Cuban Missile Crisis - HISTORY
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a day confrontation between the United mitigate negative world opinion regarding the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. a direct telephone link between the White House and the Kremlin was. Bejger, Adam P., "Photo Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis" (). . establish diplomatic relations with operations culminated in the Bay of Pigs. The Cuban Missile Crisis of October brought the world close to a nuclear the Bay of Pigs Invasion in and President Kennedy made little effort to . above the ground, brought back pictures that showed missiles being tested for launch. . 1: "Hot line" The US-USSR hot line provided for a two-way telegraphic link.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to exercise the military option, but consensus couldn't be reached. On the following day, Robert told the president that he must return to Washington for a final decision. It was announced that he was suffering from an "upper respiratory infection," and flew back. Given the choice between limited action in the form of a blockade and military action that might become unstoppable, Kennedy favored the blockade.
He would not make a final decision, however, until the 21st. On Sunday, October 21, Kennedy decided to address the nation the following day and tell them of his decision.
The Cuban Missile Crisis in pictures, 1962
He chose the word "quarantine" to describe his naval action rather than "blockade. Responding to growing inquiries from the press, Kennedy requested that they publish nothing provocative in the delicate situation that prevailed.
Beginning at 7 p. During his minute speech, he explained the evidence of the Soviet missile buildup, declared a quarantine against weapons deliveries to Cuba, and issued blunt warnings to the Soviet Union.
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Not knowing how the Soviets would react, he had already placed American military forces on high alert. Missiles had been readied for launch within minutes and 20 SAC bombers were airborne, equipped with nuclear bombs.The history of the Cuban Missile Crisis - Matthew A. Jordan
Khrushchev responded with a letter to Kennedy, denying again that the weapons were anything but defensive and warning the U. On the 23rd, reconnaissance flights by six Crusader jets, flying just feet above the ground, brought back pictures that showed missiles being tested for launch.
With the OAS endorsement in hand, the United States announced that the quarantine would begin on the 24th at 10 a. Robert Kennedy met privately with Ambassador Dobrynin and complained bitterly that Dobrynin had lied to him about the missiles. Dobrynin stated that to the best of his knowledge, the missiles were entirely defensive.
After the meeting, Dobrynin cabled Moscow with a report of the meeting. Lacking sophisticated communications, Dobrynin was obliged to use Western Unionwhich sent a messenger by bicycle to pick up the wire. Navy began to enforce the quarantine with 56 warships, including eight aircraft carriers, at 10 a.
Cuban Missile Crisis
While that averted an immediate confrontation, the missiles already in Cuba constituted an ongoing threat. SAC headquarters put its forces around the world on the highest level of alert ever. That evening, another letter from Khrushchev arrived, which described the American position as an ultimatum to which the Soviets would not submit. On the 25th, Kennedy instructed U. Stevenson to confront Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin about the missiles. Zorin refused to comment.
Stevenson showed him reconnaissance photos that clearly showed the launch sites. At that point, well-known columnist Walter Lippman published an appeal for a face-saving compromise. He noted that the U.
Cuban Missile Crisis - Wikipedia
Although many people thought Kennedy was sending up a "trial balloon" through Lippman, he was actually acting on his own. The Cuban leadership had a strong expectation that the US would invade Cuba again and enthusiastically approved the idea of installing nuclear missiles in Cuba.
According to another source, Castro objected to the missiles deployment that would have made him look like a Soviet puppet, but he was persuaded that missiles in Cuba would be an irritant to the US and help the interests of the entire socialist camp. By May, Khrushchev and Castro agreed to place strategic nuclear missiles secretly in Cuba. Like Castro, Khrushchev felt that a US invasion of Cuba was imminent and that to lose Cuba would do great harm to the communists, especially in Latin America.
He said he wanted to confront the Americans "with more than words From the very beginning, the Soviets' operation entailed elaborate denial and deceptionknown as " maskirovka ".
Even the troops detailed for the mission were given misdirection by being told that they were headed for a cold region and being outfitted with ski boots, fleece-lined parkas, and other winter equipment. The Anadyr River flows into the Bering Seaand Anadyr is also the capital of Chukotsky District and a bomber base in the far eastern region. All the measures were meant to conceal the program from both internal and external audiences.
