PLSC World Politics 101 006
October 8, 2015
Cuban Missile Crisis Analysis
Due to the Cold War, in October 1962, tensions were high between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Cuban Missile Crisis began on October 14, 1962. This was by far the most significant event to happen in the Cold War. The Soviets had been using Cuba as a place to set their missiles from which they would be able to launch a nuclear attack at any time on almost anywhere in the Southeastern parts of the United States, this including places like Washington D.C., New York City, New Orleans, and other major cities in the United States. Photographers were able to capture pictures ...view middle of the document...
S. friendly leader into Cuba. To do this, they needed to overthrow the Soviet leader. After the failure of the United States, Castro was convinced that the U.S. would without a doubt try again; this being the reason they set out to get more military help from the Soviet Union. Throughout the next year, an alarming number of more than 20,000 Soviet advisors arrived in Cuba. According to the staff of History.com, Nikita Khrushchev decided to “up the stakes” in the Cold War for many reasons (2009).
Crises are specific, unexpected, non-routine events that create high levels of uncertainty and are a threat or a perceived threat to an organization’s high priority goals (Seeger, Sellnow, and Ulmer 1998). This definition accurately describes the feelings brought about by the Cuban Missile Crisis. After President John F. Kennedy’s attempt to alleviate any escalation from the Cold War had failed, JFK had to respond to what he thought was an unavoidable nuclear attack on the United States. President JFK had to publically release the news about the Soviet missiles placed in Cuba on October 22, 1962. Applying many concepts involving organizational communication (with regards to Crisis Communication) as well as seeing how he communicated Seeger, Sellnow, and Ulmer’s definition of “Crisis” to the public, this is an analysis of John F. Kennedy conveying “Crisis” to his public. With the public only having little knowledge of the events of the Cold War, John F. Kennedy had to find a way to keep peace with his public, and also find a way to handle the extreme uncertainty of the situation. JFK had compared his place in the situation to those of other presidents such as Eisenhower and Johnson, during times of a crisis. For example, Suez Crisis and Gulf of Tonkin Crisis. In his address, he discussed the danger that his country now faced, with a situation they knew very little about. Pratt discusses in his analysis ways that JFK was more successful in his crisis speech than both Eisenhower and Johnson were in theirs. Not only did John. F Kennedy speak to other Americans, but he also made his speech international. Between Kennedy and the two presidents mentioned above, there were many techniques that made a difference in their addresses. Seldom did President Eisenhower use the word “I” in his speeches, while JFK frequently used it. Because of this, Kennedy had consistently identified himself as the one who was handling the situation.
As Eisenhower and Johnson took a more passive approach, JFK allowed his public to put a face-to--name (History.com). When analyzing JFK’s method of making the crisis known to the public, he was more than specific. The problem was made clear by Kennedy; there were “ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead…capable of striking Washington, D. C., the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico City, or any other city in the southeastern part of the United States, in Central America, or in the Caribbean area,” this allowing the...