Fifty years ago the United States and the Soviet Union stood closer to Armageddon than at any other moment in history.
For more information, please see the full notice. The crisis was unique in a number of ways, featuring calculations and miscalculations as well as direct and secret communications and miscommunications between the two sides. The dramatic crisis was also characterized by the fact that it was primarily played out at the White House and the Kremlin level with relatively little input from the respective bureaucracies typically involved in the foreign policy process.
Aerial view of missile launch site at San Cristobal, Cuba. Kennedy Library After the failed U. Construction of several missile sites began in the late summer, but U. Despite the warning, on October 14 a U.
These images were processed and presented to the White House the next day, thus precipitating the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy summoned his closest advisers to consider options and direct a course of action for the United States that would resolve the crisis.
Some advisers—including all the Joint Chiefs of Staff—argued for an air strike to destroy the missiles, followed by a U. The President decided upon a middle course. That same day, Kennedy sent a letter to Khrushchev declaring that the United States would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba, and demanded that the Soviets dismantle the missile bases already under construction or completed, and return all offensive weapons to the U.
The letter was the first in a series of direct and indirect communications between the White House and the Kremlin throughout the remainder of the crisis. Nevertheless, during October 24 and 25, some ships turned back from the quarantine line; others were stopped by U. With no apparent end to the crisis in sight, U.
On October 26, Kennedy told his advisors it appeared that only a U. The crisis had reached a virtual stalemate. That afternoon, however, the crisis took a dramatic turn. ABC News correspondent John Scali reported to the White House that he had been approached by a Soviet agent suggesting that an agreement could be reached in which the Soviets would remove their missiles from Cuba if the United States promised not to invade the island.
It was a long, emotional message that raised the specter of nuclear holocaust, and presented a proposed resolution that remarkably resembled what Scali reported earlier that day.
We are ready for this. The next day, October 27, Khrushchev sent another message indicating that any proposed deal must include the removal of U. Jupiter missiles from Turkey. That same day a U. U—2 reconnaissance jet was shot down over Cuba.
Kennedy and his advisors prepared for an attack on Cuba within days as they searched for any remaining diplomatic resolution.
It was determined that Kennedy would ignore the second Khrushchev message and respond to the first one. That night, Kennedy set forth in his message to the Soviet leader proposed steps for the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba under supervision of the United Nations, and a guarantee that the United States would not attack Cuba.
It was a risky move to ignore the second Khrushchev message. Attorney General Robert Kennedy then met secretly with Soviet Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Dobrynin, and indicated that the United States was planning to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey anyway, and that it would do so soon, but this could not be part of any public resolution of the missile crisis.
The next morning, October 28, Khrushchev issued a public statement that Soviet missiles would be dismantled and removed from Cuba.
The crisis was over but the naval quarantine continued until the Soviets agreed to remove their IL—28 bombers from Cuba and, on November 20,the United States ended its quarantine.
Jupiter missiles were removed from Turkey in April It also may have helped mitigate negative world opinion regarding the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Two other important results of the crisis came in unique forms.One of the most influental political science works written in the post World War II era, the original edition of Essence of Decision is a unique and fascinating examination of the pivotal event of the cold Cold War.
Not simply revised, but completely re-written, the Second Edition of this classic text is a fresh reinterpretation of the theories and events surrounding the Cuban Missle Crisis. The Cold War between Communist-bloc nations and Western allies defined postwar politics.
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The Cuban Missile Crisis is a time when the United States and the Soviet Union almost had a nuclear war. When the U.S. discovered offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba, it started a tense period of 13 days while the world watched to see if the Soviets would remove the missiles, just 90 miles from the U.S.
The nuclear arms race was a part of the Cold War between America and the USSR which had began soon after the end of the second world War. In Russian missiles were inferior to American missiles and had a limited range.
The characteristics of these new missile sites indicate two distinct types of installations. Several of them include medium range ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for a distance of more than 1, nautical miles.