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Crisis diplomacy

by on March 3, 2013


International crisis are very complex and would need the right type discussion needs to be taken in order to reduce the tensions; many examples throughout history show that in most cases diplomacy benefitted the crises and reduced tension  than hard power decision. Negotiations and talking take go along way and proven to improve relation between states and help improve situations within a crisis.

The Cuban Missile Crisis is one historical event that proved that negotiation and diplomacy helped to reduce tension than normal hard military power would have. This crisis is one important both to the countries involved and the world around it. The world was very close to a nuclear annihilation, during this part of the cold war, tensions between the two superpowers, rose higher than ever. The long term cold war was very close to turning into hot war cause damage both to the world and the two superpowers.

It was the Soviets who triggered the missile crisis. During 1962 the Soviets shipped nuclear missiles and placed them into the Cuban islands, which was 90 miles off the Florida coast. The missiles were placed right under the US nose. The movement of the nuclear missiles was very secret and the Soviets wanted to keep it that way, they didn’t want the US to know before they were able to shift most their nuclear missile within the island. President was aware that Soviet activates were increase more and more within the island but wasn’t aware until late October that Soviets were launching missiles. The President found out about the missiles earlier then the Soviets intend. “American photographic intelligence had confirmed the existence of intermediate and medium-range ballistic missile site in Cuba.” The President was aware of the Soviet activities within the island but couldn’t take any action without the right evidence.  After gaining evidence Kennedy decided to take action in order to reduce the crisis between the Soviets, feeling under threat the President set up a crisis team, group of ad visors that formulate a solution. “Ex-comm” was developed and they met continuously until the crisis was resolved.d

The Ex-comm, in beginning, took more of hard power action which included air strike or blockade( although named as “quarantine  since naming it blockade could be considered an act of war) but the situation stayed  the same. Since this was nuclear problem hard power couldn’t improve the situation and complication increased.  Comprise and negotiation was need within the crisis. The Soviet were the first to decide on comprise, Friday 26th was the day the US Ex-comm team received a letter from the Soviet leader Khrushchev demanding the lift on the quarantine and the US not to invade the Cuban islands, the Ex-comm were the first letter but second letter arrived which included an extra demand, the removal of the Jupiter and Thor missile in turkey, the arguable this was one of the first reason for the whole operation within Cuba. The missiles within Turkey were right under the Soviet nose, pointing to the direction of Russia. The first letter was taking to consideration but the second was ignored.


Ignoring the second letter didn’t improve the situation and the crisis continued. Finally both leaders wanted to negotiate and through secrecy and diplomacy the crisis decreased. The Situation was handled by the secret meeting that occurred between Robert (bob) Kennedy and Soviet ambassador to the US, Dorbynin. The demand to remove Jupiter missiles from Turkey was agreed behind closed doors and eventually resolved the crisis. The missile proved that diplomacy helped more than hard military tactics.  In international crisis the pressures are greater than especially when nuclear weapons are involved. Making the right discussion can be very hard, negotiation and communication especially in crisis can help reduce tensions and this is seen within the Cuban Missile Crisis.





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One Comment
  1. almohamed100 permalink

    It is well researched article and in fact as you covered the whole Cuban missile crisis during the heydays of cold war when nearly the world faced another devastated war but this time nuclear. however it was solved through diplomatic negotiation when the two super powers after hectic show down and secret deals took place where both sides agreed to cool the tension. in the article you also covered how back channel deal can be useful a times of such crisis. well done…ghs0032

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