Cuban Missle Crisis Many agree that the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war; but exactly how close did it come? The Crisis was ultimately a showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union from October 16 to October 28, 1962. During those thirteen stressful days, the world’s two biggest superpowers stood on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. The Crisis started as a result of both the Soviet Union’s fear of losing the arms race, and Cuba’s fear of US invasion. The Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, thought that both problems could easily be solved by placing Soviet medium range missiles in Cuba.
My thought at the time was that whatever Moscow was up to in Cuba was somehow connected with the lingering crisis over Berlin which had begun the previous August when the East Germans began to construct a wall sealing off the eastern sector. I believed that Khrushchev, recognizing that the importance of the city to the West made the risk of war high, was lying low on that crisis while creating a new one in Cuba with the intent of trading one off against the other, perhaps gaining leverage for concessions. But there were other reasons that the possibility of missiles in Cuba was not far–fetched. During the Berlin crisis, most of our contingency planning for military options had been based on estimates of impressive Soviet conventional and nuclear capabilities. For that reason, we had thought the possibility of escalation into a nuclear war was likely, and the Soviets could hit us very hard.
“Fear swept over the country and the American citizens supported their president in planning action.” (Bender 330). President John F Kennedy warned the soviets “the gravest issues would arise” if they were to place nuclear weapons in Cuba. ”People all over the world feared this standoff would led to World War III and a nuclear disaster” (Littell 493). After carefully considering the alternatives of an immediate U.S. invasion of Cuba (or air strikes of the missile sites), a blockade of the island, President John F. Kennedy decided to place a naval “quarantine,” or blockade, on Cuba to prevent further Soviet shipments of missiles. President John F Kennedy also stated that missile strike launched from Cuba would be considered as an act of war by the Soviet Union.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was the biggest event of the cold war. It was the result from the United States dropping two nuclear bombs on Japan, and the following race by the Soviets to equal the nuclear arms race with the United States. The crisis was the closest the world ever came to having a nuclear war. There is no denying the importance of the steps taken by both President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in bringing the crisis to a peaceful end. The crisis started in 1962 when the Soviet Union started to build nuclear missile sites in Cuba.
Cuban Missile Crisis Analysis Works Cited Missing The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the most important events in United States history; it’s even easy to say world history because of what some possible outcomes could have been from it. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 was a major Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. After the Bay of Pigs Invasion the USSR increased its support of Fidel Castro's Cuban regime, and in the summer of 1962, Nikita Khrushchev secretly decided to install ballistic missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy and the other leaders of our country were faced with a horrible dilemma where a decision had to be made. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara outlined three possible courses of action for the president: "The political course of action" of openly approaching Castro, Khrushchev, and U.S. allies in a gambit to resolve the crisis diplomatically, an option that McNamara and others considered unlikely to succeed; "a course of action that would involve declaration of open surveillance" coupled with "a blockade against offensive weapons entering Cuba"; and "military action directed against Cuba, starting with an air attack against the missiles" (Chang, 2).
RFK later finds out that Russia sent these weapons to Cuba because they thought the U.S. was interested in overthrowing the Cuban government. In response to this rumor, the Soviets wished to help Cuba protect itself. Soviet chairman, Nikita Khrushchev, guaranteed President Kennedy that there was nothing going on in Cuba. The U.S. was not fooled with Khrushchev's act and began to discuss the ideas of a quarantine or a military attack. RFK and Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, became the blockade's strongest advocates.
At the time the speech was given the United States had already been secretly negot... ... middle of paper ... ... planned to read if the United States was to enter a war. It reads “My fellow Americans, with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfillment of my oath of office, I have ordered - and the United States Air Force has now carried out - military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba.” John F. Kennedy was prepared to go to war, even to the point of having an announcement speech written. However due to his ability to keep the American people calm while pressuring the Soviet Union; he was able to prevent what could have been the worst war in history. After suffering a major embarrassment and failure at the Bay of Pigs, John F. Kennedy was determined to take a more careful and thorough approach. This approach led to the Cuban Missile Crisis being ended peacefully and a third World War being adverted.
The Soviets were said to have nuclear weapons. The American people knew that they would be closer to a nuclear war than ever before. (Wikipedia) By most historical accounts, the closest the United States has ever come to the brink of the nuclear holocaust occurred during a tense thirteen-day standoff between the Soviet Union and the United States in October 1962 known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The U.S. was able to avoid nuclear disaster through a show of military power and tense negotiation. (The Struggle Over Policy) By the spring of 1945, two world superpowers emerged from the rubble of the Second World War: the United States and Soviet Union.
Robert Kennedy’s memoir, Thirteen Days, details the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis through his own eyes. How he himself perceived the action around him and his brother, John F. Kennedy, reacted as well. The Cuban Missile crisis was, to put it mildly, a huge effect on life in the United States. It was during these thirteen days that many people feared the world would come to an end through nuclear warfare. The Soviets were building missiles in Cuba and the United States was trying very hard to diffuse the situation.
The Soviet Union came to realize that they were extremely outmatched in the area of nuclear weapons and the decision by Nikita Khrushchev to place missiles in Cuba was made. It was not until a U-2 spy plane, piloted by Richard Heyser, captured pictures of possible missile sites in Cuba, that the United States became aware of the present danger. The Soviets did, however, deny the accusations made the by the United States regarding the missiles in Cuba. The events during the thirteen days that followed became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis; a nuclear standstill between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the United States has ever come to participating in nuclear war, and the trepidation experienced by Americans spanning those thirteen days was unmatched throughout history.