The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U. S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U. S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, the Truman Doctrine of 1947, ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars; the conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies.
Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, a small committee called the Politburo; the Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in low-developed regions known as the Third World. In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war.
Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, technological competitions such as the Space Race; the first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe and creating the NATO alliance; the Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War, the conflict expanded.
The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; the expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon in Europe and the US; the peace movement, in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, continued to grow through the'70s and'80s with large protest marches and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies France, demonstrated greater independence of action.
The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments. By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979; the early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was suffering from economic stag
The Cortina Troubles is the generic name for the First Cortina War, from 1859 to 1860, the Second Cortina War, in 1861, in which paramilitary forces, led by the Mexican rancher and local leader Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, confronted elements of the United States Army, the Confederate States Army, the Texas Rangers, the local militias of Brownsville and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. According to author Robert Elman, Juan Cortina and his followers were the first "socially motivated border bandits," similar to the Garzistas and the Villistas of generations; the fighting took place in the Rio Grande Valley area, which straddles the international border of Texas and Mexico. The First Cortina War began at Brownsville on July 13, 1859, when Cortina shot the town marshal, Robert Shears, in the arm for his brutalizing of Cortina's former employee, Tomás Cabrera. Tension increased between Cortina and the Brownsville authorities, on September 28 he raided and occupied the town with a posse of between forty and eighty men.
His enemies, had fled. During the occupation of Brownsville, Cortina issued a proclamation to reveal his intentions to both communities: " There is no need of fear. Orderly people and honest citizens are inviolable to us in their interests. Our object, as you have seen, has been to chastise the villainy of our enemies, which heretofore has gone unpunished; these have connived with each other, form, so to speak, a perfidious inquisitorial lodge to persecute and rob us, without any cause, for no other crime on our part than that of being of Mexican origin, considering us, destitute of those gifts which they themselves do not possess. Mexicans! Peace be with you! Good inhabitants of the State of Texas, look on them as brothers, keep in mind that which the Holy Spirit saith: "Thou shalt not be the friend of the passionate man; the following days, the townsfolk of Brownsville formed a twenty-man group in order to fight Cortina, called the "Brownsville Tigers". In November, the Brownsville Tigers learned that Cortina was at his mother's home, called Rancho del Carmen, five miles west of Brownsville.
They launched an attack, only to be sent into retreat in disarray by the "Cortinistas", as they were called. The same month, the Brownsville Tigers were joined by a group of Texas Rangers, Cortina decided to attack them; the offensive was unsuccessful. In December, a second group of rangers led by Captain John "Rip" Ford arrived and better organized; because of appeals from Brownsville residents, the United States Army sent troops from San Antonio to the nearby Fort Brown, abandoned a few years ago. The fort's new commander, Major Samuel Heintzelman and coordinated all armed groups to put an end to the Cortina threat. Cortina retreated up the Rio Grande, until on December 27, 1859, Heintzelman and Ford engaged him in the Battle of Rio Grande City. Cortina's forces were decisively defeated, losing all their equipment. Pursued and defeated again by Ford few days Cortina retreated with his men into the Burgos Mountains; the First Cortina War was finished, with increasing pressure from both the United States and Mexican Governments to cease all hostile activities, Cortina remained away from the scene for more than a year.
The final engagements of the war were the Battle of La Bolsa, on February 4, 1860, the Battle of La Mesa, on March 17. The Texas Rangers, under Ford defended their riverboat in the first engagement and routed the Cortinistas across the river at La Mesa, Tamaulipas. In May 1861, the much shorter Second Cortina War occurred; the American Civil War had just begun, Cortina, who had aligned himself with the Federal Government of the United States, invaded Zapata County, Texas. Defeated by Confederate Captain Santos Benavides at the Battle of Carrizo and losing 18 men, Cortina retreated into Mexico. Cortina no longer conducted any large-scale military incursions within the United States, although he was accused several times of promoting guerrilla actions against the richer Texan landowners in the area throughout the following years; the First Cortina War begins on July 13, 1859, when Brownsville town marshal Robert Shears was shot in the arm by Juan Nepomuceno Cortina for brutalizing his former ranch hand, Tomás Cabrera, after ignoring Cortina's request to let him handle the situation.
Cortina would become one of the most important historical figures of the area, continued to exert a decisive influence in the local events until his arrest in 1875. On September 28, 1859, Juan Cortina raided and seized control of Brownsville with a forty to eighty man posse with the intent of killing his enemies in Brownsville, his enemies went into hiding and Cortina and his men shot five of the town's people involved in the legal abuses against Texans of Mexican ethnicity. No indiscriminate attacks on the rest of the Brownsville population or on their properties took place under orders of Cortina. Cortina issues a famous proclamation, attempting to calm the American population of Brownsville, asking for respect towards the Mexican inhabitants' persons and properties. On September 30, 1859, Cortina evacuates Brownsville at the urging of José María Jesús Carbajal, Colonel Miguel Tijerina, Colonel Macedonio Capistran, Don Agapito Longoria, Don Manuel Treviño, from Matamoros; the following days, Brownsville forms a twenty-man group in order to fight Cortina, calling themselves the "Browns
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps referred to as the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