Thirteen Months: Cuba’s Perspective on the Missile Crisis

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The Cuban missile crisis may be the most studied confrontation in our history. Yet until recently, Cuba has been left out of the Cuban missile crisis. 1 The traditional view focused attention on the fabled 13 days in October 1962, from the time President John F. Kennedy learned that the Soviets were constructing sites for intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba, until Chairman Nikita Khrushchev ordered the sites dismantled and the missiles removed. From this perspective, the crisis was a showdown between the two superpowers, and Cuba was merely the location where the confrontation occurred.

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See, for example, Graham T. Allison, Essence of Decision (Boston, 1971); Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (Boston, 1965), chaps. 30–31; Roger Hilsman, To Move a Nation (New York, 1967); Lester H. Brune, The Missile Crisis of October 1962 (Claremont, CA, 1985); Herbert S. Dinerstein, The Making of a Missile Crisis: October 1962 (Baltimore, MD, 1976); T. Szulc, Fidel: A Critical Portrait (New York, 1986); Herbert L. Matthews, Revolution in Cuba (New York, 1975).

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For example, James G. Blight and David A. Welch, On the Brink (New York, 1989); Raymond L. Garthoff, Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis , rev. ed., (Washington, D.C., 1989); Jorge I. Dominguez, To Make the World Safe for Revolution: Cuba’s Foreign Policy (Cambridge, 1989); Thomas G. Paterson, “Fixation with Cuba: The Bay of Pigs, Missile Crisis, and Covert War Against Castro,” in Thomas G. Paterson, ed., Kennedy’s Quest for Victory (New York, 1989), pp. 136–41. Much new data has become available because of five major conferences on the missile crisis. Edited transcripts and analyses of the first two conferences can be found in Blight and Welch, On the Brink . The first included nearly all of the living members of the ExComm (Executive Committee of the National Security Council, formed by President Kennedy on 16 October 1962), and the second included many of these men and three Soviet experts. A transcript of the third conference—held in Moscow in January 1989, with participation by U.S., Soviet, and Cuban delegates—is available in Bruce J. Allyn, James G. Blight and David A. Welch, eds., Back to the Brink: Proceedings of the Moscow Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, January 27–28, 1989 , Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University (Lanham MD: University Press of America, 1992). The transcript from the fourth conference, “Cuba Between the Superpowers”—held in Antigua in January 1991 with U.S., Soviet, and Cuban participants—is available from the Brown University Center for Foreign Policy Development. It is edited by James G. Blight, David Lewis, and David A. Welch. The fifth conference was held in Havana, Cuba in January 1992 and was attended by former policymakers from the United States and the former Soviet Union, and former and current policymakers from Cuba, including President Fidel Castro. A transcript will be available from the Brown University Center for Foreign Policy Development.

Frank Mankiewicz and Kirby Jones, With Fidel (New York, 1975), pp. 150–1.

Allison, Essence of Decision , p. 239; Blight and Welch, On the Brink , pp. 249–50, 294–5; Garthoff, Reflections (1989), pp. 6–10; H. L. Matthews, Fidel Castro (New York, 1970), p. 227; Szulc, Fidel , pp. 578–9.

Sergo Mikoyan, “La Crisis del Caribe, en retrospectiva,” America Latina , no. 4 (April 1988), p. 45; also comments made by Jorge Risquet, head of the Cuban delegation at the Moscow conference, 27 January 1989 (during the conference). Certainly, Soviet leaders relied on several sources of intelligence to develop their analysis of an impending U.S. invasion. While the Soviet conclusion seems to have coincided with the Cuban assessment, it is not clear how much influence the Cuban view had. See Soviet comments in Blight and Welch, On the Brink , pp. 238, 249, 258. On the expulsion, see W. Smith, The Closest of Enemies (New York, 1987), p. 80; M. H. Morley, Imperial State and Revolution: The United States and Cuba, 1952–1986 (New York, 1987), pp. 155–8.

Carlos Franqui, Family Portrait With Fidel , trans. Alfred MacAdam (New York, 1984), p. 185, claims that Adzhubei gave Castro the report in person. Matthews, Revolution in Cuba , p. 208, writes that Castro received Adzhubei’s information from a copy of a report submitted to Khrushchev that was sent to Havana.

H. Thomas, The Cuban Revolution (New York, 1977), p. 607; Matthews, Revolution in Cuba , p. 208. For a report of earlier comments by Cardona see Dinerstein, Making of a Missile Crisis , p. 141.

Garthoff, Reflections (1989), p. 6; Laurence Chang, ed., The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 (Washington, D.C.: National Security Archive, 1990), vol. I, p. 43; interviews with Cuban officials; Allyn et al., Back to the Brink , pp.15–18.

Morley, Imperial State and Revolution , pp. 191–202; D. Rich, The U.S. Embargo Against Cuba: Its Evolution and Enforcement, A Study Prepared for the Commonwealth Countries (Washington, D.C., July 1988), pp. 24–37.

25 July 1962 Memorandum, p. 5. Also see Morley, Imperial State and Revolution , pp. 149–50; A. M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times (New York, 1978), pp. 512–17, 575; N. Fuentes, Nos Impusieron La Violencia (Havana, 1986); Paterson, “Fixation with Cuba,” pp. 137–8.

Allison, Essence of Decision , p. 47; E. Abel, The Missile Crisis (Philadelphia, 1966), pp. 102–3; N. L. Cotayo, El Bloqueo a Cuba (Havana, 1983), pp. 314–15. The exercises began on 21 October, at which point they were in reality no longer exercises but prepositioning for a possible invasion.

Cotayo, El Bloqueo , pp. 308–13. For a description of some of the press and congressional demands, see Thomas G. Paterson and William J. Brophy, “October Missiles and November Elections: The Cuban Missile Crisis and American Politics, 1962,” Journal of American History 72 (June 1986); Thomas, Cuban Revolution , pp. 621–2; Abel, Missile Crisis , pp. 12–13; Allison, Essence of Decision , p. 188; A. Chayes, The Cuban Missile Crisis (New York, 1974), pp. 8–10.

F. Castro, “The Duty of a Revolutionary Is to Make the Revolution: The Second Declaration of Havana,” in Martin Kenner and James Petras, eds., Fidel Castro Speaks (New York, 1969), pp. 85–106 (esp. p. 104); Dominguez, To Make the World Safe for Revolution , pp. 115–16; H. M. Erisman, Cuba’s International Relations (Boulder, CO, 1985), pp. 20–1.

