The Realist Perspective of the Cuban Missile Crisis

912 WordsJul 17, 20184 Pages
The Cuban Missile Crisis lasted two weeks in the midst of the Cold War, and brought the world closer to nuclear war than ever before. In October of 1962 multiple nuclear missiles of the Soviet Union’ s were discovered in Cuba, a mere 90 miles south of the United States. Given the communist ties between Cuba and the USSR, this poised a considerable threat to our national security. Throughout the 14 days the two leaders, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev struggled to clearly understand each others‘ genuine intentions. Actions taken by each state during this crisis demonstrates the realist point of view, in a variety of ways. The fundamentals of Realism will be explored and explained along with actions taken during this crisis from a…show more content…
The Moscow Kremlin declared Soviet would support Cuba in February of 1962, and by July secret agreements on economic and military cooperation were signed. Almost immediately the Soviet Union sent various military equipment including, heavy bombers, rocket launchers, tanks, helicopter, and nuclear submarines. (CITE) Over the summer construction of several missile sites began, once discovered President Kennedy issued a stern warning to Cuba. According to realism, a state should seek arms, increase their military strength, and make alliances with those who can protect them from potential threats (Charles and Raymond 28). On October 14th an American U-2 aircraft took pictures of nuclear missiles under construction in Cuba, and this was the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The USSR made the decision to put Soviet missiles in Cuba, to create a “balance of power”. The Soviet Union considered the US missiles placed in Turkey as a threat and needed a way to counterbalance this to secure their safety. The main motivation for this action was to create a balance of power between the two. Realism believes each state is entirely responsible for its own security and survival, and expects a balance of power. On October 22nd, another U-2 flight revealed missile sites being rapidly assembled immediately Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine of Cuba. That night he wrote a letter to Khrushchev
Open Document