The Cuban Missile Crisis was also called the Caribbean Crisis by the Russians and October Crisis by the Cubans. This was a military confrontation between the Cuba, Soviet Union and the United States of America during the period of Cold War. This was the period in 1962 when John F. Kennedy was the president of America and General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev was of Russian while Fidel Castro was the leader of Cuba. (Sheldon, 2005) America CIA trained Cuban exiles who were against Castro ideologies. These trained Cubans were then taken to Cuba and landed at the Bay of Pigs.
The Cuban military was stronger than this invasion and they defeated them. After this the Cuban authority declared the country as a socialist republic and with the help of Soviet Union they began to modernize Cuba’s military. Since there was enemity between the Soviet Union and the United States, Kennedy was happy with this. He started covert operations which were known to have the Operation Mongoose against Cuban but were not successful. Early 1962, United States started economic embargo against Cuba; not supplying oil to Cuban and Not purchasing sugar from Cuba.
In mid 1962 , military action was decided and Kennedy was presented with a pre-invasion bombing. Spy planes from United States were also common in the Cuba air and military harassment from Guantanamo Naval Base. (Ronald, 1982) In this period United States had a large amount of nuclear weapons compared to Soviet Union. This lead to the Russians developing missiles while U. S. shifted from aeroplanes to missiles. If Cuba was to have nuclear missiles then it was a danger to the U. S. This lead to the United States transferring some Jupiter IRBMs to Izmir in Turkey which was 16 minutes away from USSR.
These missiles were pointed at USSR’s cities leading to Khrushchev Cuban missile deployment. This deployment included surface to air missiles, surface to surface cruise missile and nuclear missiles but this was under Soviet control. When CIA was suspicious, the United States administration and U. S intelligence thought that its was spurious. Kennedy’s administration decided to attack Cuba. They thought of many alternatives and they decided that naval blockade was the best option. About 180 U. S. Navy ship were prepared for the blockade.
This didn’t go well with Khrushchev which he said was illegal and he ordered his ships to by- pass the quarantine. Within this period 19 ships from Soviet Union was headed to Cuba, after the quarantine took effect 16 of these ships reversed its course while two; Gagarin and Komiles were escorted by submarine positioned between the two ships. The other, Bucharest, continued towards the U. S. lines. Prepositions were made for the withdrawal from Turkey by George Ball to the U. S. Ambassadors in Turkey and NATO.
The Bucharest tanker didn’t have any military weapons and it was allowed to pass. During this period the U. S realized that activities were still going on in the Cuban bases making the U. S. administration to load nuclear weapons onto aircraft. Castro wanted to attack U. S. and ordered the anti-aircraft weapons in Cuba to fire on any U. S. aircraft. After this the U. S. asked the Soviets to stop any developments at site for negotiations. This was after one U. S. plane was shot down. A compromise was reached and the war was prevented.
Failures of Intelligence in Cuba Missile crisis We see the failure of the intelligence when McCone had earlier said that there was development of military actions in Cuba but then his top analyst did not agree or believe. He also said that the surface to air missile were to discourage the U. S. flying the U-2s over Cuba. This also did not compel the analyst to think otherwise even after the flooded information from refugee and agent reports which the CIA viewed with skepticism. This was due to the belief that all the surface to air missiles were for defensive purposes.
The delay between the CIA and air force on who was to fly over western Cuba was also perceived as CIA’s poor corporation. Also we see that President Kennedy was not happy because it took a lot of time to detect the Soviet plan. There was also the presence of frequent Russian Cuban flights and many ships. This shows that the Americans were not doubtful on the plans of the Soviets. They didn’t believe after they were told by McCone bout the idea that there was something that was fishy, here the intelligence agency used theories instead of the actual collection of data and scrutinizing them.