In a statement on 4 September he cautioned against the introduction of “offensive ground-to-ground missiles in Cuba.” On the 13th he warned against Cuba becoming “an offensive military base of significant capacity for the Soviet Union.” See Hilsman, To Move a Nation , p. 171; “The President’s News Conference of September 13,” Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy 1962 (Washington, D.C., 1963), pp. 674–5. One authoritative Soviet view of President Kennedy’s statements—by Anatoly Gromyko, the son of the Soviet foreign minister at the time—focused only on the aspects of bellicosity in what Kennedy said, and ignored any mention of the implicit warning against placing ballistic missiles or combat troops in Cuba. See Anatoly Gromyko, “The Caribbean Crisis, Part 1,” in Ronald R. Pope, ed., Soviet Views on the Cuban Missile Crisis (Lanham, MD, 1982), pp. 165–7.

R. L. Garthoff, Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis (Washington, D.C., 1987), p. 8, fn. 9; Dominguez, To Make the World Safe for Revolution , p. 36.

“Balance del Primer Encuentro con La Realidad Sovietica,” 23 May 1963, reprinted in F. Castro, La Revolucion de Octubre y La Revolucion Cubana: Discursos 1959–1977 (Havana, 1977), p. 91.

This was how Aleksandr Alekseev, who was soon to become the Soviet ambassador to Cuba, claims to have understood Castro. See Aleksandr Alekseev, “Karibskii Krizis: kak eto bylo [The Caribbean Crisis: As It Really Was],” Ekho Planety , no. 33 (Moscow, November 1988).

Barton J. Bernstein, “The Cuban Missiles Crisis: Trading the Jupiters in Turkey?” Political Science Quarterly , vol. 95 (Spring 1980), p. 99. The estimate of time necessary to prepare a missile for firing was made by Soviet military officials at the 1989 Moscow conference.

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A. Gilly, Inside the Cuban Revolution , trans. Felix Gutierrez (New York, 1964), p. 48, as quoted in Thomas, Cuban Revolution , p. 630.

R. F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days (New York, 1969), p. 109; Abel, Missile Crisis , pp. 194–95.

Matthews, Fidel Castro , p. 232; C. A. Robbins, The Cuban Threat (New York, 1983), p. 211. Also see Franqui, Family Portrait , pp. 194–5. Castro himself suggested this interpretation in 1974 by saying: “We felt very passionate…. We were annoyed by matters of form, by certain formalities in the conduct of the negotiations.” See Mankiewicz and Jones, With Fidel , p. 152. At the 1989 Moscow conference, Cuban participants acknowledged that the necessity of time made the lack of consultation understandable, but they argued that even then Khrushchev should have qualified his acceptance of Kennedy’s proposal with a requirement that Cuba’s security demands be satisfied; Allyn, et al., Back to the Brink , p. 72.

Ibid., p. 73. Szulc, Fidel , pp. 585–8; Thomas, Cuban Revolution , p. 636; Julien, “Sept Heures Avec M. Fidel Castro,” p. 6.

P. Bonsai, Cuba, Castro and the United States (Pittsburgh, PA, 1971), p. 187; Cole Blasier, The Giant’s Rival: The USSR and Latin America (Pittsburgh, PA, 1983), pp. 104–7; Garthoff, Reflections (1989), p. 138; Matthews, Fidel Castro , p. 199; Szulc, Fidel , pp. 585–6.

R. Duncan, The Soviet Union and Cuba (New York, 1985), p. 44.

Blight and Welch, On the Brink , p. 281. Also see Davis S. Bobrow, “Stories Remembered and Forgotten,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 33, no. 2 (June 1989), pp. 197–201.

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Brenner, P. (1992). Thirteen Months: Cuba’s Perspective on the Missile Crisis. In: Nathan, J.A. (eds) The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-137-11462-4_6

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research papers about cuban missile crisis

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Cuba and the missile crisis *.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2009

On 16 October 1962, President John F. Kennedy learned that the Soviet Union was building bases in Cuba for ballistic missiles that could destroy major US cities. In the days that followed, US officials focused nearly all their attention on strategies for removing the Soviet missiles, on Soviet motives, and on the Soviet Union's reaction to the naval quarantine. Cuba was the locus of this most dramatic superpower confrontation, but Cuban perceptions, motives, and reactions were largely ignored.

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1 The perspective articulated by Allison , G. T. . Essence of Decision ( Boston , 1971 ), p. 39 Google Scholar , characterises most approaches: ‘For thirteen days in October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union stood “eyeball to eyeball”….The United States was firm but forebearing. The Soviet Union looked hard, blinked twice, and then withdrew without humiliation’ This paralleled the early analyses of the crisis. See, for example, Schlesinger , A. M. Jr ., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House ( Boston , 1965 ), ch. 30–1 Google Scholar ; Hilsman , R. , To Move a Nation ( New York , 1967 ), chs. 13–16. Google Scholar

2 However, most analysts do give some credence to the claim that both the Soviet Union and Cuba viewed the missiles as a deterrent against a US invasion of Cuba. References to this motive can be found, for example, in Allison , , Essence of Decision , pp. 47 – 50 , 239 Google Scholar ; Brune , L. H. , The Missile Crisis of October 1962 ( Claremont, CA , 1985 ), p. 28 Google Scholar ; Dinerstein , H. S. , The Making of a Missile Crisis: October 1962 ( Baltimore , 1976 ), pp. 176 –7 Google Scholar ; Dominguez , J. I. , To Make the World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy ( Cambridge , 1989 ), pp. 35 –6 Google Scholar ; Garthoff , R. L. , Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis , Revised Edition ( Washington, D. C , 1989 ), pp. 21 –2 Google Scholar ; Matthews , H. L. , Revolution in Cuba ( New York , 1975 ), p. 208 Google Scholar ; Paterson , T. G. , ‘Fixation with Cuba: The Bay of Pigs, Missile Crisis, and Covert War Against Castro’, in Paterson , Thomas G. (ed.), Kennedy's Quest for Victory ( New York , 1989 ), pp. 136 –41 Google Scholar ; Szulc , T. , Fidel: A Critical Portrait ( New York , 1986 ), pp. 578 –9. Google Scholar For a good discussion of the possible Soviet motives for placing missiles, see Blight , J. G. and Welch , D. A. , On the Brink ( New York , 1989 ), pp. 116 –17, 294–6. Google Scholar An alternate list is provided by Brune , , Missile Crisis , pp. 15 – 32 . Google Scholar

3 Much new data have become available because of three major conferences on the missile crisis. Edited transcripts and analyses of the first two conferences can be found in Blight and Welch, On the Brink . The first included nearly all the living members of the ExComm (Executive Committee of the National Security Council, formed by President Kennedy on 16 Oct. 1962) and the second included many of these men and three Soviet experts. Transcripts of the third conference – held in Moscow in January 1989, with participation by US, Soviet and Cuban delegates – will be available in Welch , D. A. and Allyn , B. J. (eds.), Proceedings of the Moscow Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, January 27–28, 1989 , Center for Science and International Affairs , Harvard University (forthcoming). Google Scholar See also Allyn , Bruce J. et al. , ‘Moscow, Havana, and the Cuban Missile Crisis,’ International Security ( 12 1989 ). Google Scholar

4 Mankiewicz , F. and Jones , K. , With Fidel ( New York , 1975 ), pp. 150 –1. Google Scholar Castro has held several positions in Cuba. During the missile crisis he was Prime Minister of Cuba. In 1974, at the time of the Mankiewicz–Jones interview, he was First Secretary of the Communist Party and President of Cuba.

