HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » 50 years after Cuban miss...

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:32 AM

50 years after Cuban missile crisis: closer than you thought to World War III

“My fellow Americans, with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfillment of my oath of office, I have ordered – and the United States Air Force has now carried out – military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba.”

These are the words President Kennedy almost delivered in October 1962 announcing what could have been World War III. This draft speech is among several thousand drafts, letters, and handwritten notes from Robert F. Kennedy’s personal files that have just last week been opened at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Robert Kennedy’s writings make vivid how close we came to the brink of war. Had President Kennedy been forced to choose a response in the first 48 hours after an American spy plane discovered the Soviets sneaking nuclear-tipped missiles into Cuba, RFK had no doubt that his brother would have chosen an air strike against the missile sites, followed by an invasion. As he wrote in his notes while discussing this option, “if we go in, we go in hard.”

Had the United States launched an airstrike and invaded Cuba, the Soviet commander on the scene would almost certainly have responded with about 100 tactical nuclear weapons under his control – tactical nuclear weapons JFK did not even know were on the island. The US would have felt compelled to respond in kind triggering an escalation to nuclear Armageddon. As RFK later recalled, the Executive Committee of the National Security Council advising JFK during the crisis was full of “bright, able dedicated people, all of whom had the greatest affection for the US, if six of them had been President...the world might have been blown up”.

More at: http://news.yahoo.com/50-years-cuban-missile-crisis-closer-thought-world-153411641--politics.html

Know your history. These events and the actions surrounding them are no less relevant today.

8 replies, 1373 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply 50 years after Cuban missile crisis: closer than you thought to World War III (Original post)
Zorro Oct 2012 OP
flamingdem Oct 2012 #1
Zorro Oct 2012 #4
flamingdem Oct 2012 #6
Warpy Oct 2012 #2
unc70 Oct 2012 #3
Ash_F Oct 2012 #5
dipsydoodle Oct 2012 #7
dipsydoodle Oct 2012 #8

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:42 AM

1. Where is your Fidel was a Nazi lover article?

Or did I miss it..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 01:38 AM

4. The article describes a serious and sobering event in world history that has relevance today

It wasn't a call for a demonstration of flamingdim wit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 02:12 AM

6. The joke is in the typical behavior of the anti-Cuba posters on DU nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:53 AM

2. Oh, we knew at the time.

What I remember is the dead silence, no kids talking in the halls in my HS, no one talking in the stores after HS, nobody honking horns or yelling in traffic, just silence.

The next time I heard that silence was on the afternoon of 9/11.

So yeah, we knew. Everybody knew.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 01:14 AM

3. We knew at the time, even as a HS kid

I grew up in NC near several large military bases. That was when I really thought they might screw up and kill most of us. Visions of "On the Beach" and such.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 01:55 AM

5. Nuclear disarmament is the only way to go. /nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 06:25 AM

7. He did however miss quite a few.

Cuban missile crisis: The other, secret one.

Contrary to popular belief, the Cuban missile crisis did not end with the agreement between the US and Soviet Union in October, 1962. Unknown to the US at the time, there were 100 other nuclear weapons also in the hands of Cuba, sparking a frantic - and ingenious - Russian mission to recover them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19930260

He also kept quiet on the subject of agreement with Russia to completely remove the US missile site in Turkey.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 08:46 AM

8. Cuban missile crisis: how the US played Russian roulette with nuclear war

There are several candidates for "the most dangerous moment". One is 27 October, when US destroyers enforcing the quarantine around Cuba were dropping depth-charges on Soviet submarines. According to Soviet accounts, reported by the National Security Archive, submarine commanders were "rattled enough to talk about firing nuclear torpedoes, whose 15 kiloton explosive yields approximated the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in August 1945".

In one case, a reported decision to assemble a nuclear torpedo for battle readiness was aborted at the last minute by Second Captain Vasili Archipov, who may have saved the world from nuclear disaster. There is little doubt what the US reaction would have been had the torpedo been fired, or how the Russians would have responded as their country was going up in smoke. Kennedy had already declared the highest nuclear alert short of launch (Defcon 2), which authorized "Nato aircraft with Turkish pilots ... ... to take off, fly to Moscow, and drop a bomb", according to Harvard University strategic analyst Graham Allison, in Foreign Affairs.

Another candidate is the previous day, 26 October. That day is selected as "the most dangerous moment" by a B-52 pilot, Major Don Clawson, who piloted one of those Nato aircrafts and provides a hair-raising description of details of the Chrome Dome (CD) missions during the crisis, "B-52s on airborne alert" with nuclear weapons "on board and ready to use". 26 October was the day when "the nation was closest to nuclear war," Clawson writes in his "irreverent anecdotes of an Air Force pilot", Is That Something the Crew Should Know? On that day, Clawson himself was in a good position to set off a likely terminal cataclysm. He concludes that:

"We were damned lucky we didn't blow up the world – and no thanks to the political or military leadership of this country."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/15/cuban-missile-crisis-russian-roulette

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread