Evaluate President Kennedy’s Handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis
In 1962 the humankind faced the biggest threat to destroy itself. In 1962 October the Cuban Missile crisis broke out and for thirteen days held the world as its hostage. The Crisis broke out when Khrushchev brought his missiles in Cuba to help Cuba protect themselves from possible attack and invasion from United States of America.
Since Cuba is a neighbour to United States this action threatened to USA only by its existence. For America the main goal was to persuade Khrushchev to take back the missiles.
Achieving this goal the most important persona was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, whose successes and failures were crucial in the progress of Cuban Missile Crisis. Firstly, one of the failures of President Kennedy is that he underestimated Cuba and its relationships with Soviet Union. Only when the Missiles were placed in Cuba America’s spies noticed that they do exist. America and its leaders nor did expect that Soviet Union could place Missiles in Cuba, nor payed much attention what is happening so close to them.
Somehow Americans missed intense ship routs between Soviet Union and Cuba and did not thought that they can hide loads dangerous to whole human kind. The second failure of F. Kennedy was that he provoked the crisis to break out. He was the first one who placed missiles in Turkey near the territory of Soviet Union and by this action threatened to the country. When the Missile Crisis broke out F. Kennedy did not even remembered that America has its powerful weapons near the territory of Soviet Union.
Also, Americans were the ones who wanted Fidel Castro and communism elimination from Cuba and by this wish they encouraged Soviet Union to take action. Soviet Union held itself as a country responsible for the spread of communism and America only proved that communism needs to be defended. So for Soviet Union it was a moral and legal justification by placing missiles in Cuba because of America’s president’s actions earlier. Secondly, the success of F. Kennedy is that he managed to convince the rest of the world that the placement of the missiles so close to the USA’s territory is a unjust action toward America.
Having in mind that Americans were the first ones who places such powerful weapons near the Soviet territory this task should have been very difficult. The main argument for F. Kennedy was that he did not hide himself and his action when he placed his missiles in Turkey and the SU did hide its actions. F. Kennedy with this argument managed persuade the rest of the world that Soviet Union are the first one who started threaten for USA and not contrary. Also, F. Kennedy’s success was that he did not publicly enjoy and proclaim his nuclear power in the world arena.
The fact that he did forget the fact that America has its missiles in Turkey proves the fact that he did not hide anything, but also did not remind to everyone about his countries power. This feature was very useful during the missile crisis, since it helped to save America’s as innocent victim image. The President even managed to justify its missiles in Turkey by saying that the NATO was responsible for the place of missiles and only USA provided it with them. Moreover, the President succeeded in not only saving America’s image, but also his own.
In the time of crisis during the meeting of his principal advisory group he taped the meeting. In the tape he postured himself as a leader, whose only goal is peace and good relationships with Cuba. Furthermore, F. Kennedy’s other success was his determination peacefully solve this dispute. He was gave orders to his subordinates to remove the missiles from Turkey even though it could not be seen done so in exchange for Soviet Union’s removal of its missiles from Cuba. In addition to that, F. Kennedy succeeded in controlling the situation. He gave explicate orders not to fire the missiles in Turkey without his direct orders.
In this way he prevented the misunderstandment between officers and made sure that only if Soviet Union attack for sure, USA will respond. F. Kennedy wanted himself determine whether America’s nuclear weapons will be used or not. Also, F. Kennedy understood as clearly as no one else how dangerous and destroying the nuclear war can be. He also understood that this missile crisis was a step, that could lead to the break out of World War 3 and possibly a nuclear war. Because of this knowledge F. Kennedy pushed for compromise much more stronger that anyone in his administration did.
The last Kennedy’s success in handling Cuban Missile Crisis was that after the removal of Soviet Union’s missiles from Cuba America’s leader did not boost himself nor humiliate Soviet Union in achieving its goal. With this way he extinguished the dispute for many years. To conclude, we can state that Kennedy during Cuban Missile Crisis made his mistakes, but the good decisions overbalanced the bad ones. President Kennedy with his wish of peace managed to handle the Crisis, his owns and Americans emotions. This Crisis could have lead to the end of the world, but because of Kennedy’s and Khrushchev’s actions it did not.