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Summary: The Cuban Missile Crisis

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On October 16th, 1962, the entire world witnessed what they believed might be the last week of their lives, or the human species entirely. The ongoing Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union had finally escalated to the unthinkable; legitimate nuclear threats, whose true wrath was displayed in the bombings of Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki following World War II. This was no minor conflict, however. Both countries were in fear of the other, and completely willing to fire the nukes the second the other did. With such unexplainable tensions, it’s understandably difficult to comprehend why both the US and USSR would sink to such dangerous circumstances. The question still stands, though: Could the Cuban Missile Crisis have …show more content…
It is already quite clear why the US and USSR held such grudges, but the real question is what triggered the Crisis itself, and if those triggers could have been averted realistically. The leaders at the time of their respective countries were US President John F. Kennedy, and Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev. Perhaps what most set the stage for the standoff was the discovery of the missiles in Cuba themselves, used by the U-2 Spy Planes by the US. The US not only lost a lot of trust now knowing that the Soviets were seriously threatening them, but only made communications with Kennedy and Khrushchev more burdensome and awkward. Both of them reacted to each other's actions, not words, and therefore led to a lot of misunderstanding. Upon identifying the missiles, Kennedy was forced to create an army in case of the need to fight against either the Soviets or Cuba, and the status of the scene became even more intense and real. This is not to mention the previous recent confrontations with each country, most notably the Soviet Union’s Berlin Wall during the division of Germany (Snead). Although it may not have been specifically said, it was evident that Kennedy and Khrushchev’s relationship in particular was severely combustible. One other influential element was Fidel Castro and Cuba, whom held the missiles and were the potential …show more content…
The tensions were too high between the US and USSR, The Bay of Pigs Invasion raised uncertainty between nations, and the U-2 Spy Plane Incident was the final point to drive both countries to the nuclear preparation. The most simple argument would be just to do the opposite of whatever action pushed each leader closer to the edge, like not sending U-2 Spy Planes, not invading Cuba, and not antagonizing the Soviet Union. What must be understood is that these decisions, at the time or their relevance, were completely valid. The evidence was unconvincingly there that the US had to keep the Soviet Union in check to stop Stalin’s bloodthirsty conquests. Only by looking at the past do these judgments seem more obvious, since one can now investigate the person’s motives and by looking at what actually happened. Assuming that conditions were exactly as they were right after WWII, it’s difficult to promise that Stalin and the USSR would have had a change of heart morally, and that the US would have no logic to be cautious of the shady events that would have inevitably happened in the Soviet Union. With no question was Fidel Castro considered dangerous, and invading Cuba was actually, even though a failure, an intelligent move by Kennedy in case they actually already did have weapons aimed at them. Nearly five decades of tragic disagreement and conflict grew so large that it could not be distinguished, and eventually

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