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PS-0061 (13)

The Real Cuban Missile Crisis—Benjamin Schwarz.docx

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Political Science
Kelly Greenhill

The Real Cuban Missile Crisis—Benjamin Schwarz • October 1962, news of Soviet missiles being placed in Cuba • announced to public on October 22 by John Kennedy; delivered an ultimatum; 13-day crisis (starting Oct 16) • when missiles dismantled, credit given to JFK’s knowledge and wit • Kennedy administration held info about sabotage towards the Cuban government and plots of assassination; convinced the public that there was a growing missile gap between the U.S. and Soviet in the Soviet’s favor U.S. easily had 9 times more nuclear weapons than Soviets • JFK’s huge peacetime military expansion, including Jupiter missiles in Italy and Turkey encouraged a preemptive strike against Soviet • Jupiter missiles were a key motivation of Khrushchev to send missiles to Cuba; as was US attitude towards Cuba; wanted to give US a “taste of their own medicine” • ExComm conversations released to public, showing JFK’s massive lack of knowledge towards Soviets and nuclear power distribution “the presence of these missiles really doesn’t change the nuclear balance” JFK, but did not tell public this • Special Counsel Theodore Sorensen, “It is generally agreed that t
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