The Ukrainian Revolution and the Russian Takeover ot the Crimean Peninsula

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The Ukrainian revolution of 2014 and the Russian takeover of the Crimean Peninsula presented the US with what appeared to be unique political challenges. On closer inspection, the Ukrainian crisis is actually quite similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis, with the opponents in opposite positions. With these two crises in mind, the paper will discuss how the ability to understand one's enemies, gain public support, and effectively utilize nuclear weapons presents a significant challenge for the US to leverage its military power to accomplish its political objectives. In order to discuss the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is important to go back to the roots of US involvement. According to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, it is clear that the US…show more content…
Although the US had credible intelligence from human sources, the intelligence community generally favored technical sources [Absher, pg 2]. The reliance on satellite and overflight imagery led the US to over assess the Soviet's nuclear and missile strengths. It also prevented the intelligence community from prioritizing HUMINT sources to establish the objectives of the USSR. Finally, on 14 October, a U-2 spyplane took the first photos of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Once again, the Soviets deceived the US on 18 October, when the Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko assured President Kennedy that offensive missiles would not be placed in Cuba [Absher, pg 3, 48-57]. The United States had the ability to correctly assess the Soviet's intent to deploy nuclear missiles to Cuba. If the US had a true understanding of the USSR and Castro's intent, the crisis could have been avoided through other coercive and military measures. The US certainly had a nuclear advantage which it could have flexed to limit Soviet support to Cuba. Additionally, substantial military support could have been provided to the Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow the Castro regime. Failure to understand the enemy's intent in a timely manner prevented the utilization of US military might to achieve US objectives. A second challenge for the US to translate its military power into political outcomes is the difficulty to generate public

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