Robert kennedy - Essay Example

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Consequently, scholars, especially those in American Diplomacy, have been interested in studying and analyzing how the crisis was managed and dissolved quickly to avert a…
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Robert Kennedy on the Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban missile crisis has been marked historically as a key defining moment during the cold war. Consequently, scholars, especially those in American Diplomacy, have been interested in studying and analyzing how the crisis was managed and dissolved quickly to avert a worldwide catastrophe. Historically, John F. Kennedy administration has been commended for peacefully resolving the crisis. However, the then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy has been accredited with a preponderant opinion amongst the Presidents advisers in formulating an appropriate dissolution of the crisis to avoid imminent war with the Soviet Union. Accordingly, this essay, drawing on Robert Kennedy’s posthumous chronicle, Thirteen Days, demonstrates the role of diplomacy and negotiations in the successful dissolution of the crisis (Kennedy, 2011).
Essentially, the end of the Cuban missile crisis is credited to the successful missile swap between the US and the Soviet Union. The United States agreed to withdraw their missiles targeting Turkey within six months, on the condition that the USSR withdrew their missiles from Cuba. However, the success of this agreement hinged on the ability of Presidents Kennedy and Khrushchev to streamline their national interests and understand and rationalize the impending collision course they were headed towards, and steer both nations-and the entire world-- away from the threshold of reciprocally guaranteed destruction. Consequently, this state also depended on the effectiveness and ability of the people surrounding both presidents, to provide lucid advice regarding the most appropriate action to solve the crisis.
According to the confessions by Theodore Sorensen, JFKs former speechwriter, JFK approached the crisis using bilateral negotiations with Moscow and within his advisory council otherwise known as the ExComm. The ExComm, was established by JFK at the beginning of the crisis to provide him with advice, and comprised of most of his trusted advisers. These negotiations played a critical role in developing an understanding between the two presidents for a peaceful dissolution of the crisis. Conversely, the ExComm officials exhibited divergent positions on the crisis: one group favored the opinion of blockading Cuba while the other group preferred some kind of military action against Cuba. However, Robert Kennedy diffused the standoff in the ExComm by likening an attack on Cuba by the US with the Pearl Harbor strike by the Japanese and ensured that his brother chose for the less violent, more practical tactic of a naval blockade (Goduti, 2009).
Furthermore, when the crisis became more intense on October 27, Bobby Kennedy ingeniously formulated the plan that terminated the US-USSR confrontation. Robert counseled JFK to write to President Khrushchev agreeing to the terms outlined in the Khrushchev’s October 26 letter, while basically disregarding his October 27 message. In the first letter the soviet leader stated that he would remove the Russian missiles from Cuba if the US promised not to attack Cuba, while the second letter required the removal of U.S missiles from Turkey. Indeed, this response by JFK on the suggestion by his brother was able to elicit significant results whereby the Soviet Union ships abandoned their mission to Cuba and eventually, averted a nuclear catastrophe. Additionally, Robert Kennedy delivered in person to the Soviet Union Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, a pledge that the US Jupiter missiles in Turkey would be withdrawn immediately even though it would remain a secret part of the agreement, brought about in Khrushchev’s withdrawal (Mahoney, 2011).
In summary, Bobby Kennedys involvement was vitally significant in guaranteeing peaceful resolution of the Cuban Crisis. In deed the ability of the Kennedy administration to democratically analyze and synthesize information and options related to the crisis, was significant in averting a worldwide disaster. The Kennedy administration was able to apply peace while forcefully causing the soviets to relinquish their stands proved to the world that military options are not always the solution.
Goduti, P. (2009). Kennedys Kitchen Cabinet and the Pursuit of Peace: The Shaping of American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963. New York: McFarland.
Kennedy, R. (2011). Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: W. W. Norton.
Mahoney, R. (2011). The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby. Phoenix, Arizona: Skyhorse Publishing Inc. Read More
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