Cuban Missile Crisis Essay

831 words - 3 pages

Task 1:Explain how Russia and America came close to direct military confrontation witheach other in 1962 and how the crisis was averted.America came so close to direct military confrontation in 1962 for a number ofreasons, a few of which are described below.Russia and America had two different ideologies, communism and democracy. Thecommunists believed that the whole world would eventually revolutionise andbecome communist and that it was their duty to speed up this process. The Americanshowever, felt that communism was a threat to their ideals (anyone, no matter howpoor can work hard and earn a respectable living, - 'the American Dream') andbecame very anti-communist. Rich business men knew they stood to loose out ifcommunism took over as their businesses and investments would be nationalised. (asin Cuba.)The two countries had huge armies and political influences and they became knownas the 'Super Powers'. They gave money and aid to other countries who supportedthem in order to stop them considering to swap sides and to encourage otherscountries to join them. (e.g. Marshal Aid). The two 'Super Powers' had come close todirect military conflict before over Korea. On this occasion the Americans had theadvantage of nuclear weapons, however, it was not long before Russia caught up withAmerica in the arms race. By the 1960's technology had moved so fast that both sideshad large numbers of nuclear weapons and an attack by one side would have almostcertainly lead to massive retaliation with the possibility of both sides being wiped out.(With the threat of ending the world.) This was known as 'M.A.D.' or MutuallyAssured Destruction.After 1956 there was a partial 'thaw' between the two countries which started whenPresident Kruschev came into power after the death of Stalin. He made a very famousspeech in which he said 'There are only two ways: either peaceful co-existence or themost destructive war in history. There is no third way.'The thaw was, however, only partial and Russia still continued to build up her nuclearweapons and ruthlessly crushed the Hungarian uprising in 1956. In 1958 Russia triedto get America, Britain and France out of Berlin which ended with Russia sealing offtheir sector of Berlin by building the 'Berlin Wall'. Relations were further damagedwhen Russia shot down a US American spy plane over Russia and refused toapologise.The relations between America and Russia were seriously damaged when the C.I.A.learned of a military build up in Cuba of Russian bases. President Kruschev deniedany knowledge of there being nuclear...

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