Essay 3 - Cuban Missile Crisis Many historians consider the...

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Cuban Missile CrisisMany historians consider the Bay of Pigs Invasion to be the biggest failure in UnitedStates foreign policy history.The United States unsuccessful invasion of Cuba solidified acommunist development, under the leadership of Fidel Castro.Castro desired a socialist Cubawith strong ties to the Soviet Union.In May 1962, a month after Castro came to power, Castroand Nikita Khrushchev met at multiple secret meetings to discuss the possibility of creating amissile program.The construction of this program began in July 1962, and necessitatedassistance from the Soviet Union.It took the Kennedy administration until October 16th, 1962 toformally denounce the missile program, and enforce a naval blockade to prevent the Soviet’sfrom providing missiles.The ensuing 13 days, considered the closest the Cold War got to nuclearwarfare, are often referred to as the Cuban Missile Crisis.Historians Richard C. Thornton,Joseph T. Thompson, and Ronald R. Pope have all analyzed the strategic weapons development inthe United States and Soviet Union in order to determine the reason the Soviet’s promoted amissile program in Cuba and the intuition of the Kennedy administration.Who had the advantage in strategic weapons development at the time of the CubanMissile Crisis?According to Thornton there was a massive shift in the balance of power from theSoviet Union to the United States, in 1959; which he refers to as “a year of scissors.”1. Thorntonnotes the failure of the SS-6 weapons program as ruining the Soviet’s superiority in weaponsdevelopment, and putting their security in jeopardy.

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