I decided to analyse the topic,called “The Cuban missile crisis”. My work consists of seven chapters and 15pages.Imagine going about your life knowing that, atany given moment, you and everyone you know could be wiped out without warningat the push of a button. Thiswas the reality for millions of people during the forty-five-year period afterWorld War II now known as the Cold War. As the United States and the Soviet Unionfaced off across the globe each knew that the other had nuclear weapons capableof destroying it. And destruction never loomed closer than during the thirteendays of the Cuban missile crisis.
“Theday when the calendar could end” – as contemporaries called the “BlackSabbath” on October 27, 1962. The Cuban missile crisis, which almostbecame the beginning of a full-scale nuclear war between the United States ofAmerica and the Soviet Union. After the Cuban Revolution FulgencioBatista was replaced by the Fidel Castro. In its turn, Fidel Castro severedwell-established relations with the US and was interested in creation onrelations with the Soviet Union, and it became a key moment of the history ofthe Caribbean Crisis, which led to serious consequences – operation Anadyr andAmerican blockade. Themain aim of my course paper is to analyse the situation from the contemporarypoint of view and try to find the answer to the question: If this were happening now, the US president would have had two tweets onhis “Twitter” so beloved, to make a statement about the end of theacute confrontation with the USSR. But could Trump show the same wisdom as JohnKennedy?! Historical background In1961, the United States deployed 15 medium-range missiles PGM-19″Jupiter” in Turkey with a time of about 10 minutes.
They”covered” the territory of the European part of the USSR. At thattime, the Americans had a significant advantage over the Soviets in terms ofthe number of nuclear warheads (6,000 against 300) and in delivery vehicles.Placement of missiles near the border of the USSR was perceived as a flagrantviolation of parity. Khrushchev learned about this by accident during a visitto Bulgaria in May 1962. He took US actions as a personal insult, and, in orderto restore balance, proposed the deployment of Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba. On another hand USSR and the USA had aconfrontation over Berlin – Khrushchev could use the excuse for an equivalentblockade or attack to Berlin in case if the Americans blockade or attackedCuba. “So that whateverwe do in regard to Cuba,” Kennedy said, “it gives him the chance to do the same with regard to Berlin”. 1Furthermore, Kennedythought, the European alliance would not understand why America felt necessaryto attack Cuba and allies would blame the USA if they lose Berlin which splitthe alliance and the USSR would be the winner.
This he probably wanted to kill two birds withone stone: to deter any active US intervention or overthrow the Castro regimeand support Fidel Castro, who had long and persistently asked for Soviet troopsto be sent to Cuba to protect them from Americans who had shortly beforeattempted to overthrow the Cuban government (“Landing in the Bay of Pigs”).The operations to transfer medium-range missiles R-12 and R-14 to Cuba werecalled “Anadyr”. All the accompanying cargo was told that they weregoing to Chukotka. To the ports for validity, whole wagons of fur coats andsheepskins were driven. Captains involved in the operation of 85 ships werehanded sealed bags, which should be opened in the sea in the presence of thedeputy police officer. However, despite all the secrecymeasures, the military understood: it is impossible to hide missiles from theU-2 American reconnaissance aircraft that regularly fly over Cuba.
The plan wasdeveloped in advance, taking into account that the Americans will find Sovietmissiles before they all are mounted. In places of unloading in Cuba, severalanti-aircraft batteries were placed. The antiaircraft guns had anunexpected effect: at the end of August they were spotted by reconnaissanceplanes, but President John F. Kennedy told Congress that there were nooffensive missiles in Cuba, and for a whole month banned flights over theisland so that the accidentally shot down American aircraft did not lead to anescalation of the conflict. President Kennedy also speculated that actions ofSoviet Union were the strategic balance of power. During this time, the Sovietmilitary brought and unloaded all the missiles, began to build positions fortheir launch.
Meanwhile, in the ruling circles of the UnitedStates, the initiative was intercepted by “hawks” – reconnaissanceflights over the territory of Cuba passed to the Air Force. On October 4, 1962,a reconnaissance aircraft, piloted by Major Richard Heiser, photographed Sovietmedium-range ballistic missiles near the village of San Cristobal. In theevening of the same day, information was brought to the attention of the USmilitary leadership. On the morning of October 16, photos were shown to thepresident.
Diplomatic measures were rejected immediately. RobertKennedy argued for a ‘combination of the blockade route and the air strikeroute’. It means that blockade would be coupled with a 72-hour interval fromthe demand to the action of an ultimatum demanding a removal of the missiles.
The USA would proceed with an air strike if the Russians did not comply.On October 22, John Kennedy addressed theAmerican people (and the Soviet government) in a television speech.He confirmed the presence of missiles in Cubaand declared a naval blockade in the form of a quarantine zone about 1000 kmaround the coast of the island. He warned that the armed forces “are readyfor any development of events” and condemned the Soviet Union for”secrecy and misleading”.