5 Allison , , Essence of Decision , p. 239 Google Scholar ; Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 249 –50, 294–5 Google Scholar ; Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 6 – 10 Google Scholar ; Matthews , H. L. , Fidel Castro ( New York , 1970 ), p. 227 Google Scholar ; Szulc , , Fidel , pp. 578 –9. Google Scholar

6 Mikoyan , Sergo , ‘ La Crisis del Caribe, en retrospectiva ’, América Latina , no. 4 ( 04 1988 ), p. 45 Google Scholar ; also comments made by Jorge Risquet, head of the Cuban delegation at the Moscow conference, 27 January 1989 (during the conference). Certainly, Soviet leaders relied on several sources of intelligence to develop their analysis of an impending US invasion. While the Soviet conclusion seems to have coincided with the Cuban assessment, it is not clear how much influence the Cuban view had. See Soviet comments in Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 238 , 249, 258. Google Scholar On the expulsion, see Smith , W. , The Closest of Enemies ( New York , 1987 ), p. 80 Google Scholar ; Morley , M. H. , Imperial State and Revolution: The United States and Cuba, 1952–1986 ( New York , 1987 ), pp. 155 –8. Google Scholar

7 Franqui , Carlos , Family Portrait With Fidel , trans. MacAdam , Alfred ( New York , 1984 ), p. 185 Google Scholar , claims that Adzhubei gave Castro the report in person. Matthews , , Revolution in Cuba , p. 208 Google Scholar , writes that Castro received Adzhubei's information from a copy of a report submitted to Khrushchev that was sent to Havana.

8 Thomas , H. , The Cuban Revolution ( New York , 1977 ), p. 607 Google Scholar ; Matthews , , Revolution in Cuba , p. 208 . Google Scholar For a report of earlier comments by Cardona see Dinerstein , , Making of a Missile Crisis , p. 141 . Google Scholar

9 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 6 Google Scholar ; Chang , L. (ed.), Chronology of the Cuban Missile Crisis ( Washington, D.C. , 01 1989 ) p. 42 Google Scholar ; interviews with Cuban officials; ‘Moscow Missile Crisis Conference, 27–9 January 1989: Official Cuban Transcription,’ pp. 35–6. (Hereafter cited as ‘Cuban Transcript.’)

10 Morley , , Imperial State and Revolution , pp. 191 – 202 Google Scholar ; Rich , D. , The US Embargo Against Cuba: Its Evolution and Enforcement , A Study Prepared for the Commonwealth Countries ( Washington, D.C. , 07 1988 ), pp. 24 – 37 . Google Scholar

11 Lansdale , Brig. Gen. , ‘Memorandum for the Special Group (Augmented) – Review of Operation Mongoose,’ 25 07 1962 , p. 5 Google Scholar ; classified Top Secret; partially declassified 5 Jan. 1989; available at the National Security Archive (Washington, D.C.) which obtained it through the Freedom of Information Act. (Hereafter cited as ‘25 July 1962 Memorandum’.)

12 Ibid. , p. 4.

13 Brig. Gen. E. G. Lansdale, ‘The Cuba Project’, 18 January 1962 (Program Review for The President and ten others: hereafter cited as ‘The Cuba Project’), p. 1; classified Top Secret; partially declassified 5 Jan. 1989; available at the National Security Archive (Washington, D.C), which obtained it through the Freedom of Information Act. Also see: Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders , An Interim Report, No. 94–465, US Senate, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., 20 Nov. 1975 (hereafter cited as Assassination Report ), p. 139.

14 ‘The Cuba Project,’ p. 2.

15 Quoted in Assassination Report , p. 146; also see pp. 139–47.

16 ‘25 July 1962 Memorandum’, p. 5. Also see Morley , , Imperial State and Revolution , pp. 149 –50 Google Scholar ; Schlesinger , A. M. Jr ., Robert Kennedy and His Times ( New York , 1978 ), pp. 512 –17, 575 Google Scholar ; Fuentes , N. , Nos Impusieron La Violencia ( Havana , 1986 ) Google Scholar ; Paterson , , ‘Fixation with Cuba’, pp. 137 –8. Google Scholar

17 Assassination Report , pp. 71–135. Also see Schlesinger , , Robert Kennedy , pp. 517 –37. Google Scholar

18 Mikoyan , , ‘La Crisis del Caribe’, p. 45 . Google Scholar

19 ‘Cuban Transcript’, pp. 33–5.

20 Dinerstein , , Making of a Missile Crisis , p. 161 . Google Scholar

21 Dennison , R. L. , CINCLANT Historical Account of Cuban Crisis 1962 , Serial: 000119/J09H, 29 04 1963 , The Atlantic Command, Norfolk, Virginia , p. 153 . Google Scholar (Hereafter cited as CINCLANT Account. ) This document is available at the National Security Archive.

22 Ibid. , pp. 17, 39–40. For an insightful article about the significance of the CINCLANT Account , see Hershberg , James G. , ‘Before the “Missiles of October”: Did Kennedy Plan Military Strike Against Cuba?’, Diplomatic History (forthcoming). Google Scholar Also see his ‘Before the Missiles of October’, The Boston Phoenix , 8 April 1988.

23 CINCLANT Account , pp. 20–1.

24 Ibid. , p. 40.

25 ‘Dorticos en la ONU: En Defensa de Cuba’, Bohemia , 12 10 1962 , pp. 48ff Google Scholar ; ‘Excerpts From Cuban President's Speech in the UN’, New York Times , 9 10 1962 , p. 14 . Google Scholar

26 Allison , , Essence of Decision , p. 47 Google Scholar ; Abel , E. , The Missile Crisis ( Philadelphia , 1966 ), pp. 102 –3 Google Scholar ; Cotayo , N. L. , El Bloqueo a Cuba ( Havana , 1983 ), pp. 314 –15. Google Scholar The exercises began on 21 October, at which point they were in reality no longer exercises but prepositioning for a possible invasion.

27 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 30 –1. Google Scholar

28 Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 621 . Google Scholar

29 ‘Cuban Transcript,’ p. 35.

