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Cuban Missile Crisis
Transcript of Cuban Missile Crisis
Ever since the creation of the Atom Bomb at the end of World War II, the threat of Nuclear War is always a possibility
Since the USSR was a nuclear power, tensions between them and the US rapidly rose as Americans feared due to the rapid expansion of the USSR
On October 4, 1957, the USSR successfully launched Sputnik 1 (the first earth-orbiting satellite) and caused Americans to doubt their technological superiority over the Soviet Union
On 12 April 1961, Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to go to space; yet again doubting America's technologies Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) On April 17, 1961, The US government (authorized by president of 3 months, John F. Kennedy) sent around 1,300 CIA-trained Cuban exiles to go and both assassinate Fidel Castro and overthrow his revolutionary government before it got out of proportion By April 19, 1961, around ninety exiles were killed and the rest captured.
Naturally, this only made Cuban-American tensions grow further On October 14, 1962, a U-2 aerial reconissance
flight took pictures of many long, canvas-covered
objects in Cuba The Kennedy Administration studied these photographs for the nest 24 hours
they were discovered to be Soviet missiles In August and September of 1961,
American Intelligence agencies noticed
Soviet aid going in and out of Cuban ports,
and got suspicious After closer inspection from the Kennedy administration,
it was discovered that IL-28 Beagle nuclear-capable bombers, and several thousand Soviet technicians were being sent to Cuba John F. Kennedy then warned Cubans as well as Russians that if these were for use against any countries in the western hemesphere, "The gravest consequences would arise." The location of the Russian warheads
made it so they could strike the US, yet
be close enough that there would be only
five minutes notice This news forced the Strategic Nuclear Forces at DefCon 3,
alerting everyone that this was in fact a crisis in the making A committee of national security executives,
later to be known as ExComm disclosed this
new information to President Kennedy Kennedy decided to wait until ExComm had
devised a few plausible solutions to the crisis
before confronting the Soviets Solutions 2. Surgical Airstrike on the Cuban missile sights themselves 6. Full-on air raid of Cuba followed by Invasion 1. Blockade of Cuba and ulitmatum for Soviets
to remove all bombers and nuclear weapons 3. Quid pro quo to remove American Jupiter missiles from Turkey and Italy DEFCON System DEFCON 5- Complete peacetime
0-20% chance of war DEFCON 4- Some possibility of invasion of US
20-50% chance of war DEFCON 3- An invasion of the US is likely
50-80% chance of war DEFCON 2- War is a high possibilty
80-90% chance of war DEFCON 1- War is imminent and guaranteed
90-100% chance of war In the meantime, US ambassador to the UN met with his Soviet counterpart and said the very
memorable line that we will wait "until hell freezes over" for an explanation as to these
weapons being made in range of America Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko assured President Kennedy in his office that the soviet presence and shipments to Cuba were "persued soley the purpose of contributing to the defence capabilities of Cuba." also that "training by Soviet specialists of Cuban nationals in handling defensive armaments was by no means offensive, and if it were otherwise," Mr. Gromyko went on, "the Soviet Government would never become involved in rendering such assistance." Both of these statements were false As of now, there have been 8 confirmed assassination attempts on Fidel Castro's life orchestrated by the US government between 1960 and 1965, none of which have succeeded Meanwhile, the crisis went on, and the Kennedy administration
was in a panic and failed to agree on what needed to be done The OAS (Organization of American States) made the final decision. They settled on a consensus decision for a blockade and quarantine of Cuba and an ultimatum for the USSR to remove the existing missiles After JFK's address to the country of the discovery of the Soviet warheads in Cuba, the SAC (Strategic Air Command) raised the level of alert to DEFCON 2, int he event the Cubans or Soviets felt cornered by the quarantine In addition, the SAC deployed 1/8 of all their some 1500 bombers on ready alert, as well as 146 nuclear ICBMs (Inter-Continental Balistic Missile), 161 nuclear armed interceptors (rockets and lasers designed to hit a balistic missile mid-air and cause destruction of the warhead) and 16 dispersal fields. All of this within one hour of the blockade starting The errors in solutions 2 and 4 were that:
a. There may have been other missile sights we did not know existed,
and thus not destroyed before possible launch
b. Soviet technicians, soldiers, and cubans would be killed,
resulting in war with the USSR American military forces that were not stationed on defense were rallied and performed many practice exercises that would mimic the possible invasion strategies if diplomacy did not work and we had to revert to invasion 4. private negociations with the Kremlin 5. Private negociations with Fidel Castro also, solutions 4 and 5 would not work because both the soviet officials and Castro because they were both hardline communists