The Cuban Missile Crisis

This paper analyzes the diplomatic strategies employed to avert a confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis.

The beginning of the crisis can be placed when the American President, John F. Kennedy was notified that the Soviets deployed missile equipment and missiles in Cuba, on October 16, 1962. Viewed as a serious threat not only for the American security but also a threat for the European Allies, the US’s response had a large number of possibilities to be taken into account. These were a Blockade Plan employs 24 to 36 destroyers, a carrier task force, etc., which can marshal significant strength to blockade Cuba, both air and maritime; air Strike Plan currently being revised, but employs between 450 and 500 aircraft. (…); fast Reaction Assault Plan–employs both air-borne and amphibious assault with about 32,000 troops in initial phase, with balance of assault forces arriving in increments as they become available. Ultimately builds up to about 80,000 troops in Cuba around D+18 days. Full-Scale Deliberate Assault Plan–employs simultaneous airborne and amphibious assault with around 49,000 troops engaged on D-Day, building to about 60,000 by D+5 days, and again to 80,000 by D+16 days. (The Avalon Project, 1998). Form the scenarios that President Kennedy and his team made, the first option was chosen. This was a very important moment not only for the crisis itself, but for the evolution of the Cold War. A military naval blockade was chosen for several reasons: Kennedy wanted to diffuse the crisis on the basis of a non-military action that would have probably given reason for an increase in tensions between the US and the USSR. Also, because the US was unable to 100% prove that USSR had rockets in that area it needed to gain support from its European allies.

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