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US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis Essay


The “Cuban Missile Crisis” is among the most intriguing occurrences in the history of the United States of America (Allison 11). This is for the reason that “it was the closest the United States and Soviet Union ever came to an all out global thermal nuclear war” (Seibert 1). A large number of books as well as movies have been produced on this issue, each of them presenting a unique opinion. However, the main theme in all these works is that the superpower nations were “on the brink of World War III” (Seibert 1). But in this paper, it is going to be argued that these two nations (United States of America and the Soviet Union) were nowhere close to the verge of war. Leaders of each of these nations, J.F. Kennedy and Khrushchev, did not have any intention of starting the “Third World War”, and perhaps this is biggest reason why there was peaceful resolving of the “Cuban Missile Crisis”.

The barricade option was the only available choice that President J.F. Kennedy could have undertaken in order to evade conflict in the course of the “Cuban Missile Crisis” entirely (Bradlee 13; Allison 11). In the recent past, the declassified information showed that as on one hand the Soviet Union and the United States were very close to conflict more than once comprehended, on the other hand, in the actual sense, these nations were far away from nuclear war than it had been formally assessed (Evans 1; Yardley 1).

The “Cuban Missile Crisis” is an event that, in relative terms, occurred recently. Seibert points out that the radio and newspapers and other forms of media were prevalent in the course of time (Seibert 1). The event took place between two greatest powers of the world, which was the U.S and the USSR. The United States engaged in granting the press freedom as being a constitutional right. Since this occurrence was seen as being “the brink of nuclear war”, the press covered it widely. Having a combination of these factors, it can be considered that there would be adequate data to carry out sufficient research on the topic (Yardley 1).

Regardless of the level of media coverage concerning a particular event, considering a TV broadcast or a newspaper as being a fact can often be wrong. However, this is not essentially the press’s mistake, “they are only as reliable as their sources” (Seibert 2). Civilian as well as military leadership are privy to innumerable sources which are not open to the press. In the Cuban Missile Crisis’ situation, there can be no constructing of a precise evaluation of the events in the absence of “classified documents” (Seibert 2). Lucky enough, the material that has been declassified in the recent times can now be accessed by the public and there is now rewriting of history. The authors that engage in writing books about the crisis are making an update of their works in order to include the freshly available information and they will unavoidably make discovery that some of the previous assessment they made were not correct (Brugioni 1).

After the crisis, there has been holding of some conferences and among the most recent ones is the one that was held in Cuba at Havana in the month October, 2002 (Seibert 2). The crisis survivors came to the event for reflective reasons and they had a full opportunity to engage in shedding light on the October 1962 occurrences. It is the bringing together of “personal accounts by key actors and newly disclosed documents which have changed the way in which the crisis will be viewed for all of posterity” (Seibert 2).

Most of the literature that had been presented earlier on concerning the “Cuba Missile Crisis” tends to vary regarding how close the Soviet Union and the United States of America were to a nuclear war. However, the common theme is that we were on the brink of adversity. The older literature that was written in the course of the 1960s as well as the 1970s was found not to be helpful to the same level as the newer ones. Indeed, there was no book written during that period that undertook a true analysis of the crisis the same way as the new books (Wright 1).

Basing on the most recent literature, it has been found out that, due to having much willingness to evade war by President J. F. Kennedy and Khrushchev, the two powerful nations indeed were not close to nuclear war as the previous assessments had indicated. But on the other hand, the information that was declassified in the recent times indicates that the two superpowers were nearer to conflict than it had been realized earlier on. There was likelihood of conflict occurring in the course of the Cuba blockade where there was high prospect of a “naval engagement” between the United States naval forces and the Soviet ones. In spite of the high potential for having conflict in the course of the blockade, it was the only move that could have been made by J. F. Kennedy in order to evade the conflict entirely in the course of the crisis.

Works Cited

Allison, Graham. “The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: Lessons for U.S. foreign policy today.” Foreign Affairs 91.4 (2012): 11-16.

Bradlee, Benjamin. Conversations with Kennedy. New York: Norton and Company Inc., 1975. Print.

Brugioni, Dino. Eyeball to Eyeball. New York: Random House, 1991. Print.

Evans, Harold. The American Century. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 1998. Print.

Seibert, Edward William. Cuban Missile Crisis, 2003. Web.

Wright, Mike. What they didn’t teach you about the 60s. Vovato: Presidio Press Inc., 2001. Print.

Yardley, Jonathan. The fourteenth Day: JFK and the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis, 28 September 2012. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 19). US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/us-foreign-policy-cuban-missile-crisis/

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"US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis." IvyPanda, 19 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/us-foreign-policy-cuban-missile-crisis/.

1. IvyPanda. "US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis." May 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/us-foreign-policy-cuban-missile-crisis/.


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IvyPanda. "US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis." May 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/us-foreign-policy-cuban-missile-crisis/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis." May 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/us-foreign-policy-cuban-missile-crisis/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'US Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis'. 19 May.

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