Five Hypothetical Assumptions of Soviet Motives

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Cuban Missile Crisis Case Study

1. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US and the USSR did not understand each other’s motives. Early on, the US government discussed five hypothetical assumptions of Soviet motives. What were these five assumptions? What was the Soviets’ actual motivation?

-The soviets believed they could get away with it according to Dean Acheson -The Soviet Union wanted a strong position in Latin America and help aid the revolution in Cuba. - It would prove to the world that the United States is not the strongest country in the world and it cannot control its entire sphere of influence. -The Soviets did this in order to entice the US to remove their nuclear weapons in Berlin if they remove theirs in Cuba -To help aid the Soviets in the unbalance of power between them and the United States -Soviets placed the missiles their so that it would entice the US to attack Cuba in order to fuel anti-American sentiment throughout the world splitting its allies.

The five assumptions of the Soviets plans were talked about at ExComm. One of the ideas was that the Soviet Union wanted to make a well-built statement to the world that they maintain a strong position in Latin America. While helping aid the revolution in Cuba in a pursuit to maintain a strong ally in the Western Hemisphere so close to the United States in order to balance their power in the world. Another assumption was that the Soviet Union wanted to prove that the United States was not the strongest nation in the world and could not control everything. The Soviets wanted to prove to the world that the United States could not control the entire Western Hemisphere and that their sphere of influence was not beyond the United States. The third idea discussed was that the Soviets placed the missiles only to be later removed as a trade with the United States. The United States at the time had missiles placed in Berlin, which was a threat to the Soviet Union. So the United States believed that the Soviet Union only placed these missiles so close to the United States only so that the United States would remove its missiles that were near the Soviet Union as a trade. Another idea was the Soviets only placed these missiles because they felt as if there was an unbalance of missile power between them and the US. The Soviets felt as if their power was threatened and diminishing and needed to place missiles somewhere in order to reestablish their power in the world. The final assumption was that the Soviets placed the missiles in Cuba only so that the United States would discover them and entice ware fare. The Soviets wanted to give the U.S a reason to attack Cuba which would create Anti-American all over the world, thereby splitting the United States allies and weaken the United States without warfare. After the debate, they decided that it was done in order to balance military power and test the will of President Kennedy because he was a young president. It was later unveiled that the actual Soviet Motivation was in order to defend the revolution in Cuba and avoid an attack from the United States. 2. The US’s perception of the USSR – and the USSR’s perception of the US – was grossly incorrect. What does this tell you about international politics?

- International politics can often be incorrect and based on lies, bluffs, and assumptions. - USA saw the USSR’s distribution of weapons in locations ‘strategically’ placed as potentially harmful to its national security - The Soviet Union by placing missiles in Cuba conceived the threat of nuclear warfare -Find loopholes to justify their actions.

-False accusations, UN Security Council is divided.
-U.S. –France, Great Britain, China, Venezuela, Chile, and Ireland. -Soviet bloc on the Security Council consisted of: Romania, and The Soviet Union, and Cuba. -Soviet Union had an automatic veto being a permanent member. -U.S. stuck to their guns – Cuban missiles were to be removed before any...
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