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By looking at the three perspectives of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it can be stated that the Cuban Missile Crisis was in fact an example of M.A.D.The reason for this is because a nuclear war was avoided due to both the Superpowers’ knowledge of the possible consequences that their actions could have had on the world. The term M.A.D. or Mutually Assured Destruction was established during the Cold War when both the USSR and the USA had access to nuclear weapons. Due to this destructive power, neither the USA nor the USSR could directly fight against each other, but instead they participated in proxy wars.
The Cuban Missile Crisis can be considered as an example of M.A.D. due to a series of negotiations made in 1962. The Cuban Missile Crisis is described as “the closest the world ever came to nuclear war.” American history portrays the Cuban Missile Crisis as “the clash of super powers and changing balance of power.” The balance of power was stationary at the time because the United States held a large amount of superiority with their 159 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and approximate 2,500 strategic bombers that were capable of attacking the Soviet Union. Whilst the Soviet Union only had 24 ICBMs. Both the USA and the USSR had an obligation to protect their allies, no matter their distance or their importance. Although Cuba became to the Soviet Union what West Berlin was to the United States: “a useless small piece of land, very deep in hostile territory,” Nikita Khrushchev felt obligated to protect it from another invasion sponsored by the United States. His solution was to send a diplomatic signal to the United States by putting “intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Cuba.” At this time, both super powers had nuclear weapons near their enemy’s territory—the United States had nuclear weapons in Turkey and the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons in Cuba. Tension grew between the Superpowers when the United States’ president, John F. Kennedy, became aware of the installations being made in Cuba on October 16th 1962 because of “reconnaissance photographs.” Negotiations were made by both of the super powers until it was decided that Khrushchev would dismantle the missiles and return them back to the Soviet Union if the United States would not invade Cuba and remove their missiles from Turkey. The reason these negotiations were made was because both the USA and the USSR was aware of how quickly the crisis could have turned into a nuclear war. It is because of these negotiations that the Cuban Missile Crisis was an example of M.A.D.
America’s president at the time, President Kennedy, had constantly talked and knew that they had more missiles than the Soviet Union, but for strategic purposes, he continued saying that there was a missile gap. After the 1960s election, Khrushchev began to test the new president. When the wall was built in Berlin in 1961, the government decided to reveal to Khrushchev that there was no missile gap, and that the U.S did have more missiles than the USSR. At this time, the Americans and the Soviet Union were aware of the non-existent missile gap.Because of this, we can say that M.A.D could end up being compromised because the Soviet Union knew that The United States had more missiles, and it created tension between the two countries. It is because of this that the Cuban Missile Crisis was an example of M.A.D.
It can be said that the Cuban Missile Crisis was in fact an example of M.A.D. In January 1959, a socialist revolution took place in Cuba which overthrew Colonel Fulgencio Batista and Fidel Castro seized power. Despite the government being corrupt and a military dictatorship during Colonel Batista’s reign, the Americans had several businesses in Cuba. When Castro seized power, one of the first things he did was nationalized all the American businesses in Cuba. The US blockaded all aid to Cuba and all imports of their sugar in response to this act. This was devastating to Cuba’s economy as sugar was their number one export at the time. Castro was then left with no other choice but to seek assistance from the USSR and in 1960, the Soviet Union signed an agreement that involved them buying 1 million tones of Cuban sugar per annum. It was then that Cuba became a communist country. In alarm, the CIA funded, trained and transported approximately 1,300 Cubans who had been banned from Cuba to invade their home in April 1961. The invasion failed once these exhiles had arrived at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Castro. In September 1961, Castro asked Russia for help against America, and Russia promised to provide them with weapons. The Americans had discovered that the USSR were installing nuclear on Cuba not long after, and it was here that the Crisis began.
By looking at the three perspectives, we can tell that the Cuban Missile Crisis was an example of mutually assured destruction (MAD). This is known due to the prevension of a nuclear war. A possible nuclear war was only avoided because both sides (the US and the USSR) were aware of the damage that the use of nuclear weapons would have had on not only their territory and people, but also the entire world and the human population.
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