Additionally, it also presents perspectives on important policies and strategies of Iran and North Korea, in regard to the development of their armory of nuclear weapons.
World War III is an alarming event to ponder on right? Especially if that war would be nuclear. This event almost happened on multiple occasions, but this is going to be about a nerve-racking time in 1962. What happened in 1962 you may ask? The Cuban Missile Crisis. Just as the year was coming to an end an American spy plane took pictures of missiles in an island 103 miles off the coast of Florida, Cuba. Can theorize who put the missiles there? The USSR put them there because Cuba was a neighboring communist country to the US, so if the US were to do something the USSR could shoot the missiles. Mind you, these weapons are nuclear and as we should all know that is never excellent. After this very stressful time for the US and the USSR how did
In his article, “The Influence of Nuclear Weapons in the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Marc Trachtenberg considers three historical approaches to the role that nuclear arms played during the 1962 conflict: first, the view that nuclear arms played no role at all, with U.S. and Soviet weapons cancelling each other out, second, the interpretation that the risk involved with nuclear warfare heavily influenced policy making, and finally the view that the strategic imbalance of nuclear force, characterized by a substantial American advantage, significantly impacted the outcome of the crisis. In weighing the three interpretations, Trachtenberg dismisses the first in supporting the existence of the second, using a variety of primary sources to identify instances when decision-makers were influenced by the risk of nuclear warfare. The focus of the article, however, is on advancing and complicating the third approach, which Trachtenberg claims is congruous with the second. In this third section, Trachtenberg advances the approach that the imbalance of nuclear capabilities impacted Soviet strategy but not American decision making. Accordingly, Trachtenberg’s article is characterized by two central claims: that risk of nuclear war influenced policy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and that American nuclear superiority disproportionately affected Soviet decision-making.
By September, 1944, before Roosevelt’s death, the threat of a nuclear arms race and possible retaliation for the use of this weapon is already a point of concern. The Office of Scientific Research and Development’s memorandum to Secretary of War Henry Stimson outlines some of the dangers the United States and Great Britain face in continuing the secret development of this “art”. Realizing this technology in the hands of the Soviet Union or other countries, especially defeated enemies, would make highly populated cities especially vulnerable. They also concluded that there was a high possibility of a “major power, or former major power undertaking this development.” The threat of the Soviet Union or Germany developing this weapon was a
From this, we can see that if were not for America’s actions and paranoia, Cuba would not have asked the USSR for help, and the Cuban Missile Crisis might have been averted altogether. However, America was not solely to blame, for Cuba effectively manipulated USSR-American rivalry to obtain missile defense from USSR against America. Cuba, being unable to defend herself against an American attack, therefore sought the help of its enemy’s enemy, for the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend. This in turn blew the whole conflict out of proportion.
The event of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. Fifteen years into the cold war, the two superpowers continued the fierce competition to increase their military strength. In 1962, the Soviet Union was desperately behind the United States in the nuclear arms race. Soviet missiles were only powerful enough to be launched against Europe, whereas the US missiles were capable of striking the entire Soviet Union. In late April 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceived the idea of placing intermediate-range missiles in Cuba which would double the Soviet strategic arsenal and provide a real deterrent to a potential U.S. attack against the Soviet Union. The fate of millions
I think the final reason I found this essay so compelling was its relevance in today’s world. The topic of nuclear war is as prominent as ever in our society, yet to any of us who weren’t alive during the second world war to see the only instances of this weapon ever used, it seems so foreign. And to see such a passionate, rational, and objective view
Without any regulations on the expansions of their nuclear arsenals, both sides became interlocked into a deadly nuclear arms. “The Soviet Union tested its first atomic weapon in 1949, this made American stockpiles of nuclear bombs seem unconvincing, and the development of hydrogen bombs became relevant” (Swift). This would prompt both nations to build up nuclear stockpiles, as one nation gained a stronger and more powerful weapon the other would follow suit, in the name of having a better defensive against the other. Each nation rose one another in the race and would eventually escalate them to a breaking point. “Within John F. Kennedy’s presidency, the world stood on the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962” (Swift). In order to combat this, Kennedy exercised MAD, which foresaw the equal destruction of both sides. This became the essential turning point for political leaders and citizens of both nations, they were both bound to destroy one another. Upon agreement, the U.S.S.R dismantled its nuclear arsenal in Cuba, while the U.S did the same to theirs in Turkey. Kennedy and Khrushchev took many measures in de-escalating nuclear proliferation in order to avoid another near disaster similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The installation of Salt 1, which regulated missile stockpiles, became the first step in relieving the tensions of a nuclear
In the article The Decision to drop the Bomb it elaborates on the bombing that happen to the Japanese from America. This created a great deal to the world and the threats from other countries. Towards the end of the article a question was asked. How will the world use its nuclear capability? Two possible answers for this question. There’s the ethical answer and there the factual answer.
Although, the Cold War has been over for decades the threat of imminent nuclear destruction still looms over America; not from terrorist groups such as ISIS or Russia the country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weaponry, but rather, a persistent threat that many Americans do not even perceive as one. North Korea is not shy about demonstrating their nuclear weapons, with the most recent of their tests being fired into the Japanese ocean. Both the articles I’ll be addressing today give a clear statement of how America has addressed nuclear conflict in the past and how Americans still fear the same kinds of attacks without thinking of new ways their country could be compromised by nuclear weaponry.
“During the Cuban Missile Crisis, decisions made by President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev could have plunged both countries into thermonuclear war (Kessler).” The Cuban Missile Crisis lasted thirteen days (“Cuban Missile Crisis”). This is the closest this world has ever came to a nuclear war.
Robert S. McNamara served as the Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. While historians place considerable focus on his role in the Vietnam War, McNamara also helped shape the U.S.’s greater Cold War strategy. A large component of this included the relatively new field of nuclear politics. He understood the significance of nuclear weapons as a strategic tool for bargaining. Through clear messaging, the weapons could create gains while never actually being fired. However, he also proposed that nuclear war could be limited, and not inevitably lead to global extinction. His contemporaries often dismissed this view, and indeed it remains controversial. After 1968, the former Secretary continued to advise nuclear policy through published papers, adding considerable fodder for our discussion of his positions on the topic.
When President Truman authorized the use of two nuclear weapons in 1945 against the Japanese in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, the nature of international security was changed irreversibly. At that time, the United States had what was said to have a monopoly of atomic bombs. Soon thereafter, the Soviet Union began working on atomic weaponry. In 1949, it had already detonated it first atomic bomb and tensions began to heat up between the two countries. With the information that the Soviets had tested their first bomb, the United States began work on more powerful weapons1, and a fight for nuclear superiority had begun.
In order to understand the importance of the Cuban Missile Crisis in American history one must first understand the Cold War drama, Castro’s rise to power, and the American operations that set up the crisis. “The term Cold War refers