30 Cotayo , , El Bloqueo , pp. 308 –13. Google Scholar For a description of some of the press and congressional demands see Thomas Paterson , G. and Brophy , William J. , ‘ October Missiles and November Elections: The Cuban Missile Crisis and American Politics, 1962 ’, Journal of American History , vol. 72 ( 06 1986 ) Google Scholar ; Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , pp. 621 –2 Google Scholar ; Abel , , Missile Crisis , pp. 12 – 13 Google Scholar ; Allison , , Essence of Decision , p. 188 Google Scholar ; Chayes , A. , The Cuban Missile Crisis ( New York , 1974 ), pp. 8 – 10 . Google Scholar

31 ‘Cuba Está Lista Para La Batalla Decisiva’, Bohemia , 9 09 1962 , pp. 58 –9. Google Scholar

32 Mankiewicz , and Jones , , With Fidel , p. 148 . Google Scholar Exile writer Carlos Franqui, then editor of Revolution , recounted that Cuba had reports on 20 October that ‘all US troops in Florida were on full alert, and there was a general mobilization’. Franqui , , Family Portrait , p. 189 . Google Scholar

33 Castro , F. , ‘The Duty of a Revolutionary is to Make the Revolution: The Second Declaration of Havana’, in Kenner , Martin and Petras , James (eds.), Fidel Castro Speaks ( New York , 1969 ), pp. 85 – 106 (esp. p. 104) Google Scholar ; Dominguez , , To Make the World Safe for Revolution , pp. 115 –16 Google Scholar ; Erisman , H. M. , Cuba's International Relations ( Boulder, Colo. , 1985 ), pp. 20 –1. Google Scholar

34 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 111 . Google Scholar

35 Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 617 Google Scholar ; Dinerstein , , Making of a Missile Crisis , p. 152 . Google Scholar

36 Szulc , , Fidel , p. 582 . Google Scholar

37 Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 238 , 251, 252, 297–9 Google Scholar ; Dinerstein , , Making of a Missile Crisis , p. 152 Google Scholar ; Schlesinger , , A Thousand Days , p. 820 . Google Scholar

38 Castro told Tad Szulc that ‘in the same way that the United States had missiles in Italy and Turkey…we had the absolutely legal right to make use of such measures in our own country’. Szulc , , Fidel , p. 582 . Google Scholar

39 In a statement on 4 September he cautioned against the introduction of ‘offensive ground-to-ground missiles in Cuba’. On the 13th he warned against Cuba becoming ‘an offensive military base of significant capacity for the Soviet Union’. See: Hilsman , , To Move a Nation , p. 171 Google Scholar ; ‘The President's News Conference of September 13’, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy 1962 (Washington, D.C., 1963 ), pp. 674 –5. Google Scholar One authoritative Soviet view of President Kennedy's statements – by Anatoly Gromyko, the son of the Soviet foreign minister at the time – focused only on the aspects of bellicosity in what Kennedy said, and ignored any mention of the implicit warning against placing ballistic missiles or combat troops in Cuba. See, Gromyko , Anatoly , ‘The Caribbean Crisis, Part 1’, in Pope , Ronald R. (ed.), Soviet Views on the Cuban Missile Crisis ( Lanham, Md. , 1982 ), pp. 165 –7. Google Scholar

40 Garthoff , R. L. , Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis ( Washington, D.C. , 1987 ), p. 8 (fn. 9) Google Scholar ; Dominguez , , To Make the World Safe for Revolution , p. 36 . Google Scholar

41 Dinerstein , , Making of a Missile Crisis , pp. 80 –1, 166–8 Google Scholar ; Mankiewicz , , and Jones , , With Fidel , p. 152 . Google Scholar

42 ‘Balance del Primer Encuentro con La Realidad Soviética’, 23 May 1963; reprinted in Castro , F. , La Revolutión de Octubre y La Revolutión Cubana: Discursos 1959–1977 ( Havana , 1977 ). p. 91 . Google Scholar

43 Julien , Claude , ‘Sept Heures Avec M. Fidel Castro’, Le Monde , 22 03 1963 , p. 6 . Google Scholar Also see, Matthews , , Fidel Castro , p. 225 . Google Scholar

44 Mankiewicz , and Jones , , With Fidel , p. 152 Google Scholar ; Szulc , , Fidel , p. 580 Google Scholar ; Cabrera , Carlos , ‘The October 1962 crisis: “It's Ridiculous to Claim That We Wanted to Provoke a Nuclear War”’, (interview with Rafael Hernández), Granma Weekly Review , 26 02 1989 , p. 9 . Google Scholar (Hereafter cited as Hernández interview.)

45 Franqui , , Family Portrait , p. 188 Google Scholar ; Szulc , , Fidel , p. 583 . Google Scholar

46 Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 610 Google Scholar ; Hilsman , , To Move a Nation , pp. 164 –5, 201–2 Google Scholar ; Schlesinger , , A Thousand Days , pp. 796 –7. Google Scholar

47 This was how Aleksandr Alekseev, who was soon to become the Soviet ambassador to Cuba, claims to have understood Castro. See Alekseev , Aleksandr , ‘Karibskii Krizis: kak eto bylo (The Caribbean Crisis: As It Really Was)’, Ekho Planety , no. 33 ( Moscow , 11 1988 ). Google Scholar

48 Bernstein , Barton J. , ‘ The Cuban Missile Crisis: Trading the Jupiters in Turkey? ’, Political Science Quarterly , vol. 95 (Spring 1980 ), p. 99 . CrossRef Google Scholar The estimate of time necessary to prepare a missile for firing was made by Soviet military officials at the 1989 Moscow conference.

49 Mankiewicz , and Jones , , With Fidel , p. 152 . Google Scholar

50 ‘Cuban Transcript,’ p. 38.

51 Domínguez , , To Make the World Safe for Revolution , pp. 39 – 40 . Google Scholar Rafael Hernández describes the Cuban intention graphically: ‘From our point of view, the crisis signified for Cuba an act of asserting our claim, to the extent that the world was presented a vision of holocaust – precisely the perspective that faced Cuba in its unequal confrontation with the United States.’ Hernández , Rafael , ‘ La Crisis de Octubre de 1962: Lección y Parábola ’, America Latina , no. 4 ( 04 1988 ), p. 36 . Google Scholar

52 Matthews , , Revolution in Cuba , pp. 209 –10 Google Scholar ; Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , pp. 613 –14 Google Scholar ; Szulc , , Fidel , pp. 578 –80 Google Scholar ; Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 238 –9. Google Scholar

53 ‘Cuban Transcript,’ pp. 45–6. (The ORI was the precursor of the Cuban Communist Party, and was formed out of Castro's 26th of July Movement, the university-based Revolutionary Directorate, and the old Communist Party or Partido Socialista Popular.) Also see, Alekseev, ‘Karibskii Krizis’. Franqui , ( Family Portrait , p. 189 ) Google Scholar recalled that there were only five Cuban officials involved. Four on his list are the same as on Aragonés's, but Franqui's list deletes Aragonés and Blas Roca, and includes Ramiro Valdés.

