“The Korean War was more significant in the spread of the Cold War outside Europe than the Cuban Missile Crisis.” How far do you agree? The years 1950 to 1953 were a period of striving for Korea, where the North and South regions were being disputed over by China and USA. The South was supported by USA and the United Nations, while the North was backed by China and USSR who were part of the communist fraternity. On the other hand, the outbreak of Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 was the closest the Cold War almost became a ‘hot’ war as a nuclear war almost took place (possibly starting another world war). The parties involved were USA, USSR and Cuba. This question holds the assumption that the Korean War was in fact more significant in the spread of Cold War than the Cuban Missile Crisis outside Europe due it being dominated by the Cold War characteristics to a larger extent. The Cold War was characterized by superpower rivalry, indirect conflict, ideological conflicts and also rival blocs. In order to check the validity of the statement, this essay will examine the respective motivations of the players and impact of the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis from 1950 the outbreak of the conflict to 1962, the end of Cuban Missile Crisis. While there are also some elements of the Cold War in the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is to a large extent that the Korean War was more significant in the spread of the Cold War outside Europe as it typified all the characteristics of the Cold War. TS1:
The Cuban Missile Crisis was important in the spread of the Cold War outside Europe due to the ideologically driven aggression by the superpowers, hence causing the heightened Cold War tensions. SE1:
On 8 January 1959, Castro led his armed revolutionaries into Havana and overthrew the corrupt Batista regime, where he formed a new coalition government. Castro nationalized a billion dollars’ worth of American investments in Cuba and thus removed US’s dominance in Cuba. Due to Cuba’s leftward leaning, USA began to sabotage Cuba’s economy from 1959, halting imports of sugar from Cuba and banning exports to Cuba except food and medicine. Cuba survived on Soviet and Chinese aid. In January 1961, USA broke off relationships with Cuba.
Due to Castro’s revolutionary idealism being anti-American to oust USA’s ‘dollar diplomacy’ and dominance, Castro’s actions are perceived by the US as communist-like due to the aggression and a direct confrontation and threat to its democratic beliefs of a capitalist and democratic system. Accompanied by the ‘open door’ world economy concept, USA envisioned a world based on democracy and liberty, where American values would dominate. Hence such drastic actions are needed to prevent the communist in thinking that the democratic system is easily tarnished and weakened. SE2:
According to Gaddis, the Cuban Missile Crisis arose “because Khrushchev understood more clearly than Kennedy that the West was winning the Cold War”. This was indicated by the fact that in “the countries that counted” (i.e. Japan and Germany), liberal and capitalist institutions had prevailed by the 1961. Evidently, the Soviet is losing the Cold war due to the lack communist allies and hence after the Bay of Pigs Incident, USSR formed an alliance with Castro who declared himself a Marxist-Leninist. With this alliance, USSR installed Soviet missiles in Cuba to ensure Castro’s demand of a strong ally is met. EML2:
As such, after the failure to spread communism to Korea and the Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union needed to strengthen the Marxist-Leninist alternative in the Third World, the only place where communist ideology had any significant appeal. Thus, Khrushchev needed to maintain the communist regime in Cuba, which was already under immense duress from the USA. LINK:
Therefore, the Cuban Missile Crisis was important in the spread of the Cold War outside Europe due to the ideologically driven aggression by the superpowers, hence...
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