The Cuban Missile Crisis Of September 1962

1076 WordsApr 9, 20165 Pages
The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was a direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was the moment when the two different powers came closest to nuclear conflict or even meltdown. The crisis was unique in a number of ways, featuring calculations and miscalculations as well as direct and secret communications between the two sides. The dramatic crisis was also characterized by the fact that it was primarily played out at the White House and the Kremlin level with relatively little input from the respective government typically involved in the foreign policy process. After the failed U.S. attempt to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba with the Bay of Pigs invasion, and while the Kennedy administration planned Operation Mongoose, in July 1962 Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev reached a secret agreement with Cuban premier Fidel Castro to place Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter any future invasion attempts. Construction of several missile sites began later in the summer, but U.S. intelligence discovered evidence of a general Soviet arms build-up on Cuba, including Soviet bombers, during routine surveillance flights, and on September 4, 1962, President Kennedy issued a public warning against the introduction of offensive weapons into Cuba. Despite the warning, on October 14 a U.S. U–2 aircraft took several pictures clearly showing sites for medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles
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