Case 129 - The Cuban Missile Crisis: U.S. Deliberations and Negotiations at the Edge of the Precipice
Brussel, Gabrielle S.
This case study analyzes U.S.-Soviet negotiations during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, focusing on the processes involved and the bureaucratic reactions of the two governments. It concentrates on U.S. decision-making during the closed deliberations of a group that advised President John F. Kennedy, the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. The case discusses when, if ever, the U.S. executive branch should make a policy decision without consulting the other branches of government; what constitutes forewarning between governments; what emphasis the U.S. government placed on moral or legal justifications for its actions and what importance was given to national security issues; and what the influence of U.S. allies was in this crisis.