The Cold War And Consequences Of The Cuban Missile Crisis

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The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred over 13 days (October 16th to 28th, 1962) during the Cold War, the post-WWII state of tension between the West (led by the United States) and the Communist East (led by the USSR). The Cold War was a war of ideologies, fueled by US fear of Communist expansion into the Western hemisphere. The USSR’s alliance with Cuba was seen as a communist ‘invasion’ and met with panic. Since the introduction of nuclear weaponry to the world stage at the end of WWII, the US and USSR began building arsenals of these weapons, something the Soviets believed they were trailing the US in. To address this, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev moved to place Soviet Nuclear Missiles in Cuba, well within striking distance of the US. He …show more content…
(International Negotiations: The Cuban Missile Crisis, p.350).
After becoming aware of this, President John F. Kennedy faced a decision. Receiving the advice of the Executive Committee on National Security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, as well as various other high-ranking officials, he moved to quarantine Cuba. However, after a US U2 plane was shot down by USSR Commander Issa Pliyev, the crisis teetered on the brink of disaster. At this time, Kennedy and Khrushchev began negotiating indirectly to end the crisis peacefully. Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro was left out of these negotiations. At nearly the same time, US Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson was bringing the world up to speed on the USSR’s actions, revealing the deception of his Soviet counterpart Valerion Zorin. Due to a lack of willingness to reveal their interests, Kennedy and Khrushchev experienced difficulty making progress despite a series of offers and counter-offers. The crisis likely would not have reached a smooth resolution if it were
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As a result, “once Khrushchev made the offer, they quickly and enthusiastically accepted” (Cuba on the Brink, p. 19). Since this weapon placement was the key event in the crisis, and since any end to the crisis, negotiated or otherwise, would involve these Cuban missiles, Cuba should’ve been involved in the negotiation as more than merely a bargaining chip. According to Cuba on the Brink, “In the heat of the crisis, Khrushchev was no more inclined to bring Castro into the decision-making process than he had been beforehand… he did not actively seek Castro’s advice on how to manage the crisis… nor did he keep Castro informed of the flurry of secret meetings… nor did he inform him of the agreement to withdraw the missiles from Cuba” (p.

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