Assesment of Victory and Defeat in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Powerful Essays
INTRODUCTION

The closest the world has come to nuclear war was the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. The Soviets had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of the United States. U.S. armed forces were at their highest state of readiness and demanded that the Soviet Union remove these missiles and imposed a naval blockade on Cuba, threatening to sink any Soviet ships that approached the island without permitting their cargoes to be inspected. Soviet field commanders in Cuba were authorized to use tactical nuclear weapons if invaded by the U.S. The fate of millions literally hinged upon the decisions of two men, President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The crisis escalated and reached a deadlock where nuclear war was very close. Eventually, after long negotiations, the Soviet Union announced that it would remove the missiles, and the United States made a public pledge not to invade Cuba, and the crisis ended with this compromise1.

AIMS OF THE RESEARCH

The Cuban Missile Crisis is considered to be the most dangerous moment of the Cold War, in which the world moved very close to nuclear conflict between the superpowers, but eventually war did not happen and the crisis ended with a compromise. Both sides could thus emerge from this crisis claiming victory, but there was little doubt as to who the real winners and losers were. Therefore the question I will try to answer in this essay is the following:

• How can we assess victory and defeat of the parties in the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Perceptions and misperceptions are very important in every conflict because there are significant political, social and security implications upon who the people think has won in the Cuban Crisis. Policymakers are especially concerned with perceptions of their success because they must deal with the international and domestic political aftermath of crises. Leaders often care about international issues because of the conclusions



References: 3. Garthoff, Raymond L. Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.Brookings Institution, 1989. 4. James D. Blight and David C. Wilch, eds., the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1991 5 6. Nathan, James A. (2001). Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Westport:Greenwood Press 7 9. Knox, William E., Close-up of Khrushchev during a Crisis, The New York Times Magazine, November 18, 1962 10 11. Brugioni, Dino. Eyeball to Eyeball. New York. Random House, 1991. 12. Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960–1963 (New York: Edward Burlingame Books, 1991) 13. Taubman, William. (2003). Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. New York: Norton 14 15. Philip Nash, The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Jupiters, 1957–1963 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). 18. G.Raymond L. Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis, D.C.Brookings Institution, 1989 19 21. Vladistok Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin 's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996) 22

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