Archives for The Cuban Missile Crisis

Fifty years ago, south of our nation’s boarder a conflict had occurred. A United States’ U-2 spy plane was traveling miles above the earth’s western hemisphere only to come across a frightening discovery; a Soviet nuclear warhead. For 13 days, President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev exchanged a multitude of face-to-face and more informal conferences about the situation and the potential dangers that came along with this move. A nuclear missile during that timeframe could cripple the American country and kill over an estimated 100 million Americans. What was discussed in these conferences and why would anyone want to move nuclear warheads around the world in a strategic manner? There is no need to move weapons around the world to embrace in the thought of Armageddon.
1. Soviet Union-United States Original Conflicts and facts
i. Reported in October 40 launchers and 80 missiles found
ii. Air strikes were possible but unsure about if all the missiles and launchers would be destroyed
iii. CIA reported that about a dozen missiles were operational at that time
iv. Attorney general didn’t agree with attack
1. Pearl Harbor effect
2. Lead to unpredictable military responses from the Soviets (McNamara, 1962)
a. Possibly nuclear
v. Missiles designed specifically in Moscow for incoming ICBM as a defensive system
vi. Other launchers and missiles designed against aircraft
vii. Radars found on the island
1. Unaware of their dependability
viii. Hundreds of missiles detected moved into cuba in September
1. Not all thermonuclear (Helms, 1993)
ix. Aug 22 CIA game infomratino concerning the number of Soviet and Chinese personael who had entered Cuba (Central Intelligence Agency, 1962)
x. 38 ships arrived since Aug 5
1. 5 were personnel
a. 4000 to 6000 Soviet personel (Central Intelligence Agency, 1962)
xi. President Kennedy asked for further information and analysis on situation from others before taking any further action
2. The Soviet Union-United States Military threats
i. Soviet Union had moved numerous amounts of long and short range missiles to Cuba
1. 22 IL-28 jet bombers
2. 29 MIG-21 jet fighters
3. 24 SA-2 sites
4. 3 cruise missile sites for coastal defense
5. 12 cruise missile patrol boats
ii. Purpose of Soviet military buildup was “to demonstrate that the world balance of forces has shifted so far in their favor that the US can no longer prevent the advance of Soviet offensive power into its own hemisphere (Centeral Intelligence Agency, 1962).”
iii. 16 MRBMs
1. Short range missiles reaching 1100 nm
2. Considered operational at time of notice
iv. 2 IRBMs
1. Long range missiles reaching nm
2. “Able to reach Washington DC and Mountain Home AFB, Idaho (Regis, 2010)”
v. U-2 spy plane shot down

Centeral Intelligence Agency. (1962, Ooctober 20). Major Consequences of Certain US Courses of Action on Cuba. Retrieved from The National Security Archive:
Central Intelligence Agency. (1962, October). Cuban Missile Crisis. Retrieved from CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis:
Helms, R. (1993, September 22). Intelligence in American Society. Retrieved from Central Intelligence Agency:
McNamara, R. S. (1962, October 21). Notes on Meeting with the President. Retrieved from Cuban Missile Crisis Key Documents:
Regis, M. D. (2010). Retired Air Force Speical Ops. (R. Regis, Interviewer)

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