BBC - History - World Wars: John F Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
RealClearSports - John F. Kennedy - Nikita Khrushchev. In the year that followed, relations between the US and the USSR became more. Nina Khrushcheva, the granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, joined HuffPost Live on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to dispel myths about the Kennedy-Khrushchev relationship. Addressing the idea that Khrushchev was. As the Cuban missile crisis unfolded in October , President John F Kennedy found himself wondering why Nikita Khrushchev would.
While the crisis is historically the "Cuban" crisis, Cuba was perhaps a subsidiary consideration for Khrushchev, as Castro later noted — ruefully — in conversation with Soviet emissary Anastas Mikoyan: Shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba in secret was, in fact, Khrushchev's dangerous quick fix — militarily and psychological — for a substantial strategic imbalance between the superpowers.
Of course, the defence of Cuba by deterrence remained a part of the equation. Too often forgotten is that Kennedy, using mercenaries, had tried, and failedto remove Castro at the Bay of Pigs in April The US had then continued a vicious and extensive campaign of overt and covert aggression against Cuba, encompassing harassment, sabotage, economic and political warfare, plans to destroy the sugar crop and to assassinate Castro.
Kennedy — and, possibly even more, his brother Robert — wanted to see Castro finished. The secrecy essential to Khrushchev's plan was breached when a U-2 overflight of Cuba spotted the missiles on 14 October.
Kennedy had the aerial photographs on his desk on 16 October, initiating "13 days" of an "eyeball to eyeball" crisis, which ended on 28 October. In fact, the crisis was shorter and arguably less dangerous than often portrayed.
Kennedy instituted a naval blockade of Cuba on 24 October, but Soviet ships were instructed not to breach it. And Soviet records show that on 25 October, the leadership was already considering dismantling the missiles in return for "pledges not to touch Cuba".
- John F Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
- Cuban missile crisis: Nikita Khrushchev's Cuban gamble misfired
C Douglas Dillon, who had held high posts under Eisenhower and who gave Kennedy a link to the Republican leadership; Dean Acheson and Robert Lovett, who had served under President Harry Truman and could help Kennedy see the current crisis in longer historical perspective; and a former ambassador to the Soviet Union, Llewellyn Tommy Thompson, probably the person in the President's circle who was best acquainted with Khrushchev.
We know today exactly what was said in the meetings of the ExComm, because Kennedy had a tape recorder installed in an unused part of the White House basement We know today exactly what was said in the meetings of the ExComm, because Kennedy had a tape recorder installed in an unused part of the White House basement, with wires running to concealed microphones in the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. He had told no one about this other than his private secretary, the two guards who maintained the machines, and perhaps his brother, Robert.
Since he kept it on through almost all ExComm meetings, anyone today can listen in on the proceedings. Top Quarantine In the first day's debates, everyone favoured bombing Cuba.
The only differences concerned the scale of attack. Kennedy, Bundy, and some others spoke of a 'surgical strike' solely against the missile sites.
JFK-Nikita Khrushchev Relationship Explained By Khrushchev's Granddaughter
Others joined the chiefs of staff in insisting that an attack should also take out air defence sites and bombers, so as to limit losses of US aircraft and prevent an immediate air reprisal against US bases in Florida.
The under secretary of state, George Ball, had commented that a US surprise attack on Cuba would be ' It's the kind of conduct that one might expect of the Soviet Union. It is not conduct that one expects of the United States. To meet this concern and to obtain time for gaining support from other nations, there developed the idea of the President's publicly announcing the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, ordering a blockade to prevent the introduction of further missiles, and demanding that the Soviets withdraw the missiles already there.
Both for legal reasons and for resonance with Franklin Roosevelt's 'Quarantine Address' ofthe term 'quarantine' was substituted for 'blockade'. To those of Kennedy's advisers who still favoured quick use of military force the 'hawks' in later classificationthis quarantine constituted an ultimatum.
If Khrushchev did not capitulate within a day or two, a US air attack on Cuba would follow, followed before long by an invasion. For those in the ExComm who would later be classed as 'doves,' the quarantine bought time for possibly developing some diplomatic solution. Geography doesn't mean that much', he said. But Kennedy explained over and over to members of the ExComm and others why, since he had issued the warning and Khrushchev had chosen to challenge him, the crisis involved much more than just a personal affront.
The reason was that, for Kennedy, the crisis was not centrally about missiles in Cuba; it was about Berlin. The Soviets had tried to take over West Berlin in Their blockade had been frustrated by an Anglo-American airlift and by the astonishing resolution of the West Berliners, but in Khrushchev had once more revived the threat, and he continued to do so.
Inhe and the East Germans built a wall around West Berlin as a stopgap measure to halt the exodus of East Germans from Soviet-controlled areas. Earlier in he had told Kennedy that he intended to act on West Berlin as soon as the US congressional elections were over.
Kennedy interpreted the installation of missiles in Cuba as a move preparatory to a showdown on Berlin. Counselled by Thompson, Kennedy interpreted the installation of missiles in Cuba as a move preparatory to a showdown on Berlin. For him, such a showdown would create a horrible dilemma.
JFK-Nikita Khrushchev Relationship Explained By Khrushchev's Granddaughter | HuffPost
The United States had promised to protect the million and a half West Berliners from Soviet take-over, but had no means whatever for physically preventing the thousands of East German and Soviet troops that surrounded Berlin from taking control of the city if they chose to do so. The only protection for West Berlin was the US threat to respond to an attack by using nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union.
If Kennedy demanded uncompromisingly that the Soviets remove their nuclear weapons from Cuba, Khrushchev would have to decide whether to comply or to take the risk of actual war, which might become a nuclear war.
The onus would be on him. If Kennedy showed weakness in face of Khrushchev's challenge, the effect might be to embolden Khrushchev to ignore American warnings about Berlin. It would then be Kennedy, not Khrushchev, who would bear the onus.
In the next few days, one harrowing moment followed another. Kennedy and his advisers mulled over the question of how actually to stop a Soviet ship that crossed the quarantine line. Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara described the Navy's plan for dealing with a Soviet submarine that was escorting a merchantman.
A destroyer would use small depth charges to signal that the submarine should surface.Historia del siglo XX - 12 Kennedy y Khrushchev
McNamara acknowledged that the submarine commander might think he was being attacked rather than being sent a signal and might fire at the destroyer. Kennedy said, 'I think we ought to wait on that today. We don't want to have the first thing we attack as a Soviet submarine. I'd much rather have a merchant ship. When McNamara protested, Kennedy gave way, but, as his brother Robert recalled later: His eyes were tense, almost grey, and we just stared at each other across the table.
Meanwhile, Kennedy and his advisers faced the question of how to keep track of continuing missile construction in Cuba. At the urging of McNamara and the chiefs of staff, Kennedy authorised low-level daytime surveillance flights in addition to continuing U-2 flights. He also agreed provisionally to night-time coverage involving the use of flares. Vice-President Lyndon Johnson worried aloud about these.