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Lessons Learned From The Cuban Missile Crisis

1485 words - 6 pages

The Cuban Missile Crisis has been hailed as one of the biggest triumphs in our modern day history, and it is certainly the closest this country has ever come to a nuclear war. However, recently America has increased aggressions against Iran and has received warnings from both China and Russia. Russia and China have said they will not tolerate a preemptive and aggressive attack against Iran by the United States. Are we headed for another nuclear war and are there lessons we can learn from the Cuban Missile Crisis?

If we listen to each Presidential candidate, we are led to believe a nuclear attack from Iran is imminent and we have no choice but to preemptively attack them, except for Ron Paul. Ron Paul is one voice of sanity amidst the screams for war. Ron Paul has taken the time to read DoD reports, CIA findings and the IAEA reports regarding the threat of Iran.

In these findings, there is nothing to lead America into believing that Iran has a desire to use a nuclear weapon against any other country. Based on these findings, we must ask ourselves if there is a better way to handle Iran other than imposing sanctions that hurt the Iranian people or pursuing acts of aggression. Can we learn a valuable lesson in diplomacy from the past?

Let’s look back at what happened in the 1960s. The world was on the brink of a nuclear war, the United States Armed Forces were readied for action and the Soviet Commanders, stationed on the island of Cuba, were prepared to defend the island with nuclear weapons, if necessary.

By the early 60s, the United States was well ahead of the Soviet Union in the race for arms. The Soviets were only equipped with missiles that could reach Europe, but nothing powerful enough to reach North America. The United States, on the other hand, was well stocked with weapons that could reach the Soviet Union. In the spring of 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceptualized the idea of installing missiles capable of hitting the United States in Cuba. Fidel Castro was the Prime Minister of Cuba at that time, and he was receptive to this Khrushchev. He had just experienced an attack by America during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion just one year before. Castro was convinced that another attack perpetuated by the United States was imminent. As a result, Castro agreed to Khrushchev’s plan and in 1962, the Soviets secretly and quietly began installing intermediate-range missiles in Cuba.

The Cuban Missile Crisis began on October 15, 1962 for the United States as recon photos showed weapons that had the capability of reaching the United States were under construction. President John F Kennedy was informed of the photos early the next morning. The EX-COMM, a group of twelve of the President’s most trusted advisors, was organized and assembled. After a week of guarded debates, meetings and talks with the upper echelons of the United States government and military, Kennedy approved of imposing a naval blockade around Cuba in...

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