During the Cuban Missle Crisis, what were the key Ex Com debates?

Asked on by jebcho

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It seems to me that one of the most pressing debates that the Executive Committee (Ex Com) seemed to wrestle with was whether or not to authorize an air strike on Cuba.  This feeds into the larger debate that the Ex Com seemed to have which was what should be the appropriate response to what the crisis regarding nuclear weapons in Cuba.  The Committee was comprised of men who had different approaches on the issue.  President Kennedy used the advice of this group to formulate a plan and generate a response to the growing crisis.  Some members like Dean Rusk favored an air strike, while others like Robert McNamara favored the blockade.  Still others in the group, such as Lyndon Johnson, were tabbed with an analysis of the Congressional reaction to the various courses of action.  The group each took different approaches to the problems, enabling the President to have the best information available and the most comprehensive thought process to continue.  In the end, the fundamental debate about what the President should do and how the government should respond to what was happening became the debate that the Ex Com seemed to wrestle with the most.


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