The Cuban Missile Crisis
- October 20, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The Cuban Missile Crisis
Subject :International Relations
- Recently, US President Joe Biden said that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s veiled threat of using tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine marked the first prospect of nuclear “armageddon” since the Cuban missile crisis. .
What was the Cuban Missile Crisis:
- The Cuban Missile Crisis was the13 day long confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.
- It escalated into an international crisis when American deployments of missiles in Italy and Turkey were matched by Soviet deployments of similar ballistic missiles in Cuba.
What was the precursor of the Cuban missile crisis:
- The failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, in which US-backed Cuban counter-revolutionaries attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in the country to establish a non-communist government friendly to the US.
- After the failed invasion Castro turned increasingly towards the USSR and its premier Khrushchev, to deter any future invasion by the US.
- An agreement was made between the two, and by July 1962, a number of clandestine missile launch facilities began to be constructed in Cuba.
- From the late 1950s, Washington started placing nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy,which had the capability of destroying strategic centres within the USSR in response to that USSR placed its nuclear arsenal in Cuba.
How Cuban Missile crisis was averted:
- The first sign of de-escalation came on October 26, when Khrushchev sent Kennedy a letter, stating that he would be willing to stop military shipments and withdraw his forces from Cuba if the US agreed to not invade or support any invasion of its neighbour.
- There were a few instances on October 27 that could have escalated the standoff into outright war.
- The first was when the US U-2 aircraft was shot down over Cuba, and the government chose to not order retaliatory strikes. A separate U-2 spy had also made unauthorized entry into the Soviet Union.
- On the same day, the US Navy dropped a series of non-lethal depth charges on a Soviet submarine armed with a nuclear torpedo. Those in the submarine, unaware that they were practice charges, initially assumed the vessel was under attack.
- Since the launch of the nuclear weapon required the consent of all three senior officers on board, Among them, VasiliAlexandrovich Arkhipov, the chief of staff, was the only one to refuse permission and avert nuclear warfare.
- On October 28, Khrushchev announced that Soviet nuclear missile sites would be removed from Cuba, while Kennedy pledged to never invade Cuba and secretly agreed to remove nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy and the crisis was averted.
What happened after the Crisis:
- The two superpowers created the Moscow-Washington hotline, so that their leaders could have a direct communication link and prevent such tensions.
In August 1963, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain signed a treaty banning atmospheric and underwater nuclear testing.