2Khrushchev replied that theblockade was illegal and any ship under the Soviet flag would ignore it. Nevertheless,the blockade entered into force on October 24 at 10:00. By this time, 30 Sovietships and ships, including the Aleksandrovsk, carrying nuclear warheads onboard, were going to Cuba.On October 24, Khrushchev received a shorttelegram from Kennedy calling for “showing prudence” and”observing the terms of the blockade.” Khrushchev responded bysending a sharp letter to the US president and calling quarantine “theviolation of freedom to use international water and international airspace is anact of aggression pushing humanity toward of a world nuclear-missile war,”and warned: “captains of Soviet ships will not comply with the regulationsof the US Navy.” On October 25, Kennedy gave an order toincrease the combat readiness of the US Armed Forces to the level of DEFCON-2(the first and only known case in the history of the United States).
On thesame day, Kennedy received a letter to the Kremlin in which he indicated that”the Soviet side has broken its promises against Cuba and misled it.”On the morning of October 26, Khrushchev wrotea letter to Kennedy, where he proposed to dismantle Cuban missiles and returnthem to the USSR, in exchange, the Americans will never invade Cuba. Bothreports came in the afternoon on Saturday, October 27, and in the evening anAmerican U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was destroyed by a Soviet air defensegroup attack when approaching Guantanamo. The pilot, Major Rudolf Andersen,died. On this day, the world was closest to a global nuclear war, therefore itwas called the “Black Sabbath”. On the night of October 27 to October 28,President Robert Kennedy’s brother Robert met with the Soviet ambassador to theUS Anatoly Dobrynin.
Kennedy shared with the Dobrynin fears of the presidentthat “the situation is about to get out of control and threatens to breeda chain reaction.” Robert Kennedy said that his brother is ready to giveguarantees of non-aggression and the early lifting of the blockade from Cuba.The next morning, the Kremlin received amessage from John F. Kennedy, confirming the Americans’ readiness to lift theblockade and give assurances of non-aggression in response to the withdrawal ofSoviet missiles from there. Khrushchev replied with consent. His answer wasdecided to be broadcasted on the radio. An hour before the broadcast of NikitaKhrushchev’s message (16:00 Moscow time), Minister of Defense of the USSRMalinovsky sent an order to begin dismantling the launch pad P-12. Peaceful resolution of the crisis did notsatisfy everyone.
Thus, General Curtis LeMay, the commander-in-chief of the USAir Force, called it “the worst defeat in our history.” Nevertheless,the crisis was a turning point in the nuclear race and the “cold war”- its end marked the beginning of a period of detente intense relations.Guarantees of non-aggression in Cuba are observed by the US so far. Americanmissiles in Turkey were safely dismantled. “Jupitermissiles” in Turkey The Cuban missile crisis was preceded by the SuezCrisis in 1957 and the Berlin Crisis in 1961. And already in 1962, the worldcame to the brink of an armed conflict and a nuclear war, which was avoided bya miracle. The immediate cause was the actions of Khrushchev, butthe prerequisites for that were in the politics of the US and the Soviet Union.
These include the confrontation in Europe, the arms race, the deployment ofAmerican medium-range missiles in Turkey and in Europe. And most importantly -a huge program of strategic arms build-up, begun in the US with the election ofPresident John F. Kennedy. In just six years, from 1961 to 1967, the USground-based and sea-launched missile forces increased forty-fold! Seeing thepowerful build-up of armaments by Washington, Khrushchev understood that theSoviet Union lags far behind and is therefore vulnerable. He himself was notdeceived by the bluff that the USSR is ahead of the US. Hence the attempt, atleast for a while, to reduce the gap due to the transfer of medium-rangemissiles to Cuba, from where they reached the United States and thus obtainedstrategic potential. Directly Khrushchev’s actions served as a trigger for thecrisis, but the prerequisites for it arose not in October 1962, but muchearlier ..
.Did he risk and how much, aiming to remove AmericanJupiter and Thor missiles from Turkey and Great Britain? Now we see that therisk was great, but the political goal was achieved. Formally, John Kennedy did not give any assurances butpromised not to take action to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba.Khrushchev seized the promisesince the US will not attack Cuba, the USSR withdraws of missiles from Cuba. Optionsof further development of conflict The Americans saw only three possible options: todestroy missiles with pinpoints, to conduct a full-scale military operation inCuba or to introduce a naval blockade of the island. The Joint Chiefs of Staffwanted an invasion to eliminate the missile threat, thereby finally putting endto a main Soviet outpost in the western hemisphere. While the Secretary ofDefense McNamara raised the idea of blockading future weapons shipments toCuba, but his suggestion did nothing about the missiles already deployed thereexcept to warn the Soviets not to use them.
