Generals advocated military solutions; politicians leaned toward diplomacy. This article is an excerpt from How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices, which debuted as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon. The key indicators ... Download Decision Factors 2020 presentation slides Air Force chief of staff General Curtis LeMay challenged JFK, saying “You’re in a pretty bad fix.”. See Vistage's Privacy Policy for details. What steps can you take to be open-minded to marketplace disruption—no matter how unlikely? To succeed, Kennedy’s high-stakes negotiation had to convince the Russians that the United States sought a way out while emphasizing a military response was equally possible. “The thing is we were not going to unleash war,” Khrushchev complained. Khrushchev faced a strategic situation in which the US was perceived to have a "splendid first strike" capability that put the S… Headed into their June summit in Vienna, Khrushchev, 67, basked in a stunning triumph; Kennedy, 45, was bruised by a “colossal mistake.” Khrushchev pressed his advantage, and Kennedy called the summit the “roughest thing in my life.”. Kennedy attacked the administration’s international track record, singling out Cuba as “the most glaring failure of American foreign policy.”. America was in the process of deciding whether Eisenhower’s vice president Richard Nixon or Senator John F. Kennedy (JFK) would become the country’s 35th president. When do we tell our allies and what help do we want? Nuclear war was a real threat. More questions followed: When will the missiles be operational? But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The incident prompts both leaders to realize the situation is spiraling dangerously out of control. October 23: Khrushchev writes to JFK, rebuffing his demand that the Soviets remove the missiles, which the Soviet leader insists “are intended solely for defensive purposes.” Kennedy … But Soviet freighters bearing military supplies headed for Cuba stop in their tracks. Two American warships, the USS Essex and the USS Gearing, prepare to intercept it, which could have led to war. “You will never know how much bad advice I received in those days,” JFK said afterward. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Television had “turned the tide,” Kennedy observed. The crisis was rife with miscommunications, threats and miscalculations, but was ultimately diffused. By 1960, Nikita Khrushchev had succeeded Stalin as Soviet premier. By Sunday, the Soviets sensed their secret had been discovered. Kennedy’s good looks and confident, relaxed manner won the night and, six weeks later, the closest presidential election in history. Tags:  Decision Making, Leadership, Strategy Execution, Greg Bustin is a 15-year Vistage Master Chair with two Chief Executive groups, a Key Executive group and an Emerging Leader group in Dallas. As U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson explains the matter to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. ships already move into position in the waters around Cuba. In 1949, Russia tested its first atomic bomb. He was evaluating his choices. October 14, 1962: A U.S. U-2 spy plane piloted by Maj. Richard Heyser takes hundreds of photos of newly-built installations in the Cuban countryside. The Bay of Pigs failure occurred because bad ideas went unchallenged. In the Fall of 1962 the United States demanded that the Soviets halt construction of newly-discovered missile bases in communist Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. What significant changes have competitors made? A s the Cuban missile crisis unfolded in October 1962, President John F Kennedy found himself wondering why Nikita Khrushchev would gamble with putting nuclear missiles into Cuba… JFK and his advisers are careful to call it a quarantine because a blockade is considered an act of war. The hawks viewed JFK as indecisive or, worse, spineless. Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze says, “They’ve fired the first shot,” and President John F. Kennedy remarks,“We are now in an entirely new ball game.”. Space was now the benchmark for measuring nuclear supremacy. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara presents JFK with three options: diplomacy with Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, a naval quarantine of Cuba, and an air attack to destroy the missile sites, which might kill thousands of Soviet personnel and trigger a Soviet counterattack on a target such as Berlin. Leading in Challenging Times Resource Center, Social trends facing business in 2021 and beyond, Small and midsize businesses pause on their climb to recovery, Decision Factors 2020: The CEO’s Climb to Recovery.

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