2 Cuban Missile Crisis timeline, October 1962 (1) 16: Kennedy informed that U2 flight has photographic evidence of missile sites in Cuba. Kennedy sets up ExComm to deal with situation17-21: ExComm’s deliberations proceed. Joint chiefs advise air strikes to neutralize missile sites22: Kennedy decides on a naval blockade of Cuba and informs the nation of the crisis via a TV broadcast
3 Cuban Missile Crisis timeline (2) 23: Khrushchev responds to Kennedy’s statement, insisting that the missiles are in place ‘solely to defend Cuba against the attack of an aggressor’.24-25: Blockade is tested as Soviet ships head for, but veer away from, quarantine zone. A Soviet oil tanker is allowed through the blockade.26: Russian personnel continue construction of missile bases. Soviets offer to dismantle bases in return for lifting of blockade and US guarantee not to invade Cuba.
4 Cuban Missile Crisis timeline (3) 27: Khrushchev demands that US missile sites in Turkey are dismantled. A US U2 spy plane is shot down over Cuba and the pilot is killed. In order to avert a seemingly inevitable escalation, Kennedy agrees to end blockade and not to invade Cuba. He also agrees to dismantle Turkish bases at a later date. [Secrecy is maintained over this aspect of the deal until ]28: Khrushchev agrees to remove missiles – the crisis is over.
5 Graham T. Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1st ed. (Boston: Little Brown, 1971)
6 Explaining policy making In searching for an explanation, one typically puts himself in the place of the nation, or national government, confronting a problem of foreign affairs, and tries to figure out why he might have chosen the action in question. … [We assume] government behaviour can be most satisfactorily understood by analogy with the purposive acts of individuals. In many cases this is a fruitful assumption. Treating national governments as if they were centrally coordinated, purposive individuals provides a useful shorthand for understanding problems of policy. But this simplification – like all simplifications – obscures as well as reveals. In particular, it obscures the persistently neglected fact of bureaucracy: the ‘maker’ of government policy is not one calculating decisionmaker but is rather a conglomerate of large organizations and political actors. (p. 3)
7 Essence of Decision - Questions 1. Why did the Soviet Union decide to place offensive missiles in Cuba?2. Why did the United States respond to the missile deployment with a blockade?3. Why did the Soviet Union withdraw the missiles?
8 Model 1: The Rational Actor Possible rational explanations for Khrushchev’s actionsi. Bargaining chip in negotiations over US missilesii. Diversion/trapiii. Defence of Cubaiv. Cold War Politicsv. Missile power - a shortcut in the arms race
9 Problems with rational choice accounts Why no shield prior to deploymentWhy the problem about datesWhy no secrecy at launch sitesWhy ignore US surveillance flightsWhy ignore US warnings
10 Model 2: Organizational Process a government consists of a conglomerate of semi-feudal, loosely allied organizations, each with a substantial life of its own. … Governments perceive problems through organizational sensors. Governments define alternatives and estimate consequences as their component organizations process information; governments act as these organizations enact routines. Governmental behaviour can therefore be understood … less as deliberate choices and more as outputs of large organizations functioning according to standard patterns of behaviour. (p. 67)
11 Model 3: Bureaucratic Politics 1.THE CUBAN PROBLEM2. THE STRATEGIC PROBLEM3. THE BERLIN PROBLEM4. THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM