The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Struggle over Policy

The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Struggle over Policy

The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Struggle over Policy

The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Struggle over Policy

Synopsis

This book tells the story of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the struggle that President Kennedy and his advisers (including the author, who was head of intelligence at the State Department) went through to try to understand why the Soviet Union had put nuclear missiles in Cuba, the alternative policies they debated to deal with the presence of the missiles, the aftermath of the crisis, and the lessons learned about defense and foreign policy in an age dominated by intercontinental missiles tipped with nuclear warheads capable of obliterating the northern hemisphere. The purpose of the book is to focus the world's attention on the fact that something must be done--and soon--if we are to avoid Armageddon.

Excerpt

During the Cuban missile crisis, I participated in the deliberations of the United States Intelligence Board and in a number of those in the White House. I also had several sessions during the crisis with President Kennedy alone or in a small group. In my To Move a Nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John F. Kennedy, I wrote four chapters on the Cuban missile crisis, and a number of other authors have also written on the crisis. However, in the last few years new information has become available in bits and pieces that adds considerably to our understanding of what was happening on the Soviet side. In addition, since over 30 years have passed, I am now free to include some material on what was happening on the American side that I was not at liberty to write about before.

Some books have attempted to cover all aspects of the crisis -- troop movements, details of the blockade, and all the rest. This book concentrates on the way that President Kennedy, his advisers, and the top officials in the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA went about making the decisions about how to deal with the prob-

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