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60 years since nuclear war very nearly happened

Nearly 60 years ago this week, we were one argument away from nuclear war, Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis remain important, yet Americans largely ignore foreign policy. Deseret News, By Arthur Cyr, Columnist  Oct 20, 2020  The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred more than a half century ago, but the lessons remain important. Nuclear arms control talks between Moscow and Washington have derailed, and UN arms embargo of Iran has ended.

Current dangers of fatal military miscalculation may equal the height of the Cold War. In the United States, our military presence in the Mideast fuels fitful debate but not sustained discussion of serious strategic risks involved.

During Oct. 22-28, 1962, the Cuba crisis dominated world attention, as Washington and Moscow sparred on the edge of thermonuclear war. Lessons include difficulty of securing accurate intelligence and the unpredictability of events.

On Oct. 14, 1962, U.S. reconnaissance photos revealed the Soviet Union was placing offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba, despite contrary assurances. On Oct. 16, after thorough review and analysis, National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy informed President John F. Kennedy……….

The initial pressure for military attack dissipated. Kennedy deftly delayed intense pressures for war, while avoiding angry confrontation.

Lessons of the crisis include the importance of disciplined objective intelligence analysis, and communicating with opponents. Then and now, U.S. presidential leadership is essential.

Today, U.S. troops are in the Mideast close to forces from Russia, Iran, Israel, Syria, Turkey and various armed insurgent groups. Yet Americans remain preoccupied with domestic concerns and largely ignore foreign policy.

Cuban Missile Crisis lessons remain important, ignored at great peril.

Arthur I. Cyr is Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College and author of “After the Cold War.” Contact

October 22, 2020 - Posted by | history, USA, weapons and war

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