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Foreign PolicyTheories, Actors, Cases

Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases (3rd edn)

Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne
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date: 29 September 2023

p. 26314. The Cuban Missile Crisislocked

p. 26314. The Cuban Missile Crisislocked

  • Graham Allison


This chapter examines the significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis in terms of foreign policy. It begins with a discussion of the Soviets’ deployment of ballistic missiles in Cuba under the covert mission Operation Anadyr and the four principal hypotheses advanced by the Kennedy administration to explain such a move: the Cuban defence hypothesis, Cold War politics, missile power hypothesis, and the Berlin hypothesis. It then analyses President John F. Kennedy’s declaration of a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba and the reasons for the Soviets’ decision to withdraw their missiles from Cuba. It also considers three conceptual frameworks for analysing foreign policy in the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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