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The Cuban Missile Crisis Conflict between the US and Russia What happened who caused it and how it could have been avoided The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war The United States armed forces were at their highest state of readiness and Soviet forces in Cuba were prepared to use nuclear weapons deployed on Cuban beaches to defend the island if it was invaded However histories opinion of the conflict is more that of praise and commendation because of the bravery of two men President John F Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev However this extreme 14 day tension mounting conflict was really a contest of two mens egos For example during President Kennedys presidential campaign he had repeatedly spoken of a missile gap between the US and Soviet Union meaning that neither nation had the capabilities of striking each other from each ones mainland Despite being briefed by the Pentagon that the US had more missiles than the Soviets Kennedy maintained his claim that the US had less After the 1960 election Khrushchev began to test the new president and in the summer of 1961 Khrushchev applied pressure to Berlin and eventually built a wall surrounding West Berlin In response Kennedy felt it necessary to inform Khrushchev that there was in fact no missile gap Undoubtedly a use of power that needed not be thrown into the equation at that time Khrushchev claimed to have always known the US had more missiles Khrushchev also knew that Soviet missiles were only powerful enough to be launched against Europe but US missiles were capable of striking the entire Soviet Union In reality the conflict could have easily been averted and forgotten about had President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev communicated with each other more efficiently been more willing to negociate and put aside their oversized egos sooner for the balance of world peace A major point not
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