Cuban Missile Crisis

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During the administration of our thirty fifth United States President, John F. Kennedy, the Cold War reached its most dangerous state, when the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) came to the brink of nuclear war in what was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. In this analysis, I will research and answer questions such as, what was the Cold War? What started the tensions between the United States and the USSR? What actions were taken and how were the problems resolved? And finally how the systematic level of analysis explains how the international theory of Liberalism was used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cold War was a struggle between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union. Although direct military conflict never took place, diplomatic and economic struggles occurred. It occurred during the Cold War. The Cold War began when Joseph Stalin, leader of the Communist Party, used the Red Army to take control of most of the countries of Eastern Europe. The United States as well as Western European countries were greatly concerned. In response to Stalin's military movements, President Harry Truman issued the Truman Doctrine in 1947. In his address to Congress, President Truman decided that the United States would aid any country that asked for help in resisting communism (Browne 263). The Truman Doctrine became known as the basis for containment, the policy to keep communism from spreading to other countries. According to White House documents online, after the Truman Doctrine, George Catlett Marshall, Secretary of State, proposed the Marshall Plan, the European Recovery Program through which the United States provided aid to Western Europe after World War II, in June 1947. The Marshall Plan was offered to all European countries, but Stalin would not allow the countries his military was occupying to take part. In April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed (Browne 263). The countries involved in this pact were the United States, Britain, France, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal. The NATO agreement said that "an armed attack against one or more of its members in Europe and/or America shall be considered an attack against them all." To ward off aggressors, American forces and nuclear weapons were to be kept in Western Europe. In response to NATO, the Soviet Union formed a similar pact between seven Eastern European countries called the Warsaw Treaty Organization, or Warsaw Pact (Browne 263). The countries involved along with the Soviet Union were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. While these pacts were forming, the United States and the Soviet Union were in an arms race. They were building nuclear weapons, trying to out produce each other so that neither dares attack. This policy was called deterrence, and is still in use today. By 1952, the United States tested a hydrogen bomb, a bomb more powerful than an atomic bomb. A year later, the Soviet Union also tested a hydrogen bomb. Both countries developed rockets that had nuclear warheads. By 1957, the Soviet Union had developed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM's). ICBM's could reach targets all over the world. While arms were building, the Soviet Union went through a major change in power. In 1953, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Communist Party, died. After Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev took over the Communist Party. This is where the effects of a change of power come into play. See Khrushchev's policies were vastly different from those of Stalin. He said that the Soviet Union would follow a policy of "peaceful coexistence" with the West. This "peace" was to continue until the early sixties, when new conflicts surfaced. In the early 1960's, tensions rose between the United States and the USSR when Fidel Castro openly embraced communism and allied with the Soviet Union. Anastas...
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