To focusing his attention on the danger of staying

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to focusing his attention on the danger of staying strategically inferior to the UnitedStates. Earlier in the spring, Khrushchev had learned that it would take several years forthe Soviet Union to build enough of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces’ new SS-7intercontinental ballistic missiles to match American capabilitiesxv, and as a result ofinaccurate intelligence he became fixated on the strategic necessity of installing a militarybase on Cuba, only ninety miles from the United States.For its part, it should be noted that the CIA further misread reality when, a monthbefore the Cuban Missile Crisis began, it issued a report concluding that Soviets were8
Lingunlikely to establish offensive missiles in Cuba: “As before, however, Moscow attemptsto create the impression that Cuba is under the protection of the full range of Sovietnuclear and missile powerxvi.”Teachable Moment? Analysis of the Bay of Pigs’ Applicability to TodayThough the shipment of nuclear missiles to Cuba was initiated, they of courseultimately did not reach their destination. In part due to extensive correspondencebetween President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev that took place during the crisisfrom October 14-28, 1962xvii.Though the conclusions drawn from this investigation about the rippling effects offailed intelligence operations on the mindset of adversarial intelligence organizations canbe instructive for the future, such conclusions face various limitations.For one, the historical context in which these crises occurred is unique andwithout parallel in the modern world. Most obviously, the nature of the Cold Warconfrontation in which the crises in Cuba occurred–a dangerous standoff between the twosole global superpowers, a precarious balance which, if damaged, would igniteworldwide action by conventional military–is a framework that does not exist in themodern in the same way as it did decades ago. The budding competition andconfrontation between the United States and China appears to be of a different nature, forChinese leaders have insisted that its development in no way intends to produce the samedangerous military confrontation that had been the case during the Cold War. Evenassuming China will be able to rise to great- or even superpower status in the decades tocome, it will be, as former Chinese president Hu Jintao has stated, one of a “peaceful rise9
Lingto great power statusxviii.” Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, one of the foremostfigures of Chinese Foreign Policy during the Hu Jintao administration, has insisted thatChina’s growing economic and military might is not one that equates to a desire forChinese hegemony over the United Statesà la“hiding your strengths and biding yourtime.”xixEven Deng Xiaoping, for his part, once asserted that “if one day China shouldseek to claim hegemony in the world, then the people of the world should expose, opposeand even fight against it. On this point, the international community can supervise us.”xx

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Term
Summer
Professor
Kavanagh
Tags
Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, Test, The American, Central Intelligence Agency, Bay of Pigs Invasion

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