The Cuban Missile Crisis

Essay by adza28College, UndergraduateB, May 2005

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The Cuban Missile Crisis was a diplomatic conflict that lasted for thirteen days. It came about after the US discovered that the Soviet Union was building missile bases in Cuba, which is very close to America. President Kennedy was forced to react to stop the threat of missile attack. Kennedy had to tread carefully because any overzealous assaults could have led to a Soviet attack from the fully functional Cuban bases.

During the Cold War, so strained were the relationships between the Soviet Union and the US that all diplomatic correspondence had to be very guarded and cautious. There was a constant threat of a ?hot? war breaking out. It was for this reason that on October 22 1962 America and most of the world held its breath. President Kennedy announced the discovery of missile bases in Cuba. Kennedy had to tread very carefully. If he invaded, the Soviet Union would fire their missiles; starting World War III and probably causing human extinction.

This was why the rest of the world was scared ? their fate was in the hands of two men; Kennedy and Kruschev. Neither wanted to start the war but it was very hard for one to back down without a promise from the other.

One option for Kennedy was a missile attack on the bases themselves. This possibility was later dismissed because missiles could be launched from Cuba before the American ones hit, thereby starting World War III and destroying both nations. This would have been a frightening result for everybody. That possibility brought about the very height of terror in all of the Cold War.

If President Kennedy had taken a more forceful approach to the finding of the missile bases ? like an air and sea attack, the Soviet Union would almost undoubtedly retaliate...

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