The Cuban Missile Crunch, October 1962
The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was a directly and unsafe confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was the moment when the 2 superpowers came closest to nuclear disharmonize. The crisis was unique in a number of ways, featuring calculations and miscalculations as well every bit straight and underground communications and miscommunications between the ii sides. The dramatic crisis was also characterized by the fact that information technology was primarily played out at the White House and the Kremlin level with relatively footling input from the respective bureaucracies typically involved in the foreign policy process.
Aerial view of missile launch site at San Cristobal, Cuba. (John F. Kennedy Library)
After the failed U.S. endeavor to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba with the Bay of Pigs invasion, and while the Kennedy administration planned Operation Mongoose, in July 1962 Soviet premier
reached a secret agreement with Cuban premier
to identify Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter whatever time to come invasion attempt. Construction of several missile sites began in the late summer, but U.S. intelligence discovered evidence of a general Soviet arms build-up on Cuba, including Soviet IL–28 bombers, during routine surveillance flights, and on September 4, 1962, President
issued a public alarm confronting the introduction of offensive weapons into Cuba. Despite the warning, on October 14 a U.S. U–2 shipping took several pictures clearly showing sites for medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles (MRBMs and IRBMs) under construction in Cuba. These images were processed and presented to the White House the side by side day, thus precipitating the onset of the Cuban Missile Crunch.
Kennedy summoned his closest advisers to consider options and straight a form of action for the Usa that would resolve the crisis. Some advisers—including all the Joint Chiefs of Staff—argued for an air strike to destroy the missiles, followed past a U.S. invasion of Cuba; others favored stern warnings to Republic of cuba and the Soviet Union. The President decided upon a middle course. On Oct 22, he ordered a naval “quarantine” of Republic of cuba. The use of “quarantine” legally distinguished this action from a occludent, which causeless a land of war existed; the use of “quarantine” instead of “blockade” also enabled the United states to receive the support of the Organization of American States.
That same solar day, Kennedy sent a alphabetic character to Khrushchev declaring that the United States would not let offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba, and demanded that the Soviets dismantle the missile bases already under construction or completed, and render all offensive weapons to the United states of americaSouthward.R. The letter of the alphabet was the first in a series of direct and indirect communications between the White House and the Kremlin throughout the remainder of the crisis.
The President also went on national television that evening to inform the public of the developments in Cuba, his decision to initiate and enforce a “quarantine,” and the potential global consequences if the crisis connected to escalate. The tone of the President’south remarks was stern, and the message unmistakable and evocative of the Monroe Doctrine: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard whatever nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a total retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” The Articulation Chiefs of Staff appear a military machine readiness status of DEFCON 3 every bit U.S. naval forces began implementation of the quarantine and plans accelerated for a military strike on Cuba.
On October 24, Khrushchev responded to Kennedy’s message with a statement that the U.S. “blockade” was an “human activity of aggression” and that Soviet ships spring for Cuba would be ordered to proceed. Nevertheless, during October 24 and 25, some ships turned back from the quarantine line; others were stopped by U.S. naval forces, simply they contained no offensive weapons then were allowed to go on. Meanwhile, U.S. reconnaissance flights over Cuba indicated the Soviet missile sites were nearing operational readiness. With no apparent end to the crisis in sight, U.S. forces were placed at DEFCON 2—meaning war involving the Strategic Air Control was imminent. On Oct 26, Kennedy told his advisors it appeared that only a U.S. set on on Cuba would remove the missiles, but he insisted on giving the diplomatic aqueduct a petty more time. The crisis had reached a virtual stalemate.
That afternoon, however, the crisis took a dramatic plough. ABC News correspondent John Scali reported to the White Firm that he had been approached by a Soviet amanuensis suggesting that an agreement could be reached in which the Soviets would remove their missiles from Cuba if the Usa promised not to invade the island. While White House staff scrambled to assess the validity of this “back channel” offering, Khrushchev sent Kennedy a bulletin the evening of Oct 26, which meant information technology was sent in the middle of the night Moscow time. 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. “If there is no intention,” he said, “to doom the globe to the catastrophe of thermonuclear state of war, then allow us not merely relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, permit usa take measures to untie that knot. Nosotros are prepare for this.”
Although U.S. experts were convinced the message from Khrushchev was authentic, hope for a resolution was short-lived. The next day, October 27, Khrushchev sent another message indicating that whatever proposed bargain must include the removal of U.South. Jupiter missiles from Turkey. That same 24-hour interval a U.Southward. 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 along in his message to the Soviet leader proposed steps for the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba under supervision of the Un, and a guarantee that the United states of america would not attack Cuba.
It was a risky movement to ignore the second Khrushchev bulletin. 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 then soon, simply this could not be part of whatsoever public resolution of the missile crisis. The next morn, October 28, Khrushchev issued a public statement that Soviet missiles would exist 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 Republic of cuba and, on November twenty, 1962, the United States ended its quarantine. U.S. Jupiter missiles were removed from Turkey in Apr 1963.
The Cuban missile crisis stands as a atypical upshot during the Common cold War and strengthened Kennedy’s image domestically and internationally. Information technology also may have helped mitigate negative world opinion regarding the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Ii other of import results of the crisis came in unique forms. Beginning, despite the flurry of direct and indirect communications between the White House and the Kremlin—perhaps because of it—Kennedy and Khrushchev, and their advisers, struggled throughout the crisis to conspicuously understand each others’ true intentions, while the world hung on the brink of possible nuclear war. In an try to forestall this from happening again, a direct telephone link between the White House and the Kremlin was established; it became known as the “Hotline.” Second, having approached the brink of nuclear disharmonize, both superpowers began to reconsider the nuclear arms race and took the offset steps in agreeing to a nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The Secret Agreement That Ended the Cuban Missile Crisis Included