“Hawks” in the face of generals Taylor and AirForce chief of staff Curtis LeMay insisted on an immediate invasion to followup the air strikes to prevent the Soviets from deploying all the missiles.Kennedy did not support this idea, it was decided to confine himself to the seablockade. But according to international law, the blockade is an act of war,while neither the deployment of missiles in Turkey nor the response – in Cubano agreements were violated.And only Dean Rusk, the Secretary of State saw anopportunity to persuade Castro to push the Soviets out, also the diplomaticissue of this conflict suggested by UN ambassador Adlai Stevenson who would beintended purely to freeze the situation and the Soviet missile installationswould be monitored by UN observation teams. The role ofCastro Many Cubanswelcomed Fidel Castro’s regime and his revolution in 1959 overthrow of thedictatorial general Fulgencio Batista, the nation’s American-backed president.Castro almost as soon as came to power took steps to reduce American influencewhich did not restrict by Batista on the island.
The US public and governmentwere gravely concerned about the creation of a communist state and member ofSoviet Bloc only seventy miles from its southern shores. So, theinvasion of Cuba was a part of the scenario in a confrontation between theSoviet Union and the United States during Cold War. Later John Kennedy agreed:”Yes, we will give Cuba guarantees of immunity in exchange for thewithdrawal of your missiles.” Also, Robert Kennedy said that, regardlessof the crisis, the president wants to withdraw the Jupiter missiles. “Thisweapon is commanded by NATO, and its bodies must all approve. Therefore, we askfor confidentiality! Cuba supports terrorism in Latin America.
If this ceases,we will have no reason to intervene. ” A peaceful solution to the conflictwas found. However, Castro did notconceal his disappointment.
Khrushchev insulted the Cuban leader, completelywithout consulting him. The withdrawal of Soviet troops was very difficult.First of all, Castro did not agree to accept the international inspection. In1962, UN Secretary-General U Thant flew to Havana. At the airport, he was metby Foreign Minister Raul Roa, and Castro continued to persist. Despite the factthat the USSR demanded that Cubans allow Tana to visit the bases where thedismantling was taking place, the UN Secretary-General was never allowed to gothere. Moscow was worried about the ongoing quarantine. Washington replied thatuntil all its requirements were fulfilled, the quarantine would be preserved.
He was removed only on November 20. The USSR tried to translate theconversation into US-Cuban relations, asked for a written guarantee of Cuba’ssecurity, but the US president refused. Kennedy recalled that the Americans hadno way to double-check the Cuban territory. In an interview in the 1990s withCastro, he said that had it come down to an invasion, Castro himself said thathe wouldn’t have waited, he would have launched the nuclear missiles at the US. ? Attempts by the CIA to kill Castro continued. For manyyears, his personal guard, Fabian Escalante, estimated that by the beginning of2006, 638 attempts had been committed.
Empirical part During the crisis, a detachment offour submarines, armed with torpedoes with nuclear warheads, capable ofdestroying the American fleet, was stationed off the coast of Cuba.American warships and aviation patrolled theAtlantic Ocean area off the Cuban coasts to discover the submarines of a likelyenemy. Soviet submarines were forced to go deep under the water. To force themto rise to the surface, the Americans began to throw explosive cartridges intothe water, which was informed to Moscow. But they did not know that Moscow atthat time had no connection with its submarines. And they did not know thatthere were nuclear weapons on their board.Soviet sailors drew information about what washappening in the world, based only on what they could observe themselves.
Andthey saw that they were “encircled” by the American fleet, that theywere fired upon each surfacing to the surface and bombarded with explosiveammunition at each dive …In extreme cases, the commander of eachsubmarine could give an order for the use of nuclear weapons by Sovietsubmarines without the agreement with the center. For this, it was necessary tohave an agreed decision of three people. On the submarine B-59 these peoplewere the commander of the boat Valentin Savitsky, the deputy commander forpolitical affairs Ivan Maslennikov and the chief of staff of the brigade PL,the captain of the II rank Vasily Arkhipov.
Moscow for 2 weeks did not contact thecommanders of submarines, so as not to lead the American ships on their trail,so they knew nothing about how the Caribbean crisis is developing. CommanderB-59 decided to launch a torpedo with a nuclear warhead, knowing full well thatthis meant death for him and his entire team: “We’ll blow them up, we’llall perish, but we’ll sink all their ships.” However, Vasily Arkhipov, asa senior officer aboard the boat, showed remarkable restraint and composure,did not allow him to do it. The wise K-19 experience, which crashed in thesummer of 1961, knew what a nuclear warhead. Then on the K-19Soviet sailors were killed trying to fix the nuclear reactor, and Vasilyhimself received a strong dose of radiation.And at this terrible moment Vasily Arkhipov,not knowing that he was saving the whole world, took advantage of the right ofhis “veto” and forbade the launch of a nuclear missile. On October29, 1962, the submarine B-59 surfaced under the sights of the USmulti-hundredth armed forces.
