I think this gives the most likely reason why JFK and the rest of excom couldn’t allow the missiles to stay in Cuba. It was simply unconscionable that the USSR could have missiles in America’s backyard—in Cuba of all places! - after Khrushchev had committed that he wouldn’t put any missiles in Cuba.
. . .
I think the key takeaway here is that there is a pretty high probability—it seems to me hard to argue that it’s below 25% or so, and very hard below 10% - that probably the most dangerous episode in human history was caused by not by the chess moves of great powers in a great game but by the fog and thunder of pride and fear.
Do you have any sources pointing toward an academic consensus on Kennedy and Khrushyev’s thinking during the CMC?
I think three really good books are One minute to Midnight, Nuclear folly, and Gambling with Armageddon. Lots of other ones have shortish sections but these three focus more almost completely on the crisis.
This article: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2148197?saml_data=eyJzYW1sVG9rZW4iOiJhOTYxYmFiMS1kYzVkLTQ1OTUtYTgxZi1kZmJjM2E3NDY1YTgiLCJpbnN0aXR1dGlvbklkcyI6WyIzZGVlYmI1NC0yMDMwLTQ3YjgtYjhjNi0wN2E3NzQ3NDFlZGEiXX0&seq=1
Also deals with the issue from the same persecptive I’ve presented here.
What conclusions do they come to?