Cuban Missile Crisis Response

Cuban Missile Crisis Response - congressional leadership...

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Jim Stanley Prof. Burke POLS 295 October 8, 2009 After reading about the decision-making at the highest levels of the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it becomes apparent that although the outcome was favorable there were nevertheless some serious flaws in deliberations of the NSC. While the “groupthink” that Janis described in his analysis of the Bay of Pigs invasion was not evident during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the decision-making was far from perfect. The most visible default with Kennedy’s decision-making process was his failure to involve congress in the process beyond informing them of the blockade a mere hours before it was scheduled to begin. Although Kennedy was the commander in chief of the military, and could therefore order the blockade, having the outside perspective of the
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Unformatted text preview: congressional leadership could still bring valuable insight to the debate. In addition, Kennedy was admittedly motivated to take action by political reasons, so ideally he should have consulted with the political leaders of the legislative branch. The other major default in the Cuban Missile Crisis decision-making process was the uncertainty and constantly shifting opinions of NSC Advisor McGeorge Bundy. Although it is debatable whether the job of the NSC Advisor is to be an advocate or a broker of information, it seems that Bundy was genuinely unsure of how to proceed. While Bundy claims to have taken different positions as an attempt to ensure the president heard different options, Kennedy himself seemed frustrated with his indecision, and Bundy should have stopped brokering through advocacy....
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course POLS 295 taught by Professor Johnpburke during the Summer '09 term at Vermont.

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