To the surprise of the sailors, no one enteredthe boat, and they were sent to go home. The Caribbean crisis was settled. VasilyArkhipov, who retired in the rank of Vice Admiral, passed away in 1999. Formany years the details of the campaign of Soviet submarines to the US shoreswere kept secret.
This case was told only in 2002, during a conference inHavana, dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Caribbean crisis. Former USSecretary of Defense McNamara, based on declassified US documents, acknowledgedthat the onset of a nuclear war was much closer than many had expected. ThomasBlanton, director of the National Security Archive, explained what McNamara hadin mind: “A man named Vasily Arkhipov saved the world on Earth.”3 Lessons from the Caribbean crisis for the modern world In the book “The war in Syria and itsconsequences for the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Russian view”made a parallel between the two operations of the General Staff: duringthe period of the Caribbean crisis and during the dispatch in 2015 of militaryequipment and personnel of the Russian Aerospace Forces to Syria. In bothcases, a scheme was used to covertly deploy a contingent of military personnel.
In 1962, she took four months, this time – three. Here we see the direct impactof lessons learned from the Caribbean crisis. NATO and the United States werevery surprised when Israeli intelligence found a Russian military presence inSyria. The second unexpected moment was the testing of Russian militaryhardware by missile weapons. Americans were shocked when a Russian cruisemissile flew from the Caspian Sea.
And another – when in the Mediterranean Seawas a Russian submarine. Thus, Russia has shown that it has the capacity tooppose the US military machine. But how real is the threat of amilitary confrontation today? Political scientists note with regret that it ismuch more real than at any time since the mid-1980s, although less possiblethan in the hottest days of the Caribbean crisis. This threat requires findingoptimal solutions, without political costs for each side.
The September proposal of the Russian Presidentto begin, at last, to implement in practice, and not in words the Minskprocess. Introduce UN peacekeeping forces into the corridor between the Donbasand the rest of Ukraine and implement the first two points of the Minskagreements – ceasefire and withdrawal of military equipment. And then all theother items. Such a compromise is not a retreat by either side. This is areasonable way to begin to unwind this coil of contradictions.Another problematic point is Syria.
The RussianGovernment is constantly receiving peaceful initiatives aimed at resolving thesituation. For example, to agree that the departure of Bashar Assad is not aprerequisite for the restoration of peace. The Kremlin believes that this issueshould be resolved in the course of the peace process in Syria.
Until then, itis necessary to coordinate the fighting of both coalitions acting against the IslamicState, a coalition led by the United States and the coalition of Syria, Russia,Iran, and Iraq.Another problem is North Korea. The Trumpadministration expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that Russia wasincreasing trade with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This is alsoputting the US policy on putting pressure on Pyongyang, which is carrying outits nuclear missile program, under attack.Russia offers a path of diplomacy, which isjustified and represents a path of step-by-step steps. At the first stage – toagree with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the moratorium onnuclear testing, and on the other – to ease part of the sanctions. Then – amoratorium on the testing of long-range ballistic missiles. And an additionallifting of sanctions.
Conclusion After the analysis of the CubanMissile Crisis, I came to a conclusion that it continues to be relevant today.As an example, Iran’s long- running quest for a nuclear weapon represents tothe United States a ‘Cuban Missile Crisis in slow motion’. At one moment theAmericans will be forced, ultimately, to make a choice between attacking Iranas Iraq in 2004 and accommodating a new nuclear state. However, it is important to mentionthat I decided to express my personal opinion. Based on the first presidentialdebate the United States the President Donald Trump wanted to shoot an Iranianship just for making gestures at him. I suppose it wouldn’t be too far off forhim to nuke the Soviets just because they were dealing with CubaAsthe Donald Trump confronts this and other policy challenges in regimes such asVladimir Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China over the coming years, theseformidable case study will become ever more valuable1 Allison,G. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Foreign Policy:Theories, Actors, Cases.
3rd edition. Smith, S., Hadfield,A.
, Dunne, T. (eds.). OxfordUniversity Press, 2016. pp.
263.-290.2 TheEditors of Encyclopedia Britannica (October 09, 2017), Cuban missile crisis(Encyclopedia Britannica).
Available on:https://www.britannica.com/event/Cuban-missile-crisis3Roberts, Priscilla Mary. CubanMissile Crisis: The Essential Reference Guide.
Abc-Clio Inc, 2012.