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The Cuban Missile Crisis
Transcript of The Cuban Missile Crisis
Went against Monroe Doctrine; policy that European powers should not have any involvement with states in the western hemisphere
Kennedy looked like a weak and soft leader
Failed 'Bay of Pigs' Invasion
Antagonized both Cuba and the USSR
Soft response to the 'Berlin Crisis of 1962' , especially the building of the Berlin wall What Was Deployed? Missiles Are Discovered by U.S. Cuban citizens noticed the arrival and deployment and hundreds of reports arrive in Miami
describe large trucks passing through towns carrying very long canvas-covered cylindrical objects
Corona spy satellite gave photographic evidence to the Kennedy administration
U-2 reconnaissance flyovers also provided photos
Kennedy notified on October 15 1962 and began to meet with the National Security Council (EXCOMM) Considered responses Air strike: Use the US Air Force to attack all known missile sites.
Blockade: Use the US Navy to block any missiles from arriving in Cuba.
Diplomacy: Use diplomatic pressure to get the Soviet Union to remove the missiles.
Do nothing: American vulnerability to Soviet missiles was not new. Newly placed missiles in Cuba made little strategic difference in the military balance of power.
Invasion: Full force invasion of Cuba and overthrow of Castro The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously agree that a full scale attack on Cuba to be the best solution
Kennedy refuses, says it will invite USSR to invade West Germany and that allies would think Americans as 'trigger-happy-cowboys'
"They, no more than we, can let these things go by without doing something. They can't, after all their statements, permit us to take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians, and then do nothing. If they don't take action in Cuba, they certainly will in Berlin" - Kennedy Kennedy's Plans Blockade "Quarantine" On October 21 EXCOMM meets to discuss the blockade
According to international law a blockade is considered and act of war
Kennedy did not think blockade would go to such lengths over a blockade
Insist more of a quarantine of offensive weapons rather than blocking all materials to Cuba
Kennedy notifies allies and all agree with US plans Kennedy's Speech China was "standing by the Cuban people"
West Germany fully supported the US
Some French newspapers questioned the photos
Khrushchev sends telegram to Kennedy
Considered the American actions to be similar to pirates
views to blockade as an "act of aggression"
Ships will simply ignore the blockage United Nations Security Council US call an emergency meeting on October 25
US ambassador Stevenson shows United Nations photos and proof of missiles in Cuba
US ambassador confronts Soviet ambassador demanding him to admit the missiles exist
Soviet ambassador Zorin refuses to comment
As a result US deploys defensive measures such as having B-2 bombers on constant airborne alert, all missiles on ready alert, 80% of air force planes ready for launch Khrushchev's Letter Khrushchev sends letter to Kennedy on October 26 at 6:00 pm personally written
Kennedy says letter is "very long and emotional"
"Mr. President, we and you ought not now to pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied the knot of war, because the more the two of us pull, the tighter that knot will be tied. And a moment may come when that knot will be tied so tight that even he who tied it will not have the strength to untie it, and then it will be necessary to cut that knot, and what that would mean is not for me to explain to you, because you yourself understand perfectly of what terrible forces our countries dispose.
