President Kennedy in the Cold War

  • Created by: ullahm
  • Created on: 05-05-19 19:39

President Kennedy (1961-1963)


  • Containment - limiting the spread of communism through relations with countries surrounding the USSR and/or with countries against the USSR.

Bay of Pigs invasion, April 1961:

Kennedy followed through with the plans made under the Eisenhower administration. Led by the CIA, with help from the U.S. military, the plan was for an invasion of Cuba by a counter-revolutionary insurgency composed of U.S.-trained, anti-Castro Cuban exiles led by CIA paramilitary officers. The intention was to invade Cuba and instigate an uprising among the Cuban people, hoping to remove Castro from power. 
On April 17, 1961. Fifteen hundred U.S.-trained Cubans landed on the island. By April 19, 1961, the Cuban government had captured or killed the invading exiles, and Kennedy was forced to negotiate for the release of the 1,189 survivors. 20 months later, Cuba released the captured exiles in exchange for $53 million worth of food and medicine.
Kennedy's failure to think of military moves and repurcussions instead of political ones was a major reason for the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Operation Mongoose, November 1961:

Operation Mongoose was a secret program against Cuba aimed at removing the Communists from power and, like the Bay of Pigs invasion, was planned under the Eisenhower administration. The Special Group Augmented oversaw the programme at the White House, and Robert Kennedy played a very active role. Operation Mongoose consisted of a program of covert action, including sabotage, psychological warfare, intelligence collection, and the creation of an internal revolution against the communist government in order to facilitate the killing of Castro.
The placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba, discovered in the fall of 1962, caused a suspension of Mongoose activities, and efforts to deal with Cuba took a different turn.

Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962:

Oct 14, U2 spy plane took photographs of Soviet missiles under construction in Cuba. This alarmed the US due to its proximity to US mainland (just 90 miles south of Florida). This meant that the Soviets could command the detonation in Cuba from the safety of the USSR.
Khrushchev had gambled on sending the missiles to Cuba with the specific goal of increasing the USSR's nuclear strike capability. The Soviets had long felt uneasy about the number of nuclear weapons that were targeted at them from sites in Western Europe and Turkey, and they saw the deployment of missiles in Cuba as a way to level the playing field. Another key factor in the Soviet missile scheme was the hostile relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.
This move was much like America's own under Eisenhower: the placing of missiles in Italy and Turkey, 1958.
Kennedy sought the advice from The Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM) and following this advice anda majority-vote of the NSC, Kennedy decided to establish a quarantine on 22 October which he announced to Khrushchev and the public. This meant that the US Navy would stop and inspect all Soviet ships arriving off Cuba, beginning October 24.
The UN


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