The Cuban Missile Crisis: An Overview

  • Raymond L. Garthoff


On a spring day in 1962, Soviet Party leader Nikita Khrushchev, vacationing at a dacha in the Crimea, was visited by Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky. As they were conversing, the marshal gestured toward the horizon to the south and remarked on the fact that medium-range nuclear missiles the United States was installing across the Black Sea in Turkey were just becoming operational. So far as we know, that is all the marshal said, and the next step was Khrushchev’s reaction: Why, he mused, should the Americans have the right to put missiles on our doorstep, and we not have a comparable right? A few weeks later, while in Bulgaria, he carried the point one fateful step further: Why not station Soviet medium-range missiles in Cuba?


Ballistic Missile Defense Minister Soviet Leader Warsaw Pact Cuban Missile Crisis 
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  1. Source documentation and further discussion is provided in the revised edition of the author’s book on the crisis. See Raymond L. Garthoff, Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis, rev. ed. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1989).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James A. Nathan 1992

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  • Raymond L. Garthoff

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