Case 232 - The Submarines of September: The Nixon Administration and a Soviet Submarine Base in Cuba
Haney, Patrick J.
This case study describes the politics that surrounded U.S. decision-making in response to an attempt by the Soviet Union to build a submarine base at Cienfuegos, Cuba, in 1970. The narrative highlights the political moves by President Richard Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, who disagreed over how to respond to this event. It also tracks developments once the Soviet actions went public in the United States. The teaching notes emphasize the political process by which situations come to be defined as a crisis or non-crisis, as well as the bureaucratic politics that can attend this process of defining problems. This case study is mainly intended for courses on U.S. foreign and national security policy, but would also be useful for more general courses in world politics.