The Cold War and U.S. Diplomacy
The John F. Kennedy presidency encountered various situations in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Europe, as well as, other regions that required astute diplomatic efforts and initiatives amid increasing Cold War tensions. Kennedy had been passionate about the issues of war and peace since when he was young. In fact, Kennedy’s plan of flexible response managed by Robert McNamara was intended to minimize the occurrence of war caused by miscalculated diplomatic and military initiatives. The U.S.’s successful handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis epitomizes the foreign policy approach that John F. Kennedy’s administration took.
The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was a conflict with the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the U.S on the other. The Cuban Missile Crisis is regarded as the closest the Cold War came to turning into a nuclear war (Byrne, 2006, p.7). It is also one of the documented moments of the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD). After getting proof of Soviet missile bases building in Cuba, the U.S thought about the idea of attacking Cuba through air and sea, but later arrived at a military quarantine of Cuba. U.S troops were at their highest state of readiness ever while Soviet field commanders based in Cuba were ready to use battlefield nuclear weapons to defend Cuba if it was attacked. Fortunately, courtesy of courage of two men, President John F. Kennedy and Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev, eminent nuclear war was averted.
After capturing proof that Cuban missile bases were under construction, Kennedy secretly held a meeting with the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM). He put on hold the military solution of the crisis, vigorously championed by the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, and instead decided to quarantine Cuba (Viotti, 1996, p.104). On October 22, 1962 Kennedy informed the public about the crisis, declaring the quarantine and... [continues]
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