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The Cold war and the Cuban missile crisis

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  1. The Cold War.
    1. The characteristics of the Cold War.
    2. Understanding the Cold War.
    3. The weapons race as a dynamic race in the Cold War.
    4. Decolonisation during the Cold War.
  2. The Cuban missiles crisis.
    1. Unleashing of the CIA operation.
    2. Coming of John F. Kennedy to power.
    3. These important considerations during the crisis.
    4. Reasons why Americans could not stay for 3 basic reasons.
    5. Khrushchev's initial response.
    6. USA's hostility and reasons for hostility.
  3. Conclusion.
  4. Indicative bibliography.

Understanding the Cold War, it is central to understand the history of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Between 1945 and 1991, there were lots of casualties in more than 100 wars that took place in the 3rd World in that period. Moreover, most of the crisis that threatened to escalate into a nuclear war occurred in the 3rd World. Far reaching and long lasting, the Cold War gave rise to a multitude of often conflicting interpretations, regarding responsibilities for its outbreak, its persistence and its final demise. Almost all of these interpretations were shaped by the on-going Cold War and many were profoundly political; the positions they argued were part of contemporary political as well as scholarly debates. The end of the Cold War and the limited opening archives in the former Soviet Union and its allies had not ended these debates. However, it is now possible to ask new questions about responsibilities in controversies about the persistence of the Cold War. David Painter focuses on the interactions on international systemic factors and national policies and politics, taking into account all events all over the world.

[...] The context of the crisis not only demonstrates how intermingled US domestic and Cold War issues had become. It also explained much about how events unfolded. John F. Kennedy had come to power with a flamboyant commitment to get America moving again, to retake initiative in the Cold War, and pay any price and bear any burden for the sake of liberty. The world proved to be more intractable than his optimistic rhetoric suggested. John F. Kennedy was aware that he was the 1st democrat president since Truman, and also that Truman had left office under much criticism for his weakness on communism, about failing to put an end to the Korean war, and losing China to communism. [...]


[...] In the event of the quarantine not working and the situation deteriorating, Cordier should stand by approaching secretary general Utant to ask him an independent third party to propose a trade for the Turkish to the Cuban missiles. This path or military action? In October 1968, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange of the US guarantee on Cuban sovereignty. Many people came to see it as a model for successful crisis management. But not everything was under control as people might have wished. [...]


[...] The Cold War has been analysed as a product of the great powers' histories, and the structure and dynamics of international relations. The Soviet Union remained as an incomplete superpower. The imbalance emerged even more starkly when the strength of the western alliance is measured against that of the Soviet Bloc. The Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies possessed numerical superiority in ground forces along the central front in the heart of Europe. In the 1970's, the Soviet Union also reached rough parity with the USA in terms of nuclear weapons. [...]

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