - Research Paper Example

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Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban missile crisis is considered as the most defining event in the history of the Cold War. It has been a major topic for many diplomatic historians. The alliance between Soviet Russia and Cuba generated the greatest challenge for John F…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper focuses on the Cuban missile crisis and the role of Kennedy in managing and promptly resolving the crisis. Cuban missile crisis Soviet Union approach In the early 1960s, the Soviet Union was much less powerful than the United States in the field of strategic nuclear missiles. During that time the United States was trying to cause the downfall of the communist government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. As USA was gaining power by developing strategic nuclear missiles, the Soviet Union felt it imperative to protect Cuba from a future USA attack by building nuclear arsenal in Cuba especially after the failed attempts by the US to conquer Cuba via operations like Bay of Pigs and Operation Mongoose2. Previous warning of Kennedy For some time back Soviet Union has been blatantly sending weaponry to Cuba including surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles. During that time Kennedy was occupied with his campaigning which was conducted by the Republicans for the congressional elections in November. To stay in the favorable view of the Republicans Kennedy at that time said that he would not interfere with Soviet Union’s alliance with Cuba but he warned that if Soviet Union would start sending offensive weapons to Cuba then the ‘the gravest issues would arise’. ...
Kennedy’s National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy showed the president some photographs of the missiles which were taken from high altitudes by U-2 planes while flying over Cuba two days back. The CIA had already reviewed the photos and identified the objects as medium range ballistic missiles. The United States at that time held the leading position in the world in the field of nuclear weapons having more than 25,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal. The Soviet Union had less than half of this figure4. The reason of delay in getting the photographs During the 1962 U.S. mid-term elections there was the fear of grave political and diplomatic consequences of the Soviet Union shooting down U-2 planes with their surface to air missiles. This resulted in the delay of sending U-2 planes over Cuba. This fear was overcome when John McCone who was the Director of Central intelligence persuaded Kennedy to give permission to send U-2 planes over Cuba and this course of action resulted in the discovery of the nuclear arsenal that Soviet Union was building in Cuba. The arsenal had not yet become operational5. Kennedy’s handling of the crisis The Excomm Kennedy decided to consult a wide range of people before implementing any plans. He formed a small group called the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (Excomm) as his consultant. The members of the group included his brother Robert Kennedy who was an attorney general. All the conversations that were held in the meetings of the Excomm were recorded in a tape recorder that Kennedy had installed without the knowledge of the committee members6. Various options In the first day of the meeting all the members suggested bombing Cuba but the difference of opinion was on the scale of the attack. Kennedy and some others ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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