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Cuban Missile Crisis vs North Korea

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1269442.  Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:13 am Reply with quote

The other terrifying lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Given the stakes involved, it behooves leaders in the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, the White House and Congress to learn from pertinent history and ask what could go wrong if North Korea has more or different weaponry than U.S. intelligence assumes, and if North Korean officers and crews will behave differently than is assumed when they are attacked. Similar out-of the-box thinking should be applied to how South Korean officials, military crews and society will act if conflict begins.

American officials cannot control whether their North Korean counterparts conduct similar analyses of their own assessments of U.S. capabilities, intentions and likely behaviors. Maybe they will conclude that the wisest course is to avoid a conflict they cannot win, or maybe they will not. As scholars such as James Blight and Janet Lang have documented, the young and deeply ideological Fidel Castro in 1962 urged Khrushchev to initiate nuclear war with the United States in Cuba, preferring national suicide to an American invasion and overthrow of his government. It will be left for historians in 50 years to determine whether the antagonists were lucky or unlucky, wise or unwise.



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