To What Extent Was the Cuban Missile Crisis the Culmination of the Arms Race?

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The arms race began in 1945 when the US dropped their atomic bomb on Japan. Not only did this demonstrate the power of the USA but was the catalyst for an age of rapid weapon development, the arms race. This ended with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963, an event that bought the superpowers dangerously close nuclear war. A number of factors other than the accumulating advancements in weaponry lead to the Cuban missile crisis, the personalities of the leaders and the national interests of each country all effected how the arms race developed, leading to the inevitable situation where the USA and USSR were left hovering over the trigger. The main aspect that lead to the Cuban missile crisis was the arms development between 1945-1963. The competition between the USA and USSR lead to bigger and more dangerous weapons, the increased threat these weapons bought created great tension that could only end with firing upon one another or a significant reduction of nuclear arms. In 1949 the USSR had matched the USA with the development of their own atom bomb. This sparked the battle for dominant power with the rapid development of hydrogen bombs, inter-continental ballistic missiles and huge advancements in satellite and missile delivery systems. These developments changed the US policies of brinkmanship and massive retaliations, as these methods only worked while the USA remained militarily superior. The Cuban missile crisis showed how back dated these policies were, something Kennedy’s military advisors failed to notice, his understanding of the dangers and his controlled response helped save the USA from the most destructive war ever seen. However the military assured destruction that came with the power of the nuclear era forced the USA and USSR into the standoff of Cuba. This crisis was inevitable and the only way of bringing the arms race to the end. However the driving
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