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The stakes were high, there was so much to lose. On October 16th 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis began. The 13 day confrontation was possibly one the most intense conflicts in United States history. In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to agree to Cuba's request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter future harassment of Cuba. The U.S caught wind of what was happening and felt threatened under the new threat of missiles in Cuba. The best way to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis was by using a form of “Back-Channel” or “Back-Door” Diplomacy
The world was at the edge of a third world war. This was the result of a variety of things: the Cuban Revolution, the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, US anti-communism, insecurity of the Soviet Union, and Cuba's fear of invasion all made causes for war. However, war was not the result due to great cooperation from both President Kennedy and President Khrushchev and each of the decisions made by the leaders was crucial in the outcome of The Crisis. Kennedy's choice to take action by means of quarantine instead of air-strike and Khrushchev's decision to abide by the quarantines were perhaps the two most significant decisions made by the leaders in order to prevent war. The Cuban Missile Crisis showed the world that compromising and discussion can in-fact prevent war. As Khrushchev said in 1962, "They talk about who won and who lost. Human reason won. Mankind won." 1 The world had almost seen another world war, the effects of which would have been devastating because of the weapons involved. Humanity, indeed, was the prevention of the war.
ALLISON, G. T. & ZELIKOW, P. 1999. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, United States, Longman Inc.
On October 16, 1962, a United States spy plane discovered nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba, ninety miles from the tip of Florida, and the Cuban Missile Crisis had begun. A week earlier, the CIA had gathered intelligence of suspicious activity on the island. That’s when the United States sent in the spy plane to gather more intelligence of the situation. What they found was very frightening for the whole entire United States. The Crisis began because of rising tensions of nuclear warfare between superpowers and a need for protection from a smaller country. The United States of America was the world’s leading superpower. The United States had the best of everything, military, technology, education, and most of all, nuclear capability. We
"After several tense days, the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw the missiles and dismantle the sites, and the United States pledged not to invade Cuba and to lift the blockade"(Executive Order No. 182). The United States successfully solved the Cuban missile Crisis without violence due to the fear of brinkmanship. Brinkmanship was Kennedy’s last resort if he could not use political superiority and negotiations to end the situation. Kennedy perfectly demonstrated this during the Cuban Missile Crisis after learning from his past mistakes mistakes (The Bay of Pigs). Both situations had a lot of tension but they were handled very differently. Under Eisenhower the United States did not know how to deal with the weight of the situation so their first response was violence. They did not want anyone to find out they were behind it so they train Cuban exiles to do their dirty work. Even though the Bay of Pigs mission was a failure the consequences were not all negative. Kennedy learned for the mistakes of rushed violence and feared the start of a nuclear war so he did everything he could to not start one. Although this lesson was learned Communism was still alive and rapidly spreading even though Cuba was cut off from the rest of the world. "This Administration has forever blackened our nation’s honor at the Bay of Pigs, bungling the invasion plan and leaving brave men on Cuban beaches to be shot down. Later the forsaken survivors were ransomed, and Communism was allowed to march deeper into Latin America"(United States Congress). Communism was still a massive problem in the eyes of a capitalist America. During the Missile Crisis was going on Communism quickly spread all over the globe. Since it would be too difficult to contain a country across the globe that could become communist the united States would protect everyone
Following the conclusion of World War II, two countries that once stood as allies found themselves on the brink of war with each other. America and the Soviet Union were divided by politics and ideology, “…capitalism versus communism - each held with almost religious conviction, formed the basis of an international power struggle with both sides vying for dominance, exploiting every opportunity for expansion anywhere in the world” (Trueman, 2014). History would define this battle as the Cold War in that neither country fired a weapon directly at the other.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a major event in U.S History that almost led to nuclear destruction. It was over a period of thirteen days in which diplomats from the U.S and the Soviet Union were trying to reach a peaceful resolution so that they wouldn’t have to engage in physical warfare. The crisis was the hallmark of the Cold War era which lasted from the 1950’s to the late 1980’s. The Cold War was a power struggle between the U.S and Soviet Union in which the two nations had a massive arms race to become the strongest military force. The U.S considered Communism to be an opposing political entity, and therefore branded them as enemies. Khrushchev’s antagonistic view of Americans also played a big role in the conflict. The Cold War tensions, coupled with a political shift in Cuba eventually lead to the military struggle known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the point of most tension and near collapse causing the Cold War to almost shift from a passive and underground struggle to a violent and catastrophic one.