The Missiles of October Essay Example

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The Missiles of October

The Cuban Missile Crisis Worksheet

What option does this person favor?

What options does he specifically reject, and why?

Secretary of State Dean Rusk

Approaching Castro secretly

Sudden air strike

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara

Use of blockade

Sudden military move

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Maxwell Taylor

Surprise military air strike

United States getting its feet in Cuba’s deep mud

National Security Advisor MacGeorge Bundy

President should take into account every possible course of action and wait up to the moment the crunch arrives in Berlin

Surprise air strike

Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon

At first, Dillon supported a military strike, but later suggested the use of blockade.

Considered a military strike a less viable solution

CIA Director John McCone

Castro together with Khrushchev should be warned before initiating air strike.

The use of blockade

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy

A strike and consultation with the U.S. allies and congressmen

Attacking the Soviets

Rational choicecan be defined as the procedures of making decisions guided through situations that have been defined carefully, pondering about the goals, taking into account every option, as well as choosing options inclined to facilitate the realization of highest goals. Basically, the Rational Policy Model is rooted in the realist-like principle that the government or nation is the unitary decision maker. In this model, the government takes into account the most pragmatic strategy or option that could suitably meet the national security goals. With the view to ‘the missiles of October’, the rationalist model presents the decisional process that contains the following sequential as well as distinct stages; stage one involved the identification of objectives and values to be achieved; stage two focused on examining every possible alternatives in order to achieve these objectives. Rusk favored the option of approaching Castro secretly in order to see whether he can break with Moscow. But he rejected the option of sudden air strike, due to the risk of mounting actions that could result in a general war, and also on ethical grounds. On the other hand, McNamara supported the blockade option on 16th October. He believed that it was imperative to keep every option on the table and ensure there is room for negotiations, instead of issuing ultimatum. He rejected the option of sudden military move alleging that it could incite Soviets to respond and as a result in a nuclear war.

Taylor advocated for the surprise military air strike, but he rejected the fact that the United States should get its feet in Cuba’s deep mud. He believed that invasion would be a costly act that should be taken as the last resort. Bundy favored the option that the President should take into account every possible course of action, but rejected the fact that a surprise air strike could be sufficient to get rid of all the missiles in Cuba. At first, Dillon supported a military strike, but afterwards, together with Thompson suggested the use of blockade, rejection of negotiations, and compulsory missiles elimination, and use military action if necessary. According to Dillon, the Head of State had to demonstrate firm intents towards the Russians and not rely on whether the Russians were planning to concede defeat. At first, Dillon advocated for a military strike but later rejected the option; instead, he started advocating for use of blockade.

McCone akin to Dillon took a hard line at the time of Cuban Missile Crisis. Still, he believed that attacking Cuba surprisingly could force the United States to live with the indictment of Pearl Harbor. Still, McCone favored that Castro together with Khrushchev should be warned before initiating air strike. McCone rejected the use of blockade citing that it will not adequately help resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis since it would facilitate a long drawn-out duration whereby the Cubans would attack the U.S. with the missiles. Kennedy favored a strike and recommended that the president should not consult with the U.S. allies and congressmen with regard to means of resolving the crisis. Instead, Kennedy favored the blockade as the suitable course of action that would demonstrate how serious the U.S. was determined to ensure that the missiles are out of Cuba. Kennedy believed that this option would offer the Soviets some room to back off. He rejected the option of attacking the Soviets, as evidenced by his actions to meet the soviet’s ambassador and disclose the looming U.S. attack against the Soviets.

After examining every possible alternative, the third stage involved researching as well as selecting information according to alternatives’ effectiveness and efficiency. The fourth step involved comparing the alternatives and the associated consequences. In the fifth stage, alternative that facilitates the maximization of objectives and values were selected. The sixth and seventh step involved Implementation and Feedback, respectively. Clearly, the rational actor model enabled President Kennedy to select good criteria that could help solve the issue. With the view to the alternatives available the President ordered the use of blockade in Cuba. The most suitable course of action was the blockade as suggested by McNamara, Kennedy, and Dillon since it offered the United States numerous advantages; for instance, this option offered the U.S. a firm, but less aggressive position in the missiles crisis. More importantly, it forced the soviets to pursue another course of action.