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A short summation and analysis of the cuban missle crisis

Updated on April 16, 2011

This was actually a school paper I did, but what the heck.

13 Days                                     
Daniel Bingham

The Problem.
The soviets have transported missiles onto the island-country of Cuba, within striking distance of the United States.  The presidents military advisors are also pushing him into a strategy that would very likely push them into a war, possibly a nuclear war, with the Soviets.

What is known about the situation?
The Soviets are planning to transport more missiles as well as more missile building materials to Cuba. The Kennedy administration is aware of pretty much all the things the Soviets are planning on doing. They have several options as to what they can do to deal with the situation. Of these options Kennedy chooses to set up a blockade around Cuba to stop the Soviets from getting ships in. The Soviets seem to be using the whole situation as a ploy to get the US to remove their missiles from Turkey which are within striking distance of the USSR.

What results am I aiming for?
Kennedy is aiming to stop the US from going to war with the USSR, remove the missiles from Cuba, have the US save face by not appearing to cave into Soviet demands and keep his administration politically viable.

Solving the problem.
The Kennedy’s get a letter from Khrushchev, seemingly, saying that the Soviets would be willing to come to a compromise regarding the missile situation. President Kennedy uses the blockade effectively to stop the Soviet ships from getting the supplies into Cuba. As Costner’s character says “we went eye to eye with the enemy and the other guy blinked.”
Also when they receive a second letter that refutes all the terms and overtones of the original letter, they just ignore the second letter and pretend that the terms of the original letter still stand, which admittedly this author is still a little shaky on how that actually works to solve anything but whatever.

When RFK meets with the Soviet Ambassador the plan that’s agreed on is that the soviets will remove the missiles if the US promises to remove the Turkey missiles. However the US won’t remove the missiles until six months later and the USSR is not allowed to publicly announce the plan or acknowledge that the removal has anything to do with the Soviet move.

What are the alternatives?
The alternative plan is a nuclear war, or complete capitulation to the Soviets.

What are the boundaries?
The boundaries are the rules of the Geneva convention (for the US anyway) the military capabilities of both sides, the political repercussions and the diplomatic abilities of those involved. Also the personalities of those ultimately in charge are a strong variable.

What results are possible within the boundaries?
Well the two nations could end up going to war, probably dragging the rest of the world into the conflict as well, very probably ending up using nuclear weapons causing untold millions of deaths. Or they could come to a peaceable solution that is amicable to both sides thus restoring peace.

What are the advantages of each of the alternatives?

The advantages of nuclear war are that it would severely curb the overpopulation problem. That’s pretty much it.

The advantages of a peaceful and amicable solution are that everybody gets what they want, the missiles in Cuba and Turkey are removed from striking distance of both countries and nobody dies, for the time being.

The disadvantages of nuclear war are that possibly billions of people will die, the infrastructure of both countries will probably be destroyed and, again, the rest of the world will likely be pulled into World War 3.

The disadvantages of peace are that the Generals don’t get to bomb the living hell out of Cuba, something they seem very keen on.

The solution was to remove both sets of missiles and use diplomacy to solve the disputes between USSR and USA. Kennedy stood by his principles and refused to cave to the war hawks and those whose judgment was rendered questionable by fear or being over excited to use their weapons and armies.

Final evaluation.
In my final conclusion Kennedy was the perfect man for the time and handled the situation perfectly. He refused to cave into pressure to use his military for an action that would have most likely resulted in a costly war and resisted those who tried to push him into a hasty decision. He used good sense and firm judgment without being weak or giving into the Soviets. Those 13 days were some of the most dangerous and tense in world history and Kennedy and his administration handled the situation deftly.



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