Kennedy and the Crisis Presidency
The sourcebook isn't available; just do this web reading.
I'll be handing out a few pages in class.
Also, we'll be
starting class 15 minutes late (6.20pm) this week.
Kennedy, Dean Rusk, and Robert McNamara during ExComm
|While Guatemala represented the key Latin American
initiative of Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy focused his hemispheric
diplomacy on Cuba. In his
inaugural address, Kennedy promised that the United States would
actively meet the communist threat anywhere in the the world, although his
administration's first effort in that regard, the
Pigs affair of 1961, ended disastrously. Nonetheless, in
MONGOOSE, the administration continued to search for ways to oust
Fidel Castro from power.
|This failure hovered over the administration's
response to events in Cuba 18 months later. After U-2
overflights confirmed, on October 15, 1962, the existence of a
Soviet missile site in Cuba, President Kennedy convened the
ExComm (executive committtee of the National Security Council) to
deliberate the US response. The
fourteen days of the crisis saw the administration adopt a quarantine
of Cuba as an alternative to an immediate air strike, Kennedy deliver an
speech to the American public announcing the discovery of the
missiles, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson engage in a widely broadcast
confrontation with Soviet UN ambassador V.I. Zorin about the Soviet
intentions in Cuba, and the two sides eventually agree to a withdrawal of
the missiles in exchange for a public commitment by the United States not
to invade Cuba and a private promise to dismantle NATO's Jupiter Missiles
National Security Archives essays on the missile crisis:
||President Kennedy and his brother,
Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Their ardor for confronting communism in
the Third World helped contribute to an expanded US commitment in
|Cuba, of course, did not represent the only area of the
world that Kennedy adopted an aggressive course. What motivated a
President known for his normally astute response to international affairs
to dramatically increase the US role in Southeast Asia? What were his
long-term intentions toward the region? Did he have other policy options?
Southeast Asia at the time of the Geneva Accords, 1954
The enemy situation in South Vietnam, early 1964