54 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 17 Google Scholar ; Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 609 . Google Scholar

55 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 18 . Google Scholar

56 Dominguez , , To Make the World Safe for Revolution , p. 40 Google Scholar ; Szulc , , Fidel , p. 583 Google Scholar ; interviews with Cuban officials in 1988 and 1989.

57 There are discrepancies in reports of how many bombers arrived in Cuba and were operational. According to the CINCLANT Account (p. 15), 42 bombers were shipped to Cuba, and 11 were completely assembled and two were partially assembled when Cuba agreed to return them on 20 Nov. But former Cuban Army Chief of Staff Sergio del Valle recalled in an interview on May 18, 1989 with Bruce Allyn, James G. Blight and David A. Welch that there were only twelve bombers in Cuba: 3 unassembled ones in Cuban hands and nine assembled ones controlled by the Soviets.

58 ‘Cuban Transcript,’ pp. 79–80; and interviews in January 1989 with Cuban delegates at the Moscow conference. Castro noted on 19 November 1962, that ‘owing to their [the IL-28S] limited speed and low flight ceiling, they are antiquated equipment in relation to modern means of anti-aircraft defence’, Office of Public Information, United Nations , ‘Text of Communication dated 19 November 1962 from Prime Minister Fidel Castro of Cuba to Acting Secretary-General U Thant’, Press Release SG/1379, 20 11 1962 , p. 2 . Google Scholar Also see Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 104 (fn. 183). Google Scholar Sergo Mikoyan said in an interview on 30 January 1989 that none of the nuclear warheads on the island could have been refitted as bombs for the IL-28S, and that there were no nuclear bombs delivered to Cuba.

59 In his 4 September statement, President Kennedy warned that if there were any evidence of ‘any organized combat force in Cuba from any Soviet bloc country…the gravest issues would arise’. Hilsman , , To Move a Nation , p. 171 . Google Scholar Also see Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 120 –1. Google Scholar

60 ‘Cuban Transcript,’ pp. 45–6, 56.

61 On this point also see Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 24 –5. Google Scholar

62 ‘Cuban Transcript,’ pp. 46–8, 55–6, 75. The agreement, which was to be a five-year renewable pact, allegedly stipulated that the Soviets had no right of sovereign immunity over the missile bases. But Franqui contends ( Family Portrait , p. 187) that the land on which the missiles were based became Soviet property.

63 Matthews , , Revolution in Cuba , p. 208 . Google Scholar

64 Gilly , A. , Inside the Cuban Revolution , trans. Gutierrez , Felix ( New York , 1964 ), p. 48 Google Scholar , as quoted in Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 630 . Google Scholar

65 Dinerstein , , Making of a Missile Crisis , p. 217 . Google Scholar Also see: Mankiewicz , and Jones , , With Fidel , pp. 149 –50 Google Scholar ; Alekseev, ‘Karibskii krizis’.

66 Hoy , 23 Oct. 1962.

67 ‘Cuban Transcript’, p. 81.

68 CINCLANT Account , p. 13.

69 Based on interviews with the Cuban delegates to the 1989 Moscow conference. Also see Matthews , , Fidel Castro , p. 232 . Google Scholar

70 Interview on 30 January 1989. Also see Garrido , Mario H. , ‘General of the Army Dimitri Yazov: I Have My Uniform, Ready to Fight’. Granma Weekly Review , 23 04 1989 , p. 8 . Google Scholar

71 Hoy , 25 Oct. 1962.

72 Kennedy , R. F. , Thirteen Days ( New York , 1969 ), p. 109 Google Scholar ; Abel , , Missile Crisis , pp. 194 –95. Google Scholar

73 CINCLANT Account , pp. 55–6.

74 ‘Cuban Transcript’, pp. 43, 83. Interestingly, at the Moscow conference del Valle's estimate was translated initially as ‘800,000’, and this was readily accepted by US participants as credible once they learned that there were 40,000 Soviet military personnel in Cuba. During the crisis, the US estimate of Soviet military strength on the island ranged from 10,000 to 16,000. See Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 35 –6. Google Scholar

75 Szulc , , Fidel , p. 584 Google Scholar ; Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 84 Google Scholar ; ‘Documentos de la Crisis Mundial’, Bohemia , 2 11 1962 , p. 52 . Google Scholar

76 The officer seems to have been Lt. General (then Major General) G. A. Voronkov. See Juarez , Adela Estrada , ‘The General Who Gave the Order to Fire’, Granma Weekly Review , 23 04 1989 , p. 8 . Google Scholar Another officer, Major General Igor Statsensko, has also been cited as the local Soviet commander responsible for the shootdown. See Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 82 –5. Google Scholar Also Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 310 –11. Google Scholar

77 Chang , , Chronology , p. 226 . Google Scholar The CINCLANT Account (p. 14) reported that the guns were 57 mm, and that no low level plane had been hit.

78 ‘October 27, 1962: Transcripts of the Meetings of the ExComm’, International Security , vol. 12, no. 3 (Winter 1987 / 1988 ), pp. 63 , 65, 68 Google Scholar ; Kennedy , , Thirteen Days , pp. 107 –8. Google Scholar

79 Ellsberg , Daniel , ‘The Day Castro Almost Started World War III’, New York Times , 31 10 1987 , p. 27 . Google Scholar

80 Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , p. 72 . Google Scholar In contrast, McGeorge Bundy and Robert McNamara argued that the likely response to a continued stalemate would have been a ‘turning of the screw’, an extension of the quarantine to include nonmilitary items. See Ibid. , pp. 83–4, 189–90.

81 Alekseev, ‘Karibskii krizis’,

82 Confirmation of this comes indirectly from Alekseev. In ‘Karibskii krizis’, he claims that all 42 missiles and warheads for them were in place. In an interview on 28 January 1989 he said that Castro reviewed the manuscript of his article prior to publication, and had corrected any errors of fact. Presumably, then, Castro believed even until recently that all the missiles and warheads were on the island.

83 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 36 –7 (fn. 63), 207–9. Google Scholar

84 Keller , Bill , ‘62 Missile Crisis Yields New Puzzle’, New York Times , 30 01 1989 . Google Scholar At the 1989 conference, Alekseev claimed to have helped draft the cable, and that no such demand was in it.

