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Body Of Secrets

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Louisiana State University
HIST 2023

History2023MartinBodyofSecretsIncreasing tension between United States and the Soviet Union after Kennedy was electedKhrushchev had watched the US fail at Bay of Pigs then met Kennedy at the Summit meeting and assumed that he had cowed Kennedy so he built the Berlin WallJust as during the Berlin blockade when Stalin was unwilling to start a world war the US was also unwilling to risk a world war by knocking down the Berlin wall Berlin was not worth the warOn the first of September 1961 Khrushchev began to test nuclear weapons above ground On Sep 2 Great Britain France and the United States received an angry letter containing veiled threats from KhrushchevAdenauer the leader of West Germany the Chancellor Prime Minister Charles De Gaulle and other prominent leaders of the Western world made visits to Berlin to show their solidarity with the Western alliance The Soviet Union became increasingly warlike At the end of October they brought tanks right up to the border and the wall so the West responded by bringing their own tanks up to the wallThere were 3 check points Alpha between the British and Soviet zones Bravo between the French and Soviet zones and Charlie between the American and Soviet zones At checkpoint Charlie if one officer had made a mistake and shots had been fired it could have started WW3thSoviet Russia was putting pressure on the West by testing nuclear weapons On the 30 of October the Soviet Union exploded the largest nuclear device exploded in the history of mankind It was a 60 megaton device A megaton is the equivalent of one million tons of TNT being exploded in a single second This was 60 times that Life magazine did a demonstration of how powerful that was They imagined a 60 megaton device being exploded on the capital of Washington DC The aftermath would have been a crater that extended into Virginia and North almost to College Park Baltimore would have been completely destroyed by a SINGLE bomb that size This demonstration byRussia was a terror weapon No one had imagined using a weapon like this Because the Soviet Union was engaging in aboveground nuclear testing the United States decided that they had to do the testing as well despite that this would double the atmospheres radioactivity contentthOn the 15 of September we began testing underground but would soon go above ground because we said we could not learn enough about them below ground In the midst of all of this Khrushchev had decided on an extraordinary gamblebecause he felt that he could get away with anything he thought he had the West under his control he began to attempt to install Soviet missiles in Cuba In 1957 Russia had tested its first ICBMan International Continental Ballistic Missile This means he could launch a missile from one side of the world and within 25 minutes it would impact somewhere upon the other side of the world By the time you knew one was coming there would be no time to do anything about it There is a smaller class of weapons called short range ballistic missiles SRBM And a slightly longerranged class the IRBM Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles Khrushchev decided to place SRBMs and IRBMs in Cuba The United States would have less than 7 minutes to prepare for a bomb This meant that every major city in the United States would have been reachable in ten minutes except Seattle which would have been safeThe United States had placed IRBMs in Turkey who was a member of NATO not one of the original members during the Eisenhower administration in 1958 The Soviet had not been able to prevent this so he wished to balance off those missiles in Turkey by putting Soviet missiles in Cuba This was an issue because we had tried to overthrow Cubas leader but we screwed it up In the Summer of 1962 when the SU announced to the world that it intended to help strengthen the defenses of Cuba against attack from the US we had no leg to stand on in terms of an argument Secretly however the SU were going to prepare 40 launching pads 16 of them would be IRBMs the other 24 would be SRBMs The flight time of the longest route say San Francisco was about ten minutesthOn the 13 of September 1962 John Kennedy began a news conference He began the conference with astatementAdvisors D Rusk SS R Macnamara SD M Bundy NSA and R Kennedy AG he stated that if Cuba were to become aggressive in any way or was found to be doing anything potentially dangerous then the US would do anything it could to protect the safety of the US and its allies What he did not know was that the IRBMs had been stationed in Cuba and that work on getting them ready had already begun Kennedy was told by the CIA on Sep 19 that the SU would not move missiles into Cuba They were already there Kennedy said he wanted increased aerial surveillance in Cuba On Sep 21 the CIA came back saying that one of our agents in Cuba had seen on Sep 12 Soviet Missiles being secretly taken into the mountains of Cuba The CIA said they didnt trust the source but brought it to the president nonetheless thIt was not until the 15 of October three weeks later when a shamefaced CIA was back in the oval office this time taken by U2 spy planes which showed beyond any doubt the construction of launching pads for missiles and the missiles waiting to be installed upon those launching padsThe Kennedy administration acted as if nothing had happen On Oct 18 Andre Gromyko the SUs foreign minister was coming to visit the president Gromyko lied to the US in the Oval office about the Soviets involvement in Cuba when given the chance to come clean This was bad bad bad Over the weekend the foreign policy chiefs at the White House and the military chiefs at the Pentagon made a lot of decisions On Oct 22 Kennedy gave an emergency address on the TV networks stating that there was unmistakable evidence had been established that Cuba had become a strategic base and constituted a threat to all Americans Acting in defense of our security and the entire Western hemisphere he made initial defenses 1All ships bound for Cuba if found to contain cargo of offensive weapons would be turned back and if it refuses it will be sunk This was essentially a declaration of war but came just short of it 2There would also be an increased surveillance of Cubathey would fly their spy plains over Cuba whenever they wanted 3Any weapon launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere it would be seen as an attack from SU on the US 4He called for an immediate meeting of the Organization of American States which consisted of every country in the Western Hemisphere
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