Cuba Missile Crisis

Cuba Missile Crisis

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Cuba Missile Crisis

The Cuban missile crisis and it effect was most grave outcome of the Soviet Union and United States confrontations during the Cold War. Despite the fact that the crisis was short lived it was extremely intense and consumed all the attention it could get for the American president of the time, President Kennedy and his advisers. The crisis lasted only sixteen days on October 1962 and only came to close following the agreement between Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart, Khrushchev, popularly known as the Kennedy-Khrushchev Agreement of 1962, signed on 28th October of the same year. This importance of this document can not be overstated and as a result many scholars have put it to scrutiny and wrote several books about it. The agreement may have ended what would have resulted in a third world war, a war that would have been devastating more than all those that had been fourth before given the nuclear weapon that both the countries US and USSR had in their arsenal stock piles.

The Cuba missile crisis was simply a product of the rivalry between the United State and the Soviet Union that hand built up during the cold war, a war the developed from the class of communist ideas and capitalist ideas.

The Soviet Union lead by Nikita Khrushchev believed that installing intermediate-range nuclear missiles in the United State rebellious neighbor Cuba would counter the growing lead of the United State in manufacturing and deploying strategic missiles arsenals. Khrushchev also devised a plan on how to provide protection to Cubans defense against any U. S. orchestrate invasion similar the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. The Soviets obtained permission from Cuba’s Fidel Castrol and immediately embarked on developing missile installation in the country. The developments went on for a while without the knowledge of the United States which on the other hand was so engrossed in plans on how to deal with the Fidel Castrol menace.

By July 1962 there was overwhelming indication of increased support to the Cubans by the Soviets Military. The missile installation was very noticeable for instance there was confirmed present of air defense missiles, IL-28 medium-range bombers, medium range ballistic missiles, high altitude air surveillance, and increased strategic air command.

Numerous photographs of the soviet installations, some complete and some under construction were taken and show to president Kennedy and his advisers. This was an awakening call to the U.S on the seriousness of the situation and in the preceding week, president Kennedy and his military and civilian advisors embarked on exploring various options available to the U.S. Strong debates ensued in the U.S. administration ranks as Soviet diplomats strongly denied any installation of Soviet offensive missiles in Cuba.

Following the discovery, President Kennedy addressed his nation in a televised announcement on the 22nd of October 1962. His announcement informed the American citizens of the discovery of Soviet installations in Cuba and stated that any nuclear missile attack originating from Cuba would be considered a Soviet Union attack and the American authorities would respond accordingly. President Kennedy also impose a naval burn on Cuba to curtail further shipment of Soviet offensive military artilleries into Cuba. The restrictions affected military equipments that were under shipment to Cuba as well as raised the level or surveillance on Cuba. The use also reinforced its base at Guantanamo and explores various diplomatic channels such as sanctioning quarantine by the Organization of American States. Once the sanction was in effect, Kennedy issue Proclamation 3504 which established the quarantine was in effect from the 24 of October. He then directed the Defense secretary to take appropriate measures to ensure the quarantine is not violated.

Several steps had already been taken to activate military force for emergency situation since the discovery of the military installations in Cuba. Security was beefed and naval as well as air force activities in the Arabian were increased although the defense of the southeastern coast of the united states had started earlier in the year. It was not clear what course the Soviet Union would take, and following the increase rumors of the increased military operation, the United States left nothing to chance. All its entire defense system was on alert. The US was ready to counter any nuclear attack from the soviet.

The America strategic air command started dispatching bombers as well as placed all military planes on alert, equipped and ready to take off within fifteen minutes of a take off signal. The B-52 heavy bomber were placed of extensive airborne alert from the 25 of October to engage in flights for 24 hours a day, each time one landed another one took of. In addition, the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) crews enacted a similar alert status. Submarines were assigned various stations and also stay on alert as the American nuclear firepower was deployed to dissuade any careless confrontation. In Sum All the subdivision is the American armed and defense forces, navy, air force, etc were on high alert and ready to engage. These included North America Defense Command (NORAD), Continental Army Comand, (CONARC), Tactical Air Command (TAC), Army Forces Atlantic (ARLANT), and Air Forces Atlantic (AFLANT) and many other divisions.