85 LeoGrande , William , ‘ Uneasy Allies: The Press and the Government During the Cuban Missile Crisis ’, Occasional Paper No. 3, Center for War, Peace and the News Media, New York University , 1987 , pp. 21 , 42. Google Scholar

86 Che Guevara was reportedly preparing for guerrilla war in Pinar del Río. See Matthews , , Revolution in Cuba , p. 212 . Google Scholar Franqui , reports ( Family Portrait , p. 193 ) Google Scholar that Cuban uncertainty about a US invasion increased tension, and he claims that this led Castro to fire the Soviet SAM missile that brought down the U-2. That claim now is accorded little credence, in part because he locates the firing in western Cuba, hundreds of miles from the actual SAM missile site in Oriente Province. But as an apocryphal story, it may suggest why Castro initiated the use of anti-aircraft guns.

87 Mikoyan , , ‘La Crisis del Caribe’, p. 55 . Google Scholar

88 There are still unresolved conflicting accounts of an alleged firefight between Cuban and Soviet troops. See Hersh , Seymour M. , ‘Was Castro Out of Control in 1962?’, Washington Post , 11 10 1987 , p. H2 Google Scholar ; Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 310 –11. Google Scholar

89 ‘Message to Chairman Khrushchev Calling for Removal of Soviet Missiles from Cuba, October 27, 1962’, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy 1962 , pp. 815 –14 Google Scholar ; Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 106 –14. Google Scholar

90 ‘Fija Fidel Las Cinco Garantías Contra La Agresión a Cuba’, Revolución , 29 10 1962 . Google Scholar Also see, U Thant, ‘Summary of my meeting with President Dorticos, Premier Castro of Cuba and Foreign Minister Roa in [Havana] 10:00 A.M., October 31, 1962’, UN Archives, DAG-1/5.2.2.6.2:1, unpaginated.

91 U Thant, ‘Summary of my meeting, October 31, 1962’.

92 ‘Nuestro Derecho a la Paz se Está Abriendo Paso en El Mundo’, Verde Olivo , 11 11 1962 , pp. 14 , 15. Google Scholar This speech by Castro included a transcription of the 30 October meeting with U Thant. In his notes of that meeting, U Thant said that the remarks were those of Castro, not Dorticos. See, U Thant, ‘Summary of my meeting with President Dorticos, Premier Castro and Foreign Minister Roa in Havana, October 30, 1962’, UN Archives, DAG-1/5.2.2.6.2:1, unpaginated.

93 Interview, 30 Jan. 1989.

94 Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 636 Google Scholar ; Abel , , Missile Crisis , p. 213 Google Scholar ; Franqui , , Family Portrait , p. 196 . Google Scholar

95 There is some doubt about this report, because Soviet delegates at the 1989 Moscow conference asserted that the troops were Soviet, dressed in Cuban uniforms. For a discussion of this controversy, see Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 100 –01 (fn. 175). Google Scholar

96 Alekseev, ‘Karibskii krizis’; Mikoyan , , ‘La Crisis del Caribe’, p. 55 Google Scholar ; interview with Mikoyan, 30 Jan. 1989; Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 267 –8. Google Scholar

97 Julien , , ‘Sept Heures Avec M. Fidel Castro’, pp. 1 , 6. Google Scholar

98 Matthews , , Fidel Castro , p. 232 Google Scholar ; Robbins , C. A. , The Cuban Threat ( New York , 1983 ), p. 211 . Google Scholar Also see, Franqui , , Family Portrait , pp. 194 –5. Google Scholar Castro himself suggested this interpretation in 1974 by saying: ‘We felt very passionate…We were annoyed by matters of form, by certain formalities in the conduct of the negotiations.’ See, Mankiewicz , and Jones , , With Fidel , p. 152 . Google Scholar At the 1989 Moscow conference, Cuban participants acknowledged that the necessity ‘of time’ made the lack of consultation understandable. But they argued that even then Khrushchev should have qualified his acceptance of Kennedy's proposal with a requirement that Cuba's security demands be satisfied; ‘Cuban Transcript’, pp. 25, 56–7.

99 ‘Cuban Transcript’, p. 26; Szulc , , Fidel , pp. 585 –8 Google Scholar ; Thomas , , Cuban Revolution , p. 636 Google Scholar ; Julien , , ‘Sept Heures Avec M. Fidel Castro’, p. 6 . Google Scholar

100 Letter from Prime Minister Fidel Castro to UN Secretary General U Thant, 15 Nov. 1962; unofficial UN translation; US Department of State Incoming Telegram, no. 1802, 15 Nov. 1962, 7:00 p.m., p. 2; classified Secret; now declassified.

101 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), pp. 126 –7. Google Scholar Also see Smith , , Closest of Enemies , pp. 83 –4. Google Scholar

102 Mikoyan , , ‘La Crisis del Caribe’, p. 55 Google Scholar ; Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 267 –8. Google Scholar

103 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 122 Google Scholar ; Schlesinger , , Robert Kennedy , pp. 574 –5 Google Scholar ; Assassination Report , pp. 147–8.

104 Castro letter to U Thant, 15 Nov. 1962, p. 3.

105 Ibid. , pp. 3, 4.

106 Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 122 . Google Scholar

107 These ideas were expressed by Jorge Risquet and Emilio Aragonés at the 1989 Moscow conference. Also see, Hernández interview. Notably, the Soviet Union did propose direct US-Cuban negotiations ‘regarding the removal of the Guantanamo naval base’, in a joint Cuban–Soviet protocol offered on 15 November to settle the November crisis. See US Department of State Incoming Telegram, no. 1798, 15 Nov. 1962, 6 p.m., p. 3.

108 For example, Draper , Theodore , ‘Castro and Communism’, The Reporter , 17 01 1963 Google Scholar ; Matthews , , Fidel Castro , pp. 230 –2. Google Scholar

109 For insightful discussions of this point, see Blight and Welch, On the Brink , ch. 6; Lebow , Richard Ned , ‘ The Cuban Missile Crisis: Reading the Lessons Correctly ’, Political Science Quarterly , vol. 98 (Fall 1983 ). CrossRef Google Scholar

110 It appears that Cuba was unaware until 1963 of the implicit agreement between the Soviet Union and United States over removal of the Jupiters in Turkey. See Szulc , , Fidel , pp. 586 –7. Google Scholar

111 Verde Olivo , 11 11 1962 , p. 14 Google Scholar ; Bernstein , , ‘Trading the Jupiters in Turkey’, pp. 116 –17. Google Scholar

112 LeoGrande , , ‘Uneasy Allies’, p. 31 . Google Scholar

113 Kennedy , , Thirteen Days , pp. 124 , 127–8. Google Scholar

114 On the awareness of Cuba's fears, see Paterson , , ‘Fixation with Cuba’, p. 141 . Google Scholar On the discussion about Turkish missiles, see: Bernstein , , ‘Trading the Jupiters in Turkey’, pp. 104 –11 Google Scholar ; ‘October 27, 1962: Transcripts of the Meetings of the ExComm’. Notably, the ExComm was sensitive to Turkish and NATO concerns about a withdrawal of missiles without consultation, but US officials did not extrapolate this sensitivity to the parallel circumstance of the Soviet Union and Cuba.

115 This view of Cuba was most evident in President Kennedy's 22 October address to the nation, in which he said: ‘Finally, I want to say a few words to the captive people of Cuba…Now your leaders are no longer Cuban leaders inspired by Cuban ideals. They are puppets and agents of an international conspiracy which has turned Cuba against your friends and neighbours in the Americas…’ See ‘Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba, October 22, 1962’, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy 1962 , p. 809. An alternative explanation, of course, is that the Kennedy Administration did not want to abandon its hope of destroying the Cuban revolution.

116 For a good discussion of these see Nathan , James A. , ‘The Missile Crisis: His Finest Hour Now’, World Politics , 01 1975 , pp. 272 –6. Google Scholar Also see Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , pp. 93 – 111 . Google Scholar

117 Bonsai , P. , Cuba, Castro, and the United States ( Pittsburgh , 1971 ), p. 187 Google Scholar ; Blasier , C. , The Giant's Rival: The USSR and Latin America ( Pittsburgh , 1983 ), pp. 104 –7 Google Scholar ; Garthoff , , Reflections ( 1989 ), p. 138 Google Scholar ; Matthews , , Fidel Castro , p. 199 Google Scholar ; Szulc , , Fidel , pp. 585 –6. Google Scholar

118 Duncan , W. R. , The Soviet Union and Cuba ( New York , 1985 ), p. 44 . Google Scholar

119 ‘Balance del Primer Encuentro con La Realidad Soviética’, pp. 92, 93.

120 Duncan , , The Soviet Union and Cuba , p. 43 . Google Scholar

121 Garthoff , Quoted in , Reflection ( 1989 ), p. 23 . Google Scholar Also see, Nathan , , ‘The Missile Crisis’, pp. 279 –80. Google Scholar

122 Erisman , , Cuba's International Relations , p. 18 . Google Scholar

123 Schlesinger , , A Thousand Days , p. 839 . Google Scholar

124 Assassination Report , pp. 170–7. Also see Schlesinger , , Robert Kennedy , pp. 590 – 602 Google Scholar ; Paterson , , ‘Fixation with Cuba’, pp. 152 –3. Google Scholar

125 Revolución , 16 01 1963 , p. 9 . Google Scholar

126 Schlesinger , , A Thousand Days , p. 841 . Google Scholar

127 For example, see Cline , Ray S. , ‘Commentary: The Cuban Missile Crisis’, Foreign Affairs (Fall 1989 ). Google Scholar

128 Blight , and Welch , , On the Brink , p. 281 . Google Scholar Also see Bobrow , Davis B. , ‘ Stories Remembered and Forgotten ’, Journal of Conflict Resolution , vol. 33 , no. 2 ( 06 1989 ), pp. 197 – 201 . CrossRef Google Scholar

129 Bobrow , , ‘Stories Remembered and Forgotten’, p. 203 . Google Scholar

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  • Volume 22, Issue 1-2
  • Philip Brenner (a1)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X00015133

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Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions

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21 Case Study: Cuban Missile Crisis: ANALYSIS AND REVIEW

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This chapter presents a case study and analysis that serves as a review of ideas presented in the book. This study, particularly its review, may have historical significance as it is based on the responses of President Kennedy's advisors during the Cuban Missile Crisis: Theodore Sorensen and Robert McNamara, and Sergei Khrushchev, son of Nikita. The chapter begins by asserting that the Cuban Missile crisis was the most dangerous moment in human history. An introductory background section on the Cold War led to the thirteen-day crisis that began on October 16, 1962. This is followed by a day-by-day account of the crisis taken from various source documents. Following the case is an analysis, which employs recent definitions of players as “hawks,” “doves,”, and “owls.” Schelling's views on rational choice and game theory are considered the standard for wise decision-making and are used to evaluate the decisions made. The chapter reviews the material presented in the text. Ideas are brought up in context to refresh recollection and to apply them to various decisions during the crisis. This is an effective way to make the review interesting, as it continually combines it with observations from Sorensen and S. Khrushchev.

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Covering the business and politics of space

Russia’s nuclear threat to space is worse than a “Cuban Missile Crisis in space”

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An AI-generated scene of orbital destruction raining down. Image generated by the author using DALL-E.

Difference #1: Russian desperation

Difference #2: u.s. credibility.

In the 1960s, the U.S. held a strategic missile advantage that allowed Kennedy to threaten the Soviet Union with a game of chicken. Today, the U.S. has a strategic advantage on Earth, but not in space. Financial constraints crippled Russia’s space endeavors, leading to fewer payload launches, and the U.S. now has a major lead in space. With more to defend and less to attack, the U.S. must carefully moderate its actions to avoid a catastrophic Russian response.

Difference #3: U.S. options

  • Do nothing: Russia is a declining power desperate to regain its lost status. But Russia’s decline cannot be solved by threatening U.S. space assets. If the U.S. appeases Russia, it would enter a never-ending cycle of bad behavior and appeasement.
  • President-to-President diplomacy: Given the war in Ukraine and presidential elections in November, direct diplomacy at this level is likely off the table.
  • Economic sanctions: Russia probably views sanctions as a nuisance, while it sees its geopolitical position as an existential crisis. At best, sanctions will have little to no effect. At worst, they will exacerbate Russia’s decline, potentially leading to even more reckless behavior. 
  • Destroy the satellite in orbit: The U.S. likely lacks the offensive cyber capabilities to neutralize the satellite in orbit. A direct ascent anti-satellite attack is possible but incredibly risky. Like the Soviets would retaliate facing a U.S. invasion, facing a “use it or lose it” scenario, Russia might decide to set off the weapon rather than watch it be destroyed. 
  • Low level diplomacy: The administration is currently reaching out to Moscow to negotiate an off-ramp prior to launching the satellite. Russia is a declining power, so time is on the U.S.’s side. 
  • International diplomacy: China, India, and the United Kingdom all have significant satellites in the same orbit as Russia’s test satellite. Presenting a united front may deter Russia where a single actor cannot. 

Daniel Duchaine

Daniel Duchaine is a Fellow at the Center for Space Governance and the Space Governance and Power Fellow at Al Fusaic. He is currently a Government Relations Associate at Applied Research Associates (ARA). The views expressed here are his alone and do... More by Daniel Duchaine

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COMMENTS

  1. (PDF) cuban missile crises

    During this period, the Cuban crisis caused a major global crisis in October 1962. USA to Turkey, the USSR had placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba. This was one of the main causes of the crisis ...

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    There is little argument that October 1962—the Cuban Missile Crisis—marked the closest the world has come to nuclear war. Today, 50 years later, volumes have been written about the crisis. Even so, in the tens of thousands of pages that interpret and analyze this conflict, there are essential details missing—specifically, a comprehensive ...

  3. PDF The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited

    The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited*. On 14 October 1962, a US surveillance plane, the U-2, photographed medium- range (approximately 1000 miles) missile sites under construction in Cuba. The. come close to tangling on the high seas and, indeed, saw the world verge on a nuclear holocaust.

  4. The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Study of Its Strategic Context

    the organizations that support their research. 564 Volume LXXXVII Number 4 December 1972. CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS | 565 ... vision Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis, July 25, 1961 in Public Papers of the President: 1961. (Washington, D.C., 1962), 534. There was ... CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS 1 567 But the new strategic -relationship did ...

  5. The Cuban Missile Crisis after Sixty Years

    Abstract. The sixtieth anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis is an appropriate time to review the events—arguably the closest the world has come to nuclear war—from the perspective of 2022. Growing tensions between Moscow and Washington and increasing Cuba emphasis in US domestic politics preceded the confrontation.

  6. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Evolving Historical Perspectives

    On the Brink by James Blight and David Welch is a critical oral history. of the Cuban missile crisis. The book contains an edited version of the. Hawk's Cay Conference held in Florida on March 5-7, 1987 where several members of Kennedy's Executive Committee (ExCom) met with scholars. to review and discuss the crisis.

  7. PDF Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Context of Strategic

    In this discussion paper Andrei Kokoshin, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and sixth secretary of the Russian Security Council, offers a concise discussion of the essence of the most dangerous nuclear crisis in the history of humankind. Unlike other Russian publications on this topic, this paper explores the Cuban missile crisis in the

  8. Reexamining the Cuban Missile Crisis Six Decades Later

    Serhii Plokhy, Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: W. W. Norton, 2021. 480 pp. $35.00 cloth, $22.00 paper.When reviewing Michael Dobbs's "One Minute to Midnight" in 2008, the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke began, "Any new entry in the crowded field of books on the 1962 Cuban missile crisis must pass an immediate test: Is it just another recapitulation, or ...

  9. Thirteen Months: Cuba's Perspective on the Missile Crisis

    The Cuban missile crisis may be the most studied confrontation in our history. Yet until recently, Cuba has been left out of the Cuban missile crisis. 1 The traditional view focused attention on the fabled 13 days in October 1962, from the time President John F. Kennedy learned that the Soviets were constructing sites for intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba, until Chairman Nikita ...

  10. Cuban Missile Crisis: How Thirteen Days Changed the World

    989. between President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev (Khrushchev) during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. This paper is divided into two major components. First, I will analyze the United States' initial contemplation in response to evidence of the Soviet Union's construction of offensive-weapon bases in Cuba.

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    Cuba and the Missile Crisis* - Volume 22 Issue 1-2. 3 Much new data have become available because of three major conferences on the missile crisis. Edited transcripts and analyses of the first two conferences can be found in Blight and Welch, On the Brink.The first included nearly all the living members of the ExComm (Executive Committee of the National Security Council, formed by President ...

  13. (PDF) The Cuban missile crisis

    Drawing on revealing new research, this richly informative volume is the definitive concise introduction to the crisis that took the world to the brink of nuclear war. • 73 alphabetically organized entries that offer valuable insights into the leaders, events, and ideas that shaped the Cuban Missile Crisis • More than a dozen expert contributors representing all countries involved in the ...

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  15. PDF The Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Cuban missile crisis began for the United States on the morning of October 16, when President Kennedy was informed of the discovery of missile sites in Cuba by U-2 surveillance aircraft. Kennedy convened an informal group of cabinet officials and top civilian and military advisors (the Ex Comm) to consider and plan an appropriate response.

  16. Historians and the Cuban Missile Crisis

    This essay will begin with an analysis of the relationship between evidence and interpretation, between methodology and conclusion, in the historiography of the missile crisis. It will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the various schools of thought and the implications for their explanatory power. It will then apply this.

  17. PDF The Cuban Missile Crisis and Its Effect on The Course of Détente

    the Cuban Missile Crisis led both nations' leaders to truly realize the potential for worldwide destruction that resulted from the constant conflict during the Cold War. A period of increased cooperation and reduced tensions known as détente began almost immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis and continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

  18. PDF NSA and the Cuban Missile Crisis

    studied the Cuban military buildup. Once the offensive missiles were discovered, SIGINT provided direct support for day-to-day man-agement of the crisis. This is the story of SIGINT in the Cuban Missile Crisis. When Fidel Castro took power in Cuba by overthrowing the previous dictator, Fulgencio Batista, he was hailed as a liberator by

  19. Case Study: Cuban Missile Crisis: ANALYSIS AND REVIEW

    The chapter begins by asserting that the Cuban Missile crisis was the most dangerous moment in human history. An introductory background section on the Cold War led to the thirteen-day crisis that began on October 16, 1962. This is followed by a day-by-day account of the crisis taken from various source documents.

  20. PDF Rewriting History: the Impact of The Cuban Missile Crisis on American

    the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bernstein argued that Kennedy invaded Cuba for purely political. reasons, and when the Bay of Pigs turned into a foreign policy disaster, Kennedy authorized. t adefensive nuclear base on the island.16 In Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev 1960-1.

  21. PDF SpeCial RepoRt

    Ten Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis 5 Conclusion 10 about the RepoRt Few events have been as studied and analyzed as the Cuban missile crisis. Drawing on previously undiscovered archival materials and interviews with Soviet and American veterans of the crisis, Michael Dobbs has taken a fresh look at the history of those fateful thirteen days.

  22. Cuban Missile Crisis Research Paper

    This paper will analyze one of the most tense superpower confrontation in history-The Cuban Missile Crisis-which occured in October of 1962 and it is seen as the most dramatic stage of the Cold War (Seibert, E. W.,2003). The latest being a spiral conflict between the two nuclear giants, the United States and the Soviet Union, due to the ...

  23. Understanding Cuban Missile Crisis Research Papers

    The model Allison (1971) uses to analyze the Cuban Missile Crisis is the government politics model. This model considers decision making within an organization (government) as "bargaining games" among leaders involved in policy decisions. Analysis of the Cuban Missile Crisis using this model shows an aspect not revealed by the other two models.

  24. Russia's nuclear threat to space is worse than a "Cuban Missile Crisis

    On June 20, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) warned that the United States is on the brink of a "Cuban Missile Crisis in space" if Russia operationalizes a nuclear ...