Cuban Missile Crisis

Topics: Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, United States Pages: 2 (754 words) Published: October 8, 1999
A Geopolitical View on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Over the course of the twentieth century, the United States has made some crucial decisions in regard to foreign policy. When the President of the United States looks to his advisors and policymakers to decide what course of action to take, he must weigh all of the different variables. One of the most important variables that influence foreign policy decision making is the geopolitical view. A geopolitical variable takes into account a country's geography and physical terrain and how that relates to certain foreign policymaking decisions. In the early 1960's, President Kennedy's decision to institute a naval blockade around Cuba was carefully made with full knowledge of the geopolitical variables. Throughout the Cuban Missile Crisis, the geopolitical variables greatly influenced President Kennedy's decision to institute the naval blockade which eventually ended the Crisis.

The Cold War was one of the most difficult times for foreign policymakers in the United States. In September of 1962, the Soviet Union began deploying medium-range nuclear missiles to Cuba. The strategic plan of the Nikita Khrushchev was to have Soviet nuclear missile sites ninety miles off the coast of the United States to serve as military threat. When a United States U-2 spy plane brought back photographs of these missile sites in Cuba on October 15, 1962, U.S. military leaders acted immediately. The following day, October 16, 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis began.

When discussing what course of action to take, U.S. officials had to analyze all of the variables that would affect their decision. The most obvious geopolitical variable that was posed was Cuba's proximity to the United States. Prior to this incident, United States foreign policy was based on a policy of isolationism. This meant that because the United States was so far away from other military threats, their own security was never so heavily threaten....
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