Spotting the missiles Close

At the White House, the surprise was great, and the President is reported to have said: “He can"t do that to me!”.

He could not imagine that the Soviets would take such risks, since they had never deployed missiles outside the Union, not even in satellite countries.

Two months before he had warned them: "If Cuba is to become an offensive military base, the US will feel bound to retaliate".

Kennedy realized that the Soviet Union was trying to balance the scales between the two superpowers, and that he could not afford not to take up the challenge, since the security of the nation was in jeopardy. He immediately summoned a select group of senior advisers, within the National Security Council, known as Ex Comm (short for Executive Committee).

It took Ex Comm a whole week of intense reflection to assess the situation and make plans for adequate retaliation.


Spotting the missiles Close