He told Khrushchev that the missiles would be concealed and camouflaged by palm trees. They repeatedly denied that the weapons being brought into Cuba were offensive in nature.
On October 13, Dobrynin was questioned by former Undersecretary of State Chester Bowles about whether the Soviets planned to put offensive weapons in Cuba. He denied any such plans. During that month, its intelligence services gathered information about sightings by ground observers of Russian-built MiG fighters and Il light bombers. CIA director John A. Sending antiaircraft missiles into Cuba, he reasoned, "made sense only if Moscow intended to use them to shield a base for ballistic missiles aimed at the United States.
He charged the Kennedy administration of covering up a major threat to the US, thereby starting the crisis. The R was a medium-range ballistic missile, capable of carrying a thermonuclear warhead. I repeat, we have sufficient means with which to defend ourselves; we have indeed our inevitable weapons, the weapons, which we would have preferred not to acquire, and which we do not wish to employ.
The planned arsenal was forty launchers. The Cuban populace readily noticed the arrival and deployment of the missiles and hundreds of reports reached Miami. US intelligence received countless reports, many of dubious quality or even laughable, most of which could be dismissed as describing defensive missiles. Only five reports bothered the analysts. They described large trucks passing through towns at night that were carrying very long canvas-covered cylindrical objects that could not make turns through towns without backing up and maneuvering.
Defensive missiles could turn. The reports could not be satisfactorily dismissed. The Soviets lodged a protest and the US apologized. Nine days later, a Taiwanese -operated U-2   was lost over western China to an SA-2 surface-to-air missile.
The resulting lack of coverage over the island for the next five weeks became known to historians as the "Photo Gap. US officials attempted to use a Corona photoreconnaissance satellite to obtain coverage over reported Soviet military deployments, but imagery acquired over western Cuba by a Corona KH-4 mission on October 1 was heavily covered by clouds and haze and failed to provide any usable intelligence.
When the reconnaissance missions were reauthorized on October 9, poor weather kept the planes from flying. Although he provided no direct reports of the Soviet missile deployments to Cuba, technical and doctrinal details of Soviet missile regiments that had been provided by Penkovsky in the months and years prior to the Crisis helped NPIC analysts correctly identify the missiles on U-2 imagery. McNamara was briefed at midnight. The next morning, Bundy met with Kennedy and showed him the U-2 photographs and briefed him on the CIA's analysis of the images.
Stern, head of the Kennedy library transcribed some of them. The US had no plan in place because its intelligence had been convinced that the Soviets would never install nuclear missiles in Cuba.
Johnson was a member, quickly discussed several possible courses of action: American vulnerability to Soviet missiles was not new. Use diplomatic pressure to get the Soviet Union to remove the missiles. Offer Castro the choice of splitting with the Russians or being invaded. Full force invasion of Cuba and overthrow of Castro. Use the US Air Force to attack all known missile sites. The Soviets had long felt uneasy about the number of nuclear weapons that were targeted at them from sites in Western Europe and Turkey, and they saw the deployment of missiles in Cuba as a way to level the playing field.
Another key factor in the Soviet missile scheme was the hostile relationship between the U. The Kennedy administration had already launched one attack on the island—the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in —and Castro and Khrushchev saw the missiles as a means of deterring further U. Weighing the Options From the outset of the crisis, Kennedy and ExCom determined that the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba was unacceptable.
The challenge facing them was to orchestrate their removal without initiating a wider conflict—and possibly a nuclear war. In deliberations that stretched on for nearly a week, they came up with a variety of options, including a bombing attack on the missile sites and a full-scale invasion of Cuba. But Kennedy ultimately decided on a more measured approach. First, he would employ the U. Navy to establish a blockade, or quarantine, of the island to prevent the Soviets from delivering additional missiles and military equipment.
Second, he would deliver an ultimatum that the existing missiles be removed. In a television broadcast on October 22,the president notified Americans about the presence of the missiles, explained his decision to enact the blockade and made it clear that the U.