Cold War : Thiniking the Unthinkable

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Cold War: Cuban Missile Crisis
Cold War Timeline
Nuclear War Branch
31 Jan 50
Truman announces US intent to develop hydrogen bomb
14 Apr 50
NSC-68: Blueprint for containment strategy
1 Nov 52
First thermonuclear device detonated, Enewetak Atoll,
Marshall Islands
4 Oct 57
USSR launches first artificial earth satellite, Sputnik
• Sparks space race  US effort in scientific research & education
Oct 62
Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
IRBM Deployments
Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
Range:3,000-5,500 km (1,865-3,420 miles)
1961
Causes of the Cuban Crisis
Soviet Union threaten by US strategic missiles in Europe
• Felt they were falling behind in arms race
Castro feared an invasion of Cuba by U.S.
• Approved deployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba as a safeguard
Cuban Crisis
To counter US deployment of missiles to Europe,
USSR began moving offensive arms to Cuba in
the summer and early fall of 1962
IL-28 Bombers
R-12 (SS-4) MRBM
Cuban Crisis
US stepped up aerial reconnaissance of Cuba
High Level
Low Level
USAF RF-101
U-2
USN F8U-1P
Cuban Crisis
October 16, 1962
Photo Reconnaissance reveals missile sites under construction
Cuban Crisis
Two MRBM sites under construction with SS-4 missiles arriving
IRBM site under construction but no SS-5 missiles introduced
Soviet Missiles
Soviet R-12 Dvina MRBM
NATO designation: SS-4 Sandal
Range: 2,000 km (1,250 nm)
Soviet Missiles
Soviet R-14 Usovaya IRBM
NATO designation: SS-5 Skean
Range: 4,500 km (2,600 nm)
Launch sites prepared but missiles not deployed to Cuba
Cuban Crisis
Areas threaten by missiles in Cuba
Cuban Crisis
IL-28 Beagle light bomber
Radius (estimated):
Low: 350 nm
High: 650 nm
Cuban Crisis
October 22, 1962
Full Text
Full Video
(18:42)
President Kennedy addresses nation, orders quarantine
( 3:09 )
( Excerpt )
Cuban Crisis
October 22, 1962
Secretary of Sate Dean Rusk
“… we are in as grave a crisis as mankind has been in.”
On briefing ambassadors to the US after President Kennedy’s speech.
DEFCON 2
DEFCON: Defense Condition
DEFCON 1: Maximum readiness; attack on US imminent or under way
DEFCON 2: Further increase in readiness to just below maximum
DEFCON 3: Increased force readiness
DEFCON 4: Normal readiness with increased intelligence & force security
DEFCON 5: Normal force readiness
DEFCON 2 declared October 22, 1962 for SAC
DEFCON 2
DEFCON: Defense Condition
No single DEFCON status for the country DEFCON
Determined by Unified Commands in coordination with JCS
US Unified Commands
18
DEFCON 2
DEFCON: Defense Condition
No single DEFCON status for the country DEFCON
Determined by Unified Commands in coordination with JCS
Example: 22 Oct 62:
U.S. Armed Forces ordered to DEFCON 3 except:
Strategic Air Command (SAC) went to DEFCON 2
US Air Forces Europe remained at DEFCON 4
SAC remained at DEFCON 2 until 15 Nov 62
Cuban Crisis
Options Available to U. S.
Airstrikes against missiles
Invasion of Cuba
Quarantine
Cuban Crisis
Proposed US Invasion of Cuba
Dino A. Brugioni
“The Invasion of Cuba”
Military History Quarterly, Winter 1992
Cuban Crisis
October 22, 1962
President Kennedy orders quarantine
Cuban Crisis
October 24, 1962: Quarantine in Effect
US Navy forces tracked and intercepted Soviet ships approaching quarantine line
Cuban Crisis
Quarantine
USS Vesole (DD-878) shadows Soviet freighter
Cuban Crisis
October 26, 1962: First ship stopped & boarded
USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (DD-850) stops
Soviet-chartered Lebanese freighter Marcula
Resolution
October 28, 1962
( 2:45 )
Resolution
October 28, 1962
After exchange of messages, Kennedy & Khrushchev
reached a confidential agreement:
• US will remove IRBMs from Turkey, Italy
• USSR will remove missiles from Cuba
• US pledged not to invade Cuba
• USSR agreed not to publicly reveal removal of IRBMs
Cuban Missile Crisis
How it Was Resolved
DEFCON 2
( 0:10 – 7:38 )
"The Circle of Modern War" and logo
© Thomas D. Pilsch 2007-2013
Kennedy on Secret Missiles
"Our own strategic missiles have never been transferred to the territory
of any other nation under a cloak of secrecy and deception; and our
history, unlike that of the Soviets since the end of World War II,
demonstrates that we have no desire to dominate or conquer any other
nation or impose our system upon its people.” `
Address on the Cuban Crisis, October 22, 1962
Full Text
Significance of Cuban Crisis
Kennedy gained prestige for having defused the crisis
but widen trans-Atlantic gulf for not consulting with
NATO allies
USSR lost some stature in Third World to China
Superpowers learned valuable crisis management lessons
 Bilateral communications critical => Hotline established
 Leave your opponent room to maneuver
Nuclear disarmament received increased emphasis
US Flexible Response doctrine validated
Ghosts of Crises Past
That Haunt U.S. Presidents Over Vietnam
The trilogy is complete:
Munich
Chinese Intervention in Korea
Cuban Missile Crisis
"We were eyeball to eyeball, and
the other fellow just blinked.”
Secretary of State Dean Rusk
McNamara On Crisis
Fog of War (excerpt)
 (5:04)
How Close We Came
U.S. destroyer was tracking a Soviet sub in quarantine area
Soviet sub had a nuclear-armed torpedo onboard
Destroyer dropped depth charges to drive sub to surface
Sub was ready to respond with nuclear torpedo
• Sub skipper & political officer both agreed (normal procedure)
• Flotilla commander (more senior) happened to be onboard; vetoed the idea
How Close We Came
U.S. destroyer was tracking a Soviet sub in quarantine area
Soviet sub had a nuclear-armed torpedo onboard
Destroyer dropped depth charges to drive sub to surface
Sub was ready to respond with nuclear torpedo
• Sub skipper & political officer both agreed (normal procedure)
• Flotilla commander (more senior) happened to be onboard; vetoed the idea
( 46:16 )
Nuclear Sharks: Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
Documentary
( 50:31 )
"The Circle of Modern War" and logo
© Thomas D. Pilsch 2007-2013
Next:
Vietnam: Into the Abyss
Lesson Objectives
• Understand the Vietnam War as part of the Cold War.
• Understand the doctrine of limited war and counterinsurgency as
espoused by the Kennedy Administration.
• Understand the timeline of events that led to U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia.
• Understand the U.S. rationale and strategy for the Vietnam War.
End
•
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