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The Cuban Missile Crisis - Research Paper Example

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In the essay “The Cuban Missile Crisis” the author tries to understand the pivotal moment in history for a number of reasons: How did we get so close to nuclear war? What can be learned from what happened that October in 1962? How do those lessons still apply to the world today?…
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The Cuban Missile Crisis
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Download file to see previous pages This contest had been going on since the conclusion of World War II in 1945 (The Belfer Center, 2012). This variable game of “one- upsmanship” continued, resulting in the Soviet government successfully launching Sputnik into space and being the first to put a man into orbit. This outcome terrified Americans. They feared that the Soviets had gained the advantage in technological advancements and that the Russians were winning the Cold War. This only heightened the United States’, nearly, universal fears concerning communism (Thompson, 2010). Tensions were already high when John F. Kennedy came to the office of President of the United States in 1961 and would soon find himself in a crucial position while nuclear war hung in the preverbal balance. In early October 1962, an American U-2 spy plane was able to capture photographs showing a potential Soviet missile base on the island of Cuba. To date, there had been no known military installations in this rather remote and sparsely populated area – an area where the Cuban citizens had been evacuated and the area labeled “restricted” (Yale Law School, 2008). The President opted to keep this knowledge quiet while he conferred with his select group of advisors, who would be called ExComm, the Executive Committee. The decision made was to place a blockade of ships, ringing the Cuban island, which would prevent the Soviets from reaching their military site. This “quarantine” came with the demands for the removal of the missiles and the destruction of the base. This did not happen immediately. In fact, the Soviets had been working very hard to keep the location of the Cuban base a secret, even from its own lower-ranking officers. The secret project had been titled ANADYR, which also happened to be the name of a river near the Bering Sea where a known Soviet bomber base was located. Even after the pictures were presented, they continued a volley of denials and misinformation, which is referred to as “disingenuous diplomacy” (Hansen, 2008). The President then alerted the American people, in a public broadcast, detailing the presence of the missile site in Cuba, the blockade that had been implemented, and that, as of that moment, no resolution had been reached (John F. Kennedy, 2012). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The Cuban Missile Crisis
According to one journal article in The American Political Science Review, “For thirteen days of October 1962, there was a higher probability that more human lives would end suddenly than ever before in history” (Allison 689). In February of 1962 the United States had begun a full embargo against Cuba leading to further tensions.
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