13 Days and the Cold War
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1721
- Category: War
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
The movie 13 days describes the actual events that happened during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. It was the first time during the Cold War that United States and the Soviet Union nearly engaged in full-scale nuclear war. The president of the United States at the time was John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood). He had to immediately decide the most effective way of action for the country after seeing pictures from a U-2 spy plane showing missiles in Cuba placed by the Soviet Union capable of destroying massive areas of the country. With the help of special assistant Kenny O’Donnell (Kevin Costner) and attorney General, also Brother Robert F. Kennedy (Kevin Costner), the President must avoid bad decisions that could lead to a war with the Soviets since it involved nuclear weapons and that would also prevent them from invading Berlin. Another important character during the event is the Chief of staff of the USAF General Curtis LeMay (Kevin Conway) who would prefer to take immediate action and invade Cuba rather than finding a warless solution.
The movie focuses on the meetings and discussions held in the White House where the President took some time to finally announce the conflict that developed a widespread panic in the country. The secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Dylan Baker) and Ambassador of the United States to the UN Adlai Stevenson played critical roles during that period by showing pictures of the missiles at the UN meeting when the tension of a war started rising. The first step that the United States took in response to the pictures of the missiles is ordering the U.S Naval forces to stop all the ships entering Cuban waters and checking if they were carrying any weapons. In response to the blockade done by the U.S, the Soviets wanted the U.S to publically announce that they will never invade Cuba. Later on, a second condition is proposed by the soviets that deal with the U.S removing its Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Since the Cold War was a tight competition between the two powers, the United States decided to ignore the second condition proposed by the Soviet Union and try to conclude the deal with the first condition only.
In the meantime, different actions are done without informing the President such as the U.S offensive missile. Furthermore, the President’s Brother Robert F. Kennedy was assigned to finish the deal at the soviet embassy by accepting that the United States will never invade Cuba and he also accepted the second condition which consists of removing all Jupiter missiles from Turkey but his condition was to keep it a secret agreement between the two powers and not announced publically. On the other hand, Robert F. Kennedy wanted the Soviet Union to remove the missiles in Cuba. To best understand how the two powers came to the stage of the Cuban Missiles of 1962, an explanation of the development and progress of the Cold War is necessary. First of all, what need to be said about it is that, it is a war that was fought through ideas and political means rather than military intervention. The tension started after the success of the two powers with a temporary alliance to breakdown the Nazi Germany, leaving them with political differences that turned into a competition of who is going to rule the world politically and economically.
At the end World War II in 1945, the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe by directly occupying countries like Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Eastern Finland and Eastern Romania as Soviet Socialist Republics, introducing Communism and the United States along with allies such as Britain, France occupied West Europe supporting Capitalism with Berlin as the middle point. At the Potsdam Conference, Harry S. Truman, the President of the United States in that period and Joseph Stalin as the Premier of the Soviet Union started to have very different views about the future development of Germany and Eastern Europe and that is when Truman informed Stalin about the possession of a powerful weapon. On the other hand, Stalin replied saying that he liked the news and that he hoped that it will be used against Japan, which was the case since the U.S bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki a week after. Other countries that the Soviets took over after the liberation from the Nazis and that were converted to satellite states are Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovak, and Albania. On February of 1946, The U.S introduced the “Long Telegram” from Moscow that later became the basic strategy against the Soviet Union. Sometime on that same year, the Soviets did the same thing by making the ‘”Novikov Telegram”.
The competition kept rising between the two powers and the British Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill gave a speech in Fulton, Missouri stating the Anglo-American against the Soviet Union. A year later in 1947, the British government announced that it could no longer finance the Greek military against the Communist wave and the American response to the announcement was the allocation of $400 million given to the Greek government in order to counter the Communism and that helped them win the military civil war. The fund was called the Truman Doctrine. In June of the same year, the U.S supplied another fund known as the Marshall plan which consisted of economically helping all the European countries, Greece, Turkey, including the ones governed by the Soviets after an unsuccessful attempt to get to an agreement with the soviet to resolve the German situation by creating an autonomous system. The purpose of the fund was to rebuild Europe from the consequences of the war and to prevent political revolutions from the Soviets through communist parties.
Another important event that took place during the same year was the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Council that became the main administrations for the U.S policy during the Cold War. In response to the Marshal plan, Stalin believed that by accepting fund from the U.S, Eastern countries will escape Soviet control, so he rejected the aid and introduced the Molotov plan which was a system that created economic alliance between the countries under Soviet control in order to prevent them to rely on American Aid and to trade between each other. Many representative of Western powers started finding solutions in order to industrialize Germany once again and they also introduced a new currency named Deutsche Mark that replaced the old currency debased by the Soviets. In1948, Stalin decided to stop all the supply coming from the East border to the West side. In response to Stalin acts, Western countries along with other countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand introduced the “Berlin Airlift” that helped supply West Berlin with food and other needs.
A year after, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created involving Britain, France, United States, Canada and other Western countries which is a military organization that would help counter a military attack from Soviets or others. On the Asian side, The U.S along with the Nationalist Government was defeated against the people’s Liberation Army and which later became ally with the soviets. Due to the events, the Truman administration reinforced the defense and started expands control into Asia, Africa and Latin America to counter nationalist movement, often financed by the Soviet Union. The result of the U.S expansion was a number of alliances with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines that resulted in a long term military bases. By 1950, North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea and the UN along with its Western allies, Australia, South Africa joined to stop the attack. The military structure of NATO strengthened from the event of the Korean War and the British officials tried took the initiative to end the conflict by letting the UN resolve it and take out all foreign forces. 3 years later, Joseph Stalin died and Nikita Khrushchev became the new Soviet leader announcing Stalin’s crimes. In the meantime, Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in the U.S presidency and started to reduce military funds and fight the war more effectively.
Almost 10 years has passed since the beginning of the Cold War and the reality of the war between the two powers became a fight between Communism and Capitalism. In Khrushchev political views were different than Stalin since he supported war. He threatened the West countries repeatedly about nuclear extermination and claimed that the soviet weapon were much more destructive than the U.S missiles. In 1958, the Soviet leader gave an ultimatum to the west allies to remove their troops from Berlin; however his call was rejected by NATO. Moreover, The U.S and the Soviets competed in influencing third world countries even though some countries choose to stay neutral and not to choose a political or economic side. The next year in 1959, the relationship between Cuba and the United States wasn’t going well since the revolutionary of the time Fidel Castro didn’t support the idea of relying on the United States economically. Before Dwight D. Eisenhower left office, he improved the U.S-Cuban relationship until john F. Kennedy took office after him in 1961 and ordered along with the CIA the failed invasion of the island in “Las Vilas Province” which publically degraded the United States.
The Soviet Union took advantage of the situation and brought support to Cuba. At the same time in Berlin, major number of young professionals started to immigrate from the East side to the West viewing more opportunities and better future which resulted in a major “brain drain’’. The Soviets reacted by building a barrier that later became the Berlin Wall in order to stop the emigration. Coming back to Cuba, the U.S president and his administration were finding ways to takeover of the Cuban government and since the Soviets heard about the U.S plan; they decided to bring missiles to Cuba. As shown on the movie 13 Days, this was the time that brought the two powers the closest to a nuclear war. Fortunately, the decision to a war didn’t take place, the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba if the U.S announce publically that it will never invade Cuba and to take out their troops from Turkey.