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The Cuban Missile Crisis

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“Let us call a truce to terror. Let us invoke the blessings of peace. And as we build an international capacity to keep peace, let us join in dismantling the national capacity to wage war.” John F. Kennedy. In the midst of the Cold War on October 16th , 1962 President John F. Kennedy was informed that an American U-2 spy airplane had photographic evidence that the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons in Cuba. The following thirteen days are considered the closets the world has ever been and hopefully ever will be to a thermonuclear war. The Cuban missile crisis is the World’s only example of a possible mutually destructive nuclear conflict and therefore is the base case study for all nuclear debate. This paper argues that the peaceful resolution of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 is limitedly attributed to nuclear deterrence, there was greater value in strategic diplomacy and conventional military tactics. Nuclear weapons act as a catalyst within political situations and diplomacy. The limited value of nuclear weapons does not outweigh the possible cataclysmic consequences of their existence.
During the Cuban missile crisis the world was consumed with fear of what could possibly happen if two members of the four major powers entered into a thermonuclear war. The Cuban missile crisis occurred as a Soviet response to the United States placing Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy (George, 2014). For the Soviets putting nuclear missiles in Cuba was a strategic defensive decision in two ways. Firstly, Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, wanted to apply pressure on the United States and demonstrate what it felt like to be consistently vulnerable to nuclear weapons. Secondly, the Soviet Union wanted to protect t...

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...me. The Cuban missile crisis is one of the most politically debated and analyzed events of the twentieth century. The Cuban missile crisis demonstrated the limited value of nuclear deterrence, but instead the importance of diplomacy pared with conventional warfare on a multilaterally political field were the most influential factors in resolving the crisis peacefully.

Work Cited
Ambrose, Stephen R. (1984) Eisenhower, Volume 2: The President New York: Simon and Schuster
George, Alice. (2014) The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Threshold of Nuclear War Taylor and Francis Publishing.
James, Nathan. (1992) The Heyday of the New Strategy: The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Confirmation of Coercive Diplomacy. Diplomacy and Statecraft Volume 3 Issue 2 pg. 303-342
Parshley, Lois Farrow. (2012) The Nine Most Important Lessons From the Cuban Missile Crisis Foreign Policy
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