Causes And Failures Of The Cuban Missile Crisis

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The Cuban Missile Crisis is an intelligence failure, which almost led to a global nuclear war. This paper examines few of the intelligence failures prior to the crisis.
The decision maker failures and Intelligence Community (IC) failures laid the groundwork for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Some of the decision maker failures are President John F Kennedy policy of communism containment, prior administration failure that failed to react to the threat and passed the Cuban problem to his successor. Some of the Intelligence Community failures are success of Soviet Deception, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cautious approach after Bay of Pigs. Throughout the paper the failures will be discussed and analyzed in further detail.

The Cuban Missile
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Instead of analyzing the failures of Bay of Pigs, he continued with the same approach for the Operation Mongoose. Source: John F. Kennedy Notes for an address on the containment of Communism, ca. August 12, 1952. (Gilder & Lehrman, 1952)

HUMINT and COMINT under Kennedy failed to confirm the true intentions of Soviet Union towards Cuba. It was also a failure on Kennedy’s part not to understand the point of view of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy assumed that it was possible to compromise with Khrushchev, as he had been liberalizing Soviet Union by abandoning Stalinism. Kennedy proposed several meetings with Khrushchev to discuss arms control .The Soviet Union saw the proposal as a sign of weakness. The meeting between the two leaders in Vienna also left an impression on Khrushchev that Kennedy was not properly informed by his intelligence about what was really happening in Cuba. The IC should have updated Kennedy with the true intentions of Soviet Union so as to prevent the situation being escalated into a
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The purpose was to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist rule of Cuba. The whole operation was based on the assumption that the Cubans would welcome an invasion. The CIA completely failed to successfully execute the operation. The failure of Big of pigs had several ripple effects. It put fear in Castro, causing him to take help from U.S.S.R, which planned to establish military bases in Cuba. After the failure of Bay of Pigs the CIA had a cautious approach in gathering intelligence about Cuba and the Soviet Union’s relationship. This was visible during the Operation Mongoose, which was again designed to over throw Fidel Castro. Operation Mongoose once again failed to achieve what Bay of Pigs failed to do. During the operation SIGINT and HUMINT failed to confirm the reports that indicated the arms shipments from the Soviet Union to Cuba. IC should have verified the information and taken preventative measures to stop the arms shipment. This could have averted or prevented the

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