Thesis – President John F. Kennedy’s leadership and management of the Cuban Missile Crisis will be held up against criticism as a model of diplomacy and humanity.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a Democratic President of All People, was born May 29, 1917 into the wealth and prominence of two Irish Catholic families. Upon graduation from Harvard, John Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy. He commanded a Patrol PT-109 that was attacked by a Japanese Warship. Kennedy, as a very young man showed his character, risked his life while saving his crew men. He was awarded the Heroic and the Purple Heart Medals for his actions.
In 1946, Kennedy, at the age of 29, won a seat in the United States House of Representatives for the working class Bostonians. Kennedy was very frustrated with the rules and procedures that prevented him from making a significant impact for the people of the United States. Consequently, he sought greater influence and in 1952 won a seat in the Senate. During this time period John Kennedy would win a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his book, “Profiles in Courage” that dealt with eight Senators who took courageous positions on unpopular issues. He is the only President of the United States to receive a Pulitzer Prize.
Kennedy’s interests were drawn to the challenges posed by the Soviet Union’s growing nuclear arsenal and the Cold War. On November 8th, 1960 John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States. The challenge of the Cold War would stretch the fiber of Kennedy’s strength and character as a President.
Kennedy’s Presidency and his leadership can be seen as a pivotal time for not only Americans but for the whole world at the time as well as for present day. “For thirteen days in October 1962 the world waited seemingly on the brink of nuclear war and hoped for a peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis”. http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/Cuban-Missile-Crisis.aspx The Soviet Union and the United States of America were allies during World War II and had not been in conflict directly. The two were in opposition of their political make up of Communism versus Democracy which was heightened by the nuclear arm race. In October 1962 an American Spy Plane photographed the construction of missile sites on Cuban soil by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union Premier Nikita Krushchev believed placing missiles on Cuban soil would shift the balance in the arms competition because Soviet short range ballistic missiles would now be capable of reaching the United States in minimal time due to Cuban proximity to the United States. http://hnn.us/article/1090 This Cold War development between two nuclear superpowers threatened nuclear Armageddon.
It is through President Kennedy’s management of the Cuban Missile Crisis that strategists and historians disagree. The contradicting views of Kennedy’s decisions and actions, keeping in mind of what was at stake, are difficult to comprehend. “Dwight Eisenhower had calculated in...