which historians (with quotes) support that USSR was responsible for increased tensions for the Cuban Missile Crisis from 1961-1972

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Today, there are historians who blame either Nikita Khrushchev or President Kennedy (or both) for the escalation of tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Since your question pertains to USSR responsibility, we will address that.

From what I can see, the main historian who supported Soviet responsibility for the Cuban...

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Today, there are historians who blame either Nikita Khrushchev or President Kennedy (or both) for the escalation of tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Since your question pertains to USSR responsibility, we will address that.

From what I can see, the main historian who supported Soviet responsibility for the Cuban Missile Crisis was Arthur M. Schlesinger. Theodore C. Sorensen, a lawyer and adviser to President Kennedy, also believed that the Soviets were largely responsible for an escalation of the crisis. However, Sorensen was not a historian. According to Schlesinger, President Kennedy demonstrated "toughness, restraint, and determination" throughout the entire crisis. Schlesinger also maintained that Kennedy's handling of the impasse displayed to the entire world "the ripening of an American leadership unsurpassed in responsible management of power." It is quite obvious here that Schlesinger did not blame the United States for the escalation of tensions.

According to historians, the USSR (under Khrushchev's leadership) initially lied to President Kennedy about the presence of Soviet ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) on Cuba. Khrushchev had decided to place the missiles on the island in 1962. At the time, his closest generals fretted about whether they could keep their missile operations secret from the United States indefinitely. In the end, orders from Khrushchev stopped the internal squabbling. The Soviets were to engage in maskirovka (or denial and deception efforts) to delay discovery of their military operations from the Americans. So, increased tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis were brought about by Soviet deception.

As for the Castros, they were less sanguine about the prospect of having Soviet missiles on Cuba than Khrushchev was. In the end, the wily Russian statesman convinced Fidel Castro to support the ICBM operations. Schlesinger (the historian) maintained that the Cubans were extremely hesitant about having Soviet missiles on their island; he unequivocally argued that the entire ICBM project was a Soviet initiative to gain strategic dominance in the western hemisphere.

In his book Diffusion of Power, Walt Rostow (an economic historian) argued that:

Khrushchev was looking for a quick success which would enhance his political prestige and power in Soviet politics, enhance his authority in the international communist movement...redress the military balance cheaply in terms of resources...and provide leverage for the resolution of the Berlin problem he had sought without success since 1958.

So, Rostow (another historian) largely blamed the escalation in tensions during the crisis on Khrushchev's ambitions.

For more, please refer to the links and sources below.

Source:

1) The Cuban Missile Crisis: Evolving Historical Perspectives, William J. Medland, The History Teacher, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Aug., 1990), pp. 433-447

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