Quester, George H.
April 1971
Foreign Affairs;Apr1971, Vol. 49 Issue 3, p493
This paper focuses on the controversy over the alleged decision of the Soviet Union to begin working on a submarine base on the southern coast of Cuba at Cienfuegos as of September 1970, an action viewed by the U.S. as a violation of the 1962 agreement by which land-based missiles were withdrawn from Cuba. Specifically, this paper examines how U.S. President John F. Kennedy's words that peace would be assured only if all offensive missiles are removed from Cuba and kept out of the Hemisphere in the future have influenced the present attitude of the U.S. toward the controversy. The paper raises the question of why the U.S. has chosen to make an issue of bases as the most important part of the Soviet deterrent. According to the author, one can discover special reasons for U.S. Kennedy's objection to the 1962 Cuban deployment. The author concludes that it may still be very difficult to tolerate any missile presence in Cuba in 1970, precisely because Kennedy chose not to tolerate it in 1962. Much depends on how the requirements of deterrents and military strategy seep through to the public at large. According to the author, Kennedy's finest hour in 1962, whatever other important impact it had, did not help to educate us on such questions.


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