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Saturday, June 14, 2014

13 days-how Kennedy handled Cuban missile crisis

13 Days is an year 2000 action movie on 1962 Cuban missile crisis and how the then US President J F Kennedy handled it.

In 1962, USSR is assembling a missile base in Cuba, with nuclear capabilities and a range that can reach up to Washington. This worries US security agencies and the President is briefed. There's less than 2 week time before construction and other preparations could be completed and missiles are ready to launch. Once launched, 5 minutes is the maximum time they'll need to reach their targets, anywhere in USA.

President Kennedy has to take a decision- to use the might of US army and try eliminate the crisis, or try a diplomatic solution working with the presumed enemy, the Soviet Union.

13 Days is one of the good full length movies in youtube, which hasn't been take off due to copyright claims.

Watch it on youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tho5ZYLiuoc 

I recommend watching this movie, because apart from being entertaining, it conveys few very important messages:
  1. War is NOT a solution for everything. Irrespective of ultimate winner, both parties end up loosing in a war. Proper diplomatic action could avert a war and save thousands of lives.
  2. Many of the wars were triggered by events of minuscule importance, often reacted with provocative actions. It is like he touched me, I pinched him, he slapped me, I hit him, he stabbed me, I fired at him kind of chain reactions. Many a times it would have been possible to avoid war if initial response was better judged.
  3. Be aware of vested interest people around you might have. Throughout the movie, army and air-force chiefs were seen pressurizing the president that air strike followed by invasion is the ONLY option left, while the President and his team were desperately trying to avoid war and find a diplomatic solution. Unless you've right advisers around you, you are likely to succumb to pressures eventually.
  4. It is important to have right people in right places to convey the message. If a message is conveyed too soft, opponent will take it seriously. If it is communicated too hard, opponent may consider it as an act of aggression. Conveying to right person in right manner could do all the difference.
  5. Even people at highest level will have their personal moments of doubt, mistrust, anticipation and other emotional situations
  6. President asks Army chief how would Cubans retaliate to a strike. Army chief says "nothing", which just doesn't sound right.
Related wikipedia links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteen_Days_(film)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Missile_Crisis

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