Term Paper: Cuban Missile Crisis

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[. . .] The Soviets propose a force of 24 medium-range ballistic missiles and 16 intermediate-range launchers, each equipped with two missiles and a single nuclear warhead. In addition, the Soviets send four elite regiments, twenty-four advanced SA-2 surface-to-air missile batteries, 42 MiG-21 interceptors, 42 IL-28 bombers, 12 Komar-class missile boats and coastal defense cruise missiles. Castro agrees in July 1962. The formal agreement is renewable every five years and the missiles and maintenance is left to the Soviets. In mid-July 1962 Soviet cargo ships begin moving out of the Black Sea for Cuba and are spotted by American aerial reconnaissance. Meanwhile 11 CIA terrorist teams infiltrate Cuba.

Up until now, the United States is hopeful that the Castro regime will crumble from within. However, intelligence suggests otherwise. The SGA advises President Kennedy that there is little possibility for overthrowing the Cuban government through internal dissent. Only direct U.S. military intervention can succeed. Kennedy authorizes development of aggressive plans, but no open military involvement could take place.

In August, Cuba's Minister of Industries, Che Guevara and a close associate of Castro, Emilio Navarro meet with Khrushchev urge him to go public about the missile deployment. He refuses.

On August 29, 1962, a U-2 surveillance flight shows air defense missiles at eight sites within Cuba. In the first week of September 1962, Kennedy announces that he is not for invading Cuba at this time.

Unknown to the United States, Soviet troops arrive in Cuba in the first week of September. Three weeks later, Attorney General Robert Kennedy meets with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. The Soviet assures the Kennedy that the Soviet Union had no intention of installing surface-to-surface missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy warns that doing so is a violation of the United States' sole right to be the only foreign government allowed to have military forces inside Cuba at Guantanomo.

About that time, the first missiles arrive in Cuba. The first missile site is erected at San Cristobal. The United States becomes aware of the shipments.

These acts threaten Cuban aggression and on September 20, 1962, the United States Senate approves the use of military force against Cuba. Congress approves a bill to cut off aid to any country that allows merchant ships to transport goods to Cuba. In response, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko accuses the United States as creating "war hysteria" in a speech made to the United Nations' General Assembly. Gromyko states that "any sober-minded" person is aware that Cuba could not possibly invade the United States. Cuba has never done anything aggressive against the United States, nor ever will it. Gromyko explains however that should the United States attempt to invade Cuba once again, or to destroy any ships traveling to Cuba, the Soviet Union would stand solidly in defense of Cuba.

The Beginning of Hostilities

On the first day of October 1962, the United States prepares itself to form a military blockade against Cuba. The United States Navy and Air Force under Atlantic Command are ordered to position forces in order to execute the first stage of the air strike.

On October 8, 1962, Cuban President Dortic s, addresses the U.N. General Assembly, calling on the group to condemn the trade embargo against Cuba. He also declares:

If we are attacked, we will defend ourselves. 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.

On October 14, 1952, a U-2 aircraft discovers mid-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy learns about the discovery two days later. Discussions include surgical air strikes to full-scale invasions. At the same the U.S. Guided Missile and Astronautics Intelligence Committee (GMAIC) concludes that there is no evidence of nuclear warheads in Cuba and that the missile installations seem not to be operational.

On the same day the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Foy Kohler meets with Khrushchev. Khrushchev insists that the Soviet Union is only defending Cuba and besides the United States have done the same thing, with their missiles in Turkey on the Soviet border.

On the following day, U.S. spy agencies explain they've seen an advanced SS-5 IRBM site (a missile with a 2,200 nautical mile range, more than twice the range of the SS-4 MRBMs). A Defense Department spokesperson publicly states that that the Pentagon knows nothing about nuclear missiles in Cuba; therefore, no military measures are necessary. In the meantime, the president is briefed (SNIE 11-18-62) that should the United States aggressively attack Cuba, it would likely lead to World War III.

On October 20, 1962, President Kennedy implements a military blockade on Cuba: Nothing is to go in or out of Cuba. U.S. diplomat to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, is vehemently opposed to the blockade as invalid and makes analogies to the new Berlin wall, and point out the U.S. nuclear missiles already operational in Turkey and the U.S. naval base, which stores nuclear bombs, already inside of the sovereign territory of Cuba. Kennedy reprimands Stevenson's objections and declares him incapable of handling negotiations. In the future John McCloy assists Stevenson in his duties as ambassador to the United Nations.

Soon afterward United States' spy agencies discover a nuclear warhead storage bunker at one of Cuba's Medium-range Ballistic Missile sites. It is assumed, though not confirmed that warheads were actually in Cuba.

About the same time the National Security Council threatens any ship breaking the blockade. The first stage is boarding and inspection. Ships that refuse to surrender will be crippled by force.

On October 22, 1962, the United State Department informs NATO allies that there is a Cuban missile crisis. The United States also informs its Allies of aggressive military plans it will engage in. One-eighth of the B-52 nuclear bomber force will be airborne at all times. The military also begins sending out 183 B-47 nuclear bombers to 44 civilian and military airfields. The Air Defense Command disperses 161 aircraft to sixteen bases in nine hours. Reports indicate that all the aircraft, on the ground and in the air, are armed with nuclear weapons.

Later in the day Kennedy addresses the nation. The 17-minute speech warns that any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere is an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response against the Soviet Union.

Khrushchev responds that the armaments in Cuba are, indeed, only for defensive purposes and that the actions of the United States threaten world peace.

The United States begins low-level reconnaissance flights over Cuba with fighter attack aircraft F-8U and the spy plane RF-101. Cuba and the Soviet Union join together in an effort towards peace and do not make attempts to deter the flyovers. Soviet ships on their way to Cuba slow down or turn around. Of the 19 ships on their way to Cuba only three continue toward the military blockade. One of these, the Bucharest continues its course to Cuba. United States naval ships receive orders not the cripple the ship. Khrushchev agrees to a United Nations' peace proposal, where he must suspend all arms shipments to Cuba. Kennedy refuses the peace proposal requesting the lifting of the military blockade. Under pressure by the United States the United Nations General Secretary sends a message to Khrushchev supporting the blockade and ordering Khrushchev to respect it.

On October 26, 1962, President Kennedy is convinced that a military blockade alone will not force the Soviets to remove missiles from Cuba. He believes that this mission can only be achieved via an invasion or a nuclear deployment trade. He begins applying pressure by increasing the low flyover flights from twice a day to once every two hours. In the meantime, he orders the State Department to prepare to establish a new government in Cuba.

On October 26, 1962 Khrushchev pleads for peace. In a letter he promises to declare his ships free of any armaments if the United States promises not to invade Cuba or support any forces who intends to. The United States interprets the letter as a Soviet offer to remove missiles from Cuba under United Nations inspection in return for an American non-invasion promise. Later that evening, Robert Kennedy has a secret meeting at the Soviet embassy. In the meeting, Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin argues that if Soviet missiles are intolerable in Cuba, then American missiles are intolerable in Turkey. President Kennedy agrees to negotiate.

In the meantime, Castro begins defending his country despite pleas from the Cuban Soviet Ambassador not to. Castro dismisses the ambassador's pleas and vows to defend Cuba from a U.S. invasion.

The CIA reports that three of the four SS-4 MRBM sites at San Cristobal and two sites at Sagua la Grande appear to be fully operational. That same morning Khrushchev publicly announces that the Soviet Union… [END OF PREVIEW]

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