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The Cuban Missile Crisis and Implications

The Cuban Missile Crisis
Written by CSS Planet

  • How Missile Installation was discovered:
  • It was the era of cold war (1947 to 1991). The world was confronting the major political and economic clashes between the Western and Eastern blocs and Cuban missile crisis. During that period, in 1962 world faced a 13-day political and military standoff between the US and Soviet Union.

    On October 14, the American U-2 spy plane photographed Soviet SS-4 medium-range ballistic missile installation process from Cuba. It was being installed by the Soviets in Cuba.

    The American president John F. Kennedy was briefed about it and became concerned about the missile installation that was just a 90 mile away from the US shores. They perceived it as a “National Security” issue. Many historians believe, it could have possibly led to the “First Nuclear war”.

    The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 also came into play during the crisis. As per the doctrine, no Western power could invade or colonize the America and Latin America anymore. Therefore, the US considered the missile installation as a violation of the doctrine as well.  

    Courtesy: BBC
    • The significant Players:

    The significant players during the standoff were Fidel Castro, the Leftist revolutionary leader of Caribbean Island Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev of USSR and John F. Kennedy, the President of the US.

    • Implications of the crisis:

    The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 had numerous implications for the countries in particular and the word in general.

    Firstly, the world came on the brink of “First Nuclear war”. Due the missile installation by the USSR, the US was faced with the position of making some strategic decisions. It also added fuel to the fire and aggravated the already simmering Cold war.

    Secondly, the millions of dollars were spent on the arms race which led to economic implications on the lives of common people. Such as, the Cuba became more dependent economically on the Soviet’s aid.

    Thirdly, the political situation of the countries became more chaotic. As the US was working like a Trojan to advocate and promote its political ideology of “Capitalism”. On the other hand, the USSR was advocating “Communism” as its own version of political perspective. Also, Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba aligned his national values with the Communist ideology of the USSR.

    Fourthly, the social implications cannot be ignored. Some people of America feared of a nuclear war after the ongoing situations. Hence, they hoarded food and gas.

    • The US was faced with the challenge and came up with a variety of options:

    The US and his advisors were convinced that missile installations in Cuba were unacceptable. Therefore, they came up with a variety of options because they wanted to avoid a nuclear war as per the experts. The options were:

    • Bombing attack on Missile sites
    • Invasion of Cuba
    • Blockade of Cuba not allowing the USSR ships to enter Cuba
    • Negotiations
    • Get the UN involved
    • A deal ends the 13-day political and military standoff:

    The military and political standoff between the US and the USSR continued from 15 October to 28 October, 1962. President Kennedy weighed upon the options and decided to negotiate with the USSR leader, Nikita Khrushchev. He opted for a measured approach. Consequently, the USSR agreed on a deal to de-install the missiles from Cuba and the US from Turkey. The USSR also demanded the US not to invade Cuba.

    • Consequences of the Crisis and the deal:

    Firstly, a direct communication via phone was initiated between White House and Kremlin. It was called a “Hot line”.

    Secondly, It had long term impacts as well. For instance, in 1963, both made a “Test Ban Deal” and in 1969 they agreed to control arms race through an agreement called “Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty”. The former agreement was aimed at ending the nuclear weapons testing and the latter was pursued to promote the idea of “Peaceful co-existence”.

    Thirdly, the Cuban Missile crisis did pave the way for the period of “Détente”. During this period, the tensions were reduced between both the nations and led to nuclear disarmament and bilateral trade.

    Fourthly, in the late 1960s, the agreement of “Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT)” was reached to not manufacture any more “Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)”.

    • Conclusion:

    Both the superpowers entered a deal and ended the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, the Cold war and Nuclear arms race was far from over. In fact, the legacy of crisis led the countries to spend more on arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Despite the fact of arms threat, both the countries had shown restraint and a measured approach.

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    About the author

    CSS Planet

    This is Ruby Nawaz! The founder of CSSPlanet.pk, PUGC Alumna, a Business Post-Grad, Tutor, Book Enthusiast, and Content Writer/Blogger. She has written various articles for a Business-motivation website InspoHigh. She is aspiring to make difference in lives of CSS/PMS aspirants in her humble capacity by explaining tricky concepts, providing exam cracking tips and serving them with quality content.

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