Consequently, if there is no intention to tighten that knot and thereby to doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to untie that knot. We are ready for this" Crisis Reaches A Climax! October 27 at 9:00 am Radio Moscow broadcast another letter from Khrushchev
Completely different from letter the night before
Offered to remove the missiles from Cuba in exchange for the removal of the American missiles in Turkey and Italy
At 11:03 another message from Khrushchev comes to Kennedy
"You are disturbed over Cuba. You say that this disturbs you because it is ninety-nine miles by sea from the coast of the United States of America. But... you have placed destructive missile weapons, which you call offensive, in Italy and Turkey, literally next to us... I therefore make this proposal: We are willing to remove from Cuba the means which you regard as offensive... Your representatives will make a declaration to the effect that the United States ... will remove its analogous means from Turkey ... and after that, persons entrusted by the United Nations Security Council could inspect on the spot the fulfillment of the pledges made." Kennedy Responds to Khrushchev Kennedy meets with EXCOMM to discuss further actions
Decide to send letter to Khrushchev about a deal at 8:05 on October 26
If Soviets remove missiles from Cuba, IS will remove missiles from Italy
No mention of Turkey at all in the letter
"As I read your letter, the key elements of your proposals—which seem generally acceptable as I understand them—are as follows: 1) You would agree to remove these weapons systems from Cuba under appropriate United Nations observation and supervision; and undertake, with suitable safe-guards, to halt the further introduction of such weapon systems into Cuba. 2) We, on our part, would agree—upon the establishment of adequate arrangements through the United Nations, to ensure the carrying out and continuation of these commitments (a) to remove promptly the quarantine measures now in effect and (b) to give assurances against the invasion of Cuba." USSR missiles did not have the accuracy or reliability to fire at the US from Russia
Khrushchev (USSR leader) wanted West Berlin from US, ENG, and FRA
a threat to the USSR controlled East Berlin
Cuba a decoy away from West Berlin
Can bargain to remove the missiles from Cuba if West Berlin is given to the USSR Earlier Actions by the United States Why did the USSR deploy missiles in Cuba? October 22 Kennedy delivers speech to American citizens on their discovery and what measures will be taken
"It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union"
"It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union" Kennedy Shows Leadership The EXCOMM narrowed down their options to both the air strike and a blockade "quarantine"
Came up with two operational plans (OPLAN)
OPLAN 312 and OPLAN 216
Eventually agree to set up a blockade to stop Soviet ships from entering Cuba Initial International and Soviet Reactions At approximately 12:00 pm of October 27 a U-2F piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson was shot down by a S-75 Divina surface to air missile
Major Anderson is killed
Decision to fire missile was made by a minor Soviet commander acting on his own accord
Later at 3:41 several US aircraft on photoreconnaissance missions were fired on, but all managed to return back to base relatively unharmed
Despite Kennedy's earlier claim he would attack any missile sites if attacked he decided not to act for the time being Lockheed U-2 Shot Down The USSR built anti aircraft missile launch sites as early as August 1962
CIA director said the only reason USSR would do so is if they intended to use Cuba as a base to defend
Deployed R-12 Divina rockets in Cuba
Intermediate range missile capable of carrying a megaton-class thermonuclear warhead
Location in Cuba gave the USSR the ability to target the entire continental U.S. A Lockheed U-2 Reconnaissance Plane Photos taken of the missiles in Cuba Map used by US navy showing position of US and Soviet ships Crisis Finally Ends Kennedy agreed to remove missiles from Italy and those in Turkey along Soviet border in exchange for the removal of all missiles in Cuba
Message from Khrushchev broadcast on Radio Moscow
"the Soviet government, in addition to previously issued instructions on the cessation of further work at the building sites for the weapons, has issued a new order on the dismantling of the weapons which you describe as 'offensive' and their crating and return to the Soviet Union."
Kennedy responds calling the letter "an important and constructive contribution to peace", and issues a formal letter
"I consider my letter to you of October twenty-seventh and your reply of today as firm undertakings on the part of both our governments which should be promptly carried out... The US will make a statement in the framework of the Security Council in reference to Cuba as follows: it will declare that the United States of America will respect the inviolability of Cuban borders, its sovereignty, that it take the pledge not to interfere in internal affairs, not to intrude themselves and not to permit our territory to be used as a bridgehead for the invasion of Cuba, and will restrain those who would plan to carry an aggression against Cuba, either from US territory or from the territory of other countries neighboring to Cuba." Legacy Because the deal between Khrushchev and Kennedy was kept secret the Soviet Union was embarrased
Appeared they had backed down from a conflict they themselves had started
Cuba felt betrayed by the Soviets because their views and issues were not adressed
US and Soviets create the Moscow-Washington hotline so that leaders from both countries can communicate directly By: John Daniel Masangkay