The Cuban Missile Crisis Of September 1962 Essay

The Cuban Missile Crisis Of September 1962 Essay

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The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was the closest the world has come to nuclear war and the result of decades of tension. The causes for the disharmony during the crisis felt between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR) can be categorised into two groups, that which occurred prior to 1962 and the events within the crisis itself. The primary source for the disharmony was the ideologies ingrained within either side. This in turn led to a period of intense competition and expansion in order to maintain security while weakening the other. This ideological split then caused other factors to occur that affected relations during crisis. First of these is the build-up of nuclear arsenals and the USSR’s lack of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles which not only caused a sense of crisis and fear within both states but also meant that the USSR, in order to maintain an effective threat, would need to have missiles stationed in Cuba due to its proximity with the coast of the US. Secondly, the aggression of the US towards Cuba in the Bay of Pigs invasion further exasperated the tension and increased the disharmony felt. In addition, it also provided another reason for the need for missiles in Cuba so as to provide Soviet protection. Finally, the weakness of the USSR and its split from the Peoples Republic of China in 1960 meant that they had to maintain their security and therefore bolster its threat to the United Sates, furthering the disharmony between them. During the crisis itself the shooting down of an American spy plane and the death of the pilot by the USSR increased tension significantly and was the moment in which the disharmony was at its greatest.
The ideological incompatibility of the US and the USSR was the or...


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...unism between the US and the USSR that led to hostile competition and expansion in order to counterbalance the other bloc’s power and therefore maintain their security. This ideological conflict led to the physical conflicts such as the US intervention in Cuba in the Bay of Pigs fiasco which threatened the Soviet ally. In addition to this, the missile gap encouraged a sense of fear and crisis within both the US and the USSR. Subsequently, this meant that disharmony increased, along with giving the USSR a reason to base their MRBM on Cuba. The political weakness within the USSR should also be taken into account as to the disharmony with the US as the need to ensure their survival in the face of the Sino-Soviet split and the construction of the Berlin Wall. By placing missiles in Cuba the Soviet-American relationship was upset further, causing disharmony and hostility.

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