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CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS: Should the United States Use Force to Remove Soviet Missiles from Cuba?
For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union appeared to hover on the brink of war. The potential spark: the discovery of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, a communist island nation located just 90 miles from Florida. Deeming the missiles a threat to national security, some of President John F. Kennedy’s advisers urged him to take military action to remove them. Failure to do so, they argued, could threaten American lives and undermine U.S. credibility as a world leader. Other advisers, however, believed that the missiles did not pose an immediate threat to the United States and warned that military action could lead to war against Cuba and, perhaps, a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. The United States, they argued, should seek a diplomatic solution to the problem.
Let your students get the facts and decide for themselves: Should the United States take military action to remove the missiles, or should it negotiate with the Soviets to convince them to remove the missiles? Be sure to check out Issues & Controversies in American History’s clear and unbiased examination of the Cuban Missile Crisis this month.
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