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Cuban Missile Crisis Management Essay

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Updated: Apr 13th, 2022


The Cuban Missile Crisis was a battle that arose between the United States, Cuba and Soviet Union in 1962. United States unsuccessful efforts to overthrow Cuban regime (Operation Mongoose) prompted Soviet to furtively erect bases in Cuba to provide medium and intermediate range of airborne nuclear artilleries to prove to the world its military supremacy.

The artilleries had a capability of striking continental America. The installation of missiles in Cuba was a Soviet mission done privately to facilitate surprise attack to continental America (White, 1997, p.69).

The US administration of the time believed that Moscow‘s activities in Cuba were a threat to International security, hence; the ballistic missiles deployed in Cuba enhanced a major security blow to the leadership of United States. To curb potential danger caused by the situation, John F. Kennedy effected strategies which proved useful in calming the situation

Managing of Cuban Missile Crisis

Managing the Cuban Missile Crisis was a complex issue by John F. Kennedy administration. Perhaps, the United States intelligence was convinced that Soviet would not succeed in installing nuclear missiles in Cuba. However, this was not the case; the Soviet had gone ahead and installed the missiles without prior knowledge of United States security intelligent.

To mitigate the risk, the Kennedy administration discussed various options to reduce the likelihood of a full blown crisis. Mitigation measures adopted included; military, quarantine and diplomacy among other measures

The John Kennedy administration embraced using military to designate Missile sites in Cuba by using military prowess. United States Military interventions were well developed thus the Kennedy administration found it easy to order posting to strategic sites on the Atlantic Ocean. Besides, the Army, marine, and navy had a tough program if they were not engaged; they were systematically ordered to the sea (White, 1997, p.79).

Concentrated air monitoring in Atlantic was instigated, tracking more than 2,000 foreign ships in the area. The government was determined in case the Soviet Union launched nuclear assault; United States military was standby to answer.

Beginning 20th October, 1962, The United States’ Strategic Air Command began diffusing its aircraft, fully equipped on an upgraded alert. According to White (1997, p.109), heavy aircraft such as B-52 began a significant aerial vigilance that involved 24 hour flights and instant standby response for every aircraft that landed.

Besides, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile troops assumed analogous vigilant authority. Moreover, the POLARIS submarines were deployed to reassigned locations in the sea bordering United States and Cuba. The supreme nuclear weapons of Kennedy administration were installed to forestall any hasty battle poised by the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Divine (1998,p.97) points out that United States air defense troops, under the operational control of North America Defense Command, were also organized. Combatant interceptors, NIKE-HERCULES and HAWK missile hordes, were tactically relocated to southeast part to enhance local air defense (White, 1997, p.118).

The John Kennedy constituted its Air Force, Army and Navy in October. When command organizations were officially constituted, the Commander in Chief Atlantic was chosen to lead the team and provide a unified authority.

The John F. Kennedy administration implemented all these plans through the Joint Chiefs of Staff who later named Chief of Naval Operations to administer all necessary actions and subsequent execution.

Military intervention instituted by John Kennedy administration deterred Soviet Union intention of installing Missile center in Cuba of which would have posed a serious threat not only to America but entire America’s continent (Divine, 1998, p.123).

The John F. Kennedy administration imposed a quarantine to exert more pressure on Soviet Union with a view of subverting possible war. This was one of the flexible methods unlike others that US government embraced. Quarantine was aimed at constraining buildup of offensive military weapons en-route to Cuba.

To thoroughly execute the strategy, all kinds of ships en-route to Cuba from whichever country or port were scrutinized to confirm the presence of aggressive artilleries. Byrne (2006, p.29) explains that if toxic artillery were located, the ship was forced to unwind the voyage or risk being confiscated.

This quarantine was stretched to other kinds of cargoes and carriers. Quarantine provided more opportunity to Soviet Union to reconsider their position and destroy all offensive military apparatus in Cuba. Quarantine was believed as a precise strategy in solving the Cuban Missile Crisis because, the US government thought that it will be easier to start with a limited steps towards stringent measures for implementation (Byrne, 2006, p 86).

Though it started at a low pace, it exerted more pressure on Soviet Union thus yielding to United States demands. This proved to be an effective strategy. Soviet Union sentiment was that United States was contravening international law.

However, it was hard for the Soviet to test the applicability of this strategy. They knew if they dare rise the situation at hand would become even worse. The Soviets acknowledged installing missiles in Cuba to secure it against the US invasion. The Kennedy administration accordingly accepted to invade Cuba.

John Kennedy and ExComm (John F. advisers) team prodded every probable diplomatic system to truncate a nuclear holocaust. The Cuban Missile Crisis deepened diplomatic relations between the United States and Soviet Union with a choice of evading more emergency or perhaps war.

According to Byrne (2006, p.125), Kennedy himself was skillful and embraced compulsion to gain a diplomatic success. He sustained emphasis upon Khrushchev vehemently but adeptly. Potency was used shrewdly by Kennedy administration as a powerful, discreet component to urge Soviets cede the plan without embarrassment. His persistence was unwavering.

United States and the Soviet exchanged letters and intensified communication both formal and informal. The Soviet through Khrushchev dispatched letters to Kennedy administration explaining the circumstances of Missiles in Cuba and peaceful intention of Soviet Union.

Further, diplomatic efforts were strengthened by more letters from Soviet Union explaining the intent of dismantling the missile installations in Cuba and subsequent personnel relocation. This was only after United States dismantled its missile it had installed in Italy and Turkey.

Kennedy’s respond to crisis diplomacy is lauded as a contributory factor which barred the Cuban Missile Crisis resulting in nuclear conflict.

Byrne (2006, p.132) alleges that, if Kennedy’s responses were altered, it would have led to another world war. hence his diplomatic finesse succeeded in convincing Soviet Union to dismantle its Missiles in Cuba under United Nations supervision whereas the honoring its commitment in removing its missile installations in the continental Europe.


John F. Kennedy administration amicably responded to Cuban Missile Crisis in an effective way. Measures undertaken such as; military intervention, quarantine and skillful diplomacy necessitated subversion of the crisis.

Failure of which would have resulted in another World War. Besides, the plans facilitated the Kennedy administration to effectively prove to the world it was capable of handling similar magnitude of threats to enhance world peace and security.

Reference list

Byrne, P. J. (2006). The Cuban Missile Crisis: To the Brink of War, Minneapolis: Compass Point Books

Divine, R. A. (1988). The Cuban Missile Crisis. New Jersey: Markus Wiener Publishers

White, M. J. (1997).Missiles In Cuba: Kennedy, Khrushchev, Castro, And The 1962 Crisis, Texas: University of Texas

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