The operation to oversee the quarantine was also allocated another command created under a special task force to ensure that the quarantine was not violated. Amy, navy and air force resources were committee to ensure that nothing was shipped into Cuba. A carrier was locate near Cuba with provide support to the military operation in the area and support the Guantanamo US base. The surveillance in the area was beefed to monitor about 2000 ships that operate in the Sothern Atlantic area and searches were conducted frequently by navy aircrafts and SAC bombers. The speed of the movement of military personnel, ships, and aircrafts was amazing

The continued stream of photographic intelligence information that continued to flow from Cuba indicated a rapid build up of offensive weapons. There was continuous construction of intermediate-rage ballistic missiles permanent sites and additional strategic positioning of mobile medium-range ballistic missiles. With all these development in Cuba, the positioning of American forces, it was only a matter of time before a confrontation would develop. Ironically, the potentially devastating exchanges that arise from quarantines similar to that that had been place upon Cuba failed to arise. The first Cuba bound soviet ship was intercepted on 25th of October, however the ship was allowed to proceed to proceed to Cuba after it was ascertained that it was carrying oil and not any dangerous materials. Cuban ships that had suspicious material change course and returned to the home coasts. Tension rose on 27 when U-2 aircraft was destroyed and the Soviet Union called to duty 14, 000 air force reservists, after activating 24 troop carrier squadrons and their supportive units.

During the crises, there was constant communication between the two sides. Communication mostly involved letter, however there was both formal communication and secrete channel communication. The Soviet President sent formal letter to his American counterpart explaining the deterrent nature of its Cuba missile mission, stating the Soviet Union had peaceful intentions. Khrushchev also sent a letter informing Kennedy the if America promised to invade Cuba, or participate in any invasion of Cuba, the Soviet missile installations would be dismantled and the personnel returned to USSR. Next, Khrushchev sent a letter on October 27 demanding demolition of U.S missile installations in turkey in exchange for demolition of its installation in Cuba. The American decided to ignore the second set of demand and honor the first one.

A break through in the crisis was attained on October 28 after the Soviet Union consented to demolition of offensive weapons from Cuba and subjected to United Nations verification. The US promised not to invade Cuba and all the surveillance and quarantine that had been placed upon Cuba were removed. However some Arial surveillance continued to ensure that all missile installation were removed from Cuba.

However, a second crisis emerged concerning removal of Soviet IL-28 bombers for Cuba. The US considered the bomber offensive. Diplomatic talks we held and these bombers were also shipped away under supervision like the previous weapons. The quarantine ended on November 20. The inter America quarantine force was dismantled. An agreement was later struck by the two presidents and America would never invade Cuba again.

Annotated bibliography

Khrushchev, Nikita. Letter. “American Experience.” 23 Oct. 1962

This is a letter written in response to a previous latter by Kennedy which confirm the reception of the letter and also states USSR demands for removal of offensive military installations Cuba.

May, Earnest R. and Philip D. Zelikow. The Kennedy Tapes. President and Fellows of Harvard College. 1997.

This text is important for understanding the Cuban Missile crises. It contains all communications within the white house during the crisis. It is thus important for understanding what ensued in the white house during the crisis.

Medland, William J. “The Cuban Missile Crisis: Evolving Historical Perspectives.” History Teacher, v23 n4 p433-47 1990

This text provides an extensive exploration of the views of various scholars on the Cuban Missile crises and the active surrounding it.

Nathan, James, A. Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis: (Greenwood Press Guides to Historic Events of the Twentieth Century). Greenwood Press. 2000.

These books explore how the Cuba missile crisis almost plunged the world into a devastating nuclear based third world war. It explore how the conflict developed and its consequences

Presidential Library and Museum. “Cuban Missile Crisis.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The US Government, 2011. Web. 20 Jan. 2011. HYPERLINK “http://www.jfklibrary.org/‌JFK/‌JFK-in-History/‌Cuban-Missile-Crisis.aspx” http://www.jfklibrary.org/‌JFK/‌JFK-in-History/‌Cuban-Missile-Crisis.aspx

This is a secondary source. He website highlights and discuses all the measure taken by the American president Kennedy to handle to missile crisis issue. It state all effort of Kennedy to stop the crisis

Walser, Ray. “Cuban Communism.” Global Museum on Communism. Global Museum on Communism, 2009. Web. 27 Jan. 2011. <http://cuba.globalmuseumoncommunism.org/‌cuba/‌history>.

This article published by Dr Walser explores issues of communism, in Cuba and its relation to the Cuban missile crisis.

Work Cited

Khrushchev, Nikita. Letter. American Experience. 23 Oct. 1962

May, Earnest R. and Philip D. Zelikow. The Kennedy Tapes. President and Fellows of Harvard College. 1997.

Medland, William J. “The Cuban Missile Crisis: Evolving Historical Perspectives.” History Teacher, v23 n4 p433-47 1990

Nathan, James, A. Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis: (Greenwood Press Guides to Historic Events of the Twentieth Century). Greenwood Press. 2000.

Presidential Library and Museum. “Cuban Missile Crisis.” John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The US Government, 2011. Web. 20 Jan. 2011. http://www.jfklibrary.org/‌JFK/‌JFK-in-History/‌Cuban-Missile-Crisis.aspx

Walser, Ray. “Cuban Communism.” Global Museum on Communism. Global Museum on Communism, 2009. Web. 27 Jan. 2011. <http://cuba.globalmuseumoncommunism.org/‌cuba/‌history>.