Us Involvement Around The World: Think Before You Act

1162 words - 5 pages

It’s Monday morning, another weekend over, a new week full of decisions and obstacles for President Obama. A slowly growing economy, tensions with North Korea and soldiers still in Afghanistan and Iraq the President is always quite busy. Even though the President has lots of ad-visors to help him make decision's some advice that would really aid the president is the lesson that “Think before you act, be sure not to overreact” Some examples from the Cold War era that support this lesson are The Cuban Missile Crisis, The My Lai Massacre (involving napalm and agent orange) and the incident at Kent State.
First off, Kennedy was under a lot of pressure during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. After the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Berlin wall being put up and the soviets being so far ahead in the space race the last thing Kennedy needed was for America to be on the brink of nuclear war. The real crisis began on October 16th when Kennedy learned about the nuclear missiles in Cuba over breakfast, he immediately met with EX-COMM (his executive committee) to discuss possible options. The very next day, “President Kennedy meets with and advises Soviet Foreign Minister Andrie Gromyko that America will not tolerate Soviet missiles in Cuba. Gromyko denies the presence of any Soviet weaponry on the island.” (The Cuban Missile Crisis October 18-26) Although he was aware that Gromyko was lying, President Kennedy kept a cool head and thought about the situation. Kennedy decided that America could either, bomb Cuba, invade them or call for a naval blockade of the island. Realizing that they had very little time, the president chose to blockade the island seeing as it was the least provocative response to the crisis. Kennedy then received a letter from Kruschev on October 26th 1962. It said that Cuba was wiling to compromise with the U.S., if the United States promised not to invade Cuba, then the Soviet missiles would be removed. Before Kennedy even got a chance to respond to the letter a second one arrived from Kruschev on October 27th, demanding that the U.S. remove their missiles from Turkey as a condition of the Soviet Union removing their missiles from Cuba. “Attorney General Robert Kennedy, suggested ignoring the second letter and contacted soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to tell him the U.S. agreement to the first.” (library.thinkquest) By doing so the U.S. avoided more tensions with the Soviet Union and Cuba and was able to resolve the conflict. Kruschev promptly removed the missiles from Cuba and several weeks later the U.S. lifted the blockade. History has shown that Kennedy made the right decision in proceeding cautiously and not invading Cuba. Historical documents later revealed, “Premeir Kruschev authorized his Soviet field commanders in Cuba to launch their tactical nuclear weapons if invaded by U.S. forces.” (The Cuban Missile Crisis October 18-26)
By contrast, an example of the disastrous consequences of taking action without...

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