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The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Failure Of The Bay Of Pigs

2952 words - 12 pages

The Cuban Missile Crisis: JFK’s Second Shot at Cuba
Although some historians have blamed Soviet aggression as the root cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis, they have neglected to account for the disruption in U.S.-Cuba relations caused by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion which President John F. Kennedy had directed. The failure of the Bay of Pigs can be attributed to Kennedy’s overconfidence in the military even though the CIA knew American forces would be devastatingly outnumbered. So when Kennedy had received news of the Soviet missiles build up in Cuba during the October of 1962, the crisis was just a continuation of unresolved conflict. Fearing a nuclear war, the Kennedy Administration ...view middle of the document...

S. foreign policy. Although the idea originated during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Administration, Kennedy approved for the Cuban exiles, Brigade 2506, to lead a surprise invasion to oust Fidel Castro’s regime and restore a non-communist, U.S. friendly government. , By April 19, the exiles had surrendered after Kennedy failed to supply air reinforcement; 100 exiles were killed, and 1,200 were taken as prisoners of war. The invasion had failed because Kennedy was pressured to accept the CIA’s plans without thinking of ramifications. Although the CIA knew that the brigade would not withstand Castro’s 13,500 man army even with air support, it reassured Kennedy that an invasion by the brigade without any air support would still provoke an anti-Castro uprising, making the overthrow of Castro’s regime appear to be the efforts of the Cuban exiles, even though it was highly unlikely. Unfortunately, the operation was a “flawed assumption that substantial, potentially overwhelming opposition to Castro existed in Cuba.” Even after the invasion was failing, Kennedy refused to provide air support and U.S. Marine-backup that the CIA knew were so essential to the success of the mission. The Bay of Pigs demonstrates the danger that comes with overconfidence in the military and the lack of planning. After this humiliating failure, Kennedy was reluctant to use military force as a solution, and he strengthened his executive decisions instead of simply heeding to the CIA.
The failure of Kennedy’s administration to regulate Intelligence secrecy to the public during the Bay of Pigs influenced Kennedy to inform the public of military proceedings during the missiles crisis in order to regain American’s trust. Cuban Intelligence had informed Castro of the “guerilla training camps in Guatemala as early as October 1960.” On April 15, 1961, the CIA used eight B-26 bombers that were painted to look like Cuban air force planes, and Castro’s regime anticipated U.S. action after the failed air strike was highly publicized by the press. , Although Kennedy should’ve maintained the covertness of the invasion plans before the operation had happened, he shouldn’t have purposely disguised U.S.-backing of the operations. Kennedy’s “assumption was that the plan would be carried out without the American public or the international community learning that his administration had orchestrated the invasion.” Because Kennedy had intentions to hide U.S. involvement in the operation, he moved the site to the Bay of Pigs, a sparsely populated area on Cuba’s south coast, and changed the time of the invasion to a night landing. Both were factors that devastatingly hindered the operation. Additionally, the U.S. government’s initial unwillingness to take blame for this operation and its violation of neutrality rights undermined its relationship with Latin America and the United Nations. The military disaster and humiliation that resulted had an impact on the Kennedy Administration as...

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