The Cuban Missile Crisis

An Analysis of Soviet Calculations and Behavior

by Arnold L. Horelick


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An analysis of Soviet political and strategic calculations and behavior in the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. The analysis centers on (1) Soviet objectives in deploying strategic weapons in Cuba; (2) the considerations that may have led the Soviet leaders to believe they could succeed; and (3) the reasons for their precipitate withdrawal of the weapons. Prime importance is attached to the role of the U.S.-Soviet strategic balance, both in determining the objectives pursued by the Soviet Union in Cuba, and in bringing about the crisis outcome.

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