Crisis Management During The Cuban Missile Crisis

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Introduction The Cuban missile crisis is the only nuclear crisis mankind experience so far. It is daunting to realize how close the world came to nuclear holocaust. On the other hand the crisis was also a turning point in the history of Cold War, that is the reason President Kennedy`s speechwriter, Theodore Sorensen called it the “Gettysburg of the Cold War”. In this essay we attempt to probe into the crisis decision making during the Cuban missile crisis, more specifically from October 23, when Kennedy announced the implementation of a naval quarantine around Cuba, till October 28, when Khrushchev publicly announced the withdrawal of nuclear missiles from Cuba. First we will reveal Khruschev`s reasons for arming Cuba with nuclear capabilities, than explore the factions and their characteristics within the ExComm. The main part of this essay explains the rationale behind the flow of event and the outcome of the crisis. The essay finishes by considering the major lessons of the crisis. This essay does not specifically discuss the events of the Cuban missile crisis in depth, but rather focuses on the main events that lead to the eruption of the crisis, and to peaceful settlement. The Motives for Soviet Deployment of Missiles in Cuba Even after almost 50 years of the Cuban missile crisis, scholars still disagree on the reasons the Soviets decided to emplace nuclear missiles in Cuba for. We can differentiate two broader perspectives, the participant and the revisionist. The former is hallmarked by prominent figures such as Theodore Sorensen, Arthur Schlesinger, General Maxwell Taylor, Roger Hilsman, Walt Rostow, Kenneth O`Donell, and Raymond Garthoff. The participants, or also known as the traditionalists of the Kennedy Administration, agree on six plausible reasons. First, the Russians sought to change the strategic balance of power, that is to compensate for
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