Cuban Missile Crisis The Missiles: One Site A Brief Chronology May, 1962: Khrushchev makes veiled references to a plot (How would the U.S. feel to have missiles pointing at them, as they have missiles pointed at
us?) September: JFK and Congress issue warnings to USSR that US will deal harshly with any threats to national security October 14: U2 recon. flight over Cuba spots sites installing nuclear missiles
October 15: Presence of missiles is confirmed Chronology, Continued October 16: President Kennedy notified October 16-22: Secret deliberations on what should be done October 22: Kennedy tells nation his plan for
blockade and quarantine October 23: OAS endorses naval quarantine October 24: Naval quarantine begins and successfully changes course of many Soviet ships Chronology, Continued October 25: One Soviet ship challenges naval quarantine; Kennedy lets it pass
October 25: At the UN, Adlai Stevenson directly challenges the Soviet ambassador to admit to the existence of missiles, when the ambassador refuses, Stevenson wheels out pictures of the missile sites October 26: Soviets raise possibility for a deal: if we withdraw missiles will America promise not to invade Cuba? Chronology, Continued
October 27: Soviets demand that Americans also withdraw missiles from Turkey; Major Andersons plane is missing over Cuba, presumably shot down; U.S. recon plane strays over Soviet airspacehigh tensions Kennedy tells Khrushchev that he will accept the proposal of the 26th, Kennedy tells his brother to tell the Soviet Ambassador that though the Turkey missiles would not be part of
the bargain, they would be removed in time October 28: USSR agrees to withdraw missiles Soviet Decisions Motivations Close the missile gapCurrently far behind U.S. in terms of number of missiles
Verbal threats no longer effective with overwhelming evidence of U.S. superiority Protect Cuba
Reciprocity: The U.S. has missiles pointing at us, lets see how they feel nowInability to use the missiles If fired a missile, repercussions would be severe Why Khrushchev Settled Effectiveness of naval quarantine Conventional inferiority in the Caribbean No possible countermove
Overwhelming world support for the U.S. Other possible reasons Got what he wanted? No U.S. invasion of Cuba U.S. missiles withdrawn from Turkey
The American Decision Option 1 - Air Strike On October 17th, President Kennedy made the flat statement that there would definitely be
an air strike, at least against the missile sites, and perhaps against wider targets (Bundy 394) Reservations from others, airstrike may be using a sledgehammer to kill a fly Later that day Robert McNamara suggests policy in between diplomacy and an air strike The American Decision cont. Option 2 Blockade
Advocated early on by McNamara and Robert Kennedy, blockade would not require instant killing, but critics feared it would not remove the missiles and would allow Soviets time to complete what they already had in Cuba Douglas Dillon strengthened blockade argument by suggesting that it would only be a first step, that if Khrushchev did not remove the missiles to lift it, then more could be done By Friday the 19th, the committee working on the
blockade adapted it into a quarantine, on Sunday Kennedy accepted their plan as the course of action Castros Role No real role in decision making Apparently out of touch with the situation
Oct. 26: Aggression imminent/imperialists disregarding world opinionClearly not the case Khrushchev plays along
to some extent but it is clear he disagrees with him (your suggestion would have started a thermonuclear world war)
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