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Cuban Missile Crisis

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Essay title: Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis Gooney was a tense confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States over the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. The crisis began on October 14, 1962 and lasted for 38 days until November 20, 1962. It is regarded as the moment when the Cold War was closest to becoming nuclear war, and which could have turned to world war three.

Prelude

American missile sites in Turkey

The U.S. had begun to deploy fifteen Jupiter IRBM (intermediate-range ballistic missiles) nuclear missiles near Izmir, Turkey, which directly threatened cities in the western sections of the Soviet Union. The Jupiter missiles were regarded by President Kennedy as being of questionable strategic value, as the nuclear submarine was capable of providing the same cover with superior firepower. On taking office in 1961, Kennedy ordered that the Jupiter missiles be removed.

Soviet technology was well developed in the field of medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), as opposed to ICBMs. The Soviets did not believe they could achieve parity in ICBMs before 1970, but saw that a certain kind of equality could be quickly reached by placing missiles in Cuba. Soviet MRBMs on Cuba, with a range of 2,000 km (1,200 statute miles), could threaten Washington, DC and around half of the U.S. SAC bases (of nuclear-armed bombers) with a flight time of under twenty minutes. In addition, the U.S. radar warning system was oriented towards the USSR and would provide little warning of a launch from Cuba.

Khrushchev had devised the plan in May of 1962, and by late July over sixty Soviet ships were en-route to Cuba, with some of them carrying military material. John McCone, director of the CIA, warned President Kennedy that some

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