The Cuban Missile Crisis In The US

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Not many events in United States history have ever been as stressful as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The nuclear standoff occurred in October of 1962, and has been remembered by many throughout the past few decades. During this crisis, which lasted nearly two weeks, adults and children alike were taught how to protect themselves and find shelter in the case of an attack, while members of the National Security Council dealt with the possibility of one. Now that the threat has since disappeared, many historians are looking back and researching the event, why it happened, and the logic behind all the decisions made. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a historian who graduated from Harvard College, gave some great insight to the crisis in his foreword in the…show more content…
Sure enough, that was exactly what the missiles in Cuba did. The United States was ultimately dragged into a game with Cuba, but it was a game no one wanted to start unless absolutely necessary. That being said, many historians have been debating on the purpose of this huge event in history. Was it merely a competition to see which side could overpower the other with better technology? Or was it about becoming the most powerful side as to intimidate the adversary? The Cuban Missile Crisis was more of a psychological game with the end goal to become the most intimidating and scary character on the block rather than a competition of technological…show more content…
A journal article co-written by Jerome H. Kahan and Anne K. Long emphasize this opinion. According to the two analysts, “To attempt to overtake the U.S. in numbers of intercontinental systems, however, would entail a massive Soviet effort, for the U.S. already had a considerable lead in ICBMs and SLBMS, in addition to its lead in long-range bombers. Furthermore, the existing Soviet technology of large “soft” and slow-reacting missiles would make a crash program especially costly, while yielding marginal security benefits” (Kahan, Long 567). This excerpt shows the other side of the argument, which points out that the United States was far too well armed, and the Russians would have to find a way to strengthen their technology. However, it still wasn’t about the weapons each side had on hand, just the power for them to make the decision to use it at any given minute. The journal article by Medland provides another interesting statement. The author states that, “… the missiles did not alter the strategic balance of power. The missiles neither gave the Soviets a first strike capacity nor did the missiles increase the Soviet capacity for a retaliatory second strike (Bernstein, Hagan). According to Bernstein, the President’s definition of the missiles as offensive, and therefore strategic, did not rely on the nature of the
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