TITLE: The Cuban Missile Crisis THESIS STATEMENT: The Cuban missile crisis almost brought the United States into another ground war and nearly into a nuclear war between the United States and the U. S. S. R . INTRODUCTION: In 1962 the Soviet Union was lagging behind the United States in the arms race. Soviet missiles were only powerful enough to be launched against Europe, but the U. S. missiles were capable of striking the entire Soviet Union. In May 1962 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceived the idea of placing intermediate-range missiles in Cuba.
A deployment in Cuba would double the Soviet strategic arsenal and provide a real deterrent to a potential U. S. attack against the Soviet Union. Fidel Castro was looking for a way to defend his island nation from an attack by the U. S. ever since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Castro felt a second attack was inevitable and was looking for any edge that he could find against the U. S. Castro approved of Khrushchev’s plan to place missiles in Cuba and in the summer of 1962 the Soviet Union worked quickly and secretly with the Cubans to build its missile installations in Cuba. BODY:
How was the Bay of Pigs invasion linked to the Cuban missile crisis? Why did Castro want the USSR to build a nuclear missile base? What was Kennedy’s reaction to the U-2 surveillance of Cuba? How did Kennedy stop the USSR from building and completing the missile base in Cuba? What was the overall price the United States had to pay because of its actions? CONCLUSION: Nine months after the Cuban missile crisis ended, Kennedy and Khrushchev signed an agreement to ban nuclear testing in the atmosphere. This marked the beginning of what seemed to be a new willingness to cooperate and communicate.
However, on November 22nd, 1963 President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Eleven months later Premier Khrushchev was removed from office by communist hard liners. You can’t help but wonder what would have happened if these two men had stayed in power. Perhaps the same two people who had brought us so close to nuclear war, now changed by that experience, could have brought us far from it. REFERENCES: Blight, J. and Welch, D.. On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Noonday Press, 1990.
The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations volume II: The American Search for Opportunity, 1865-1913. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Jones, Howard. , Crucible of Power: A History of U. S. Foreign Relations Since 1897. Oxford: SR Books, 2001. Kennedy, Robert F. , Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: 1969. “Big Stick Diplomacy. ” Novelguide. 20 Mar. 2010. . “ Cold War. ” The Corner H W Room. 10 Dec. 2009. ; http://www. thecorner. org. /hist/ Europe/ Cold War. html;. “The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. ” Johndclare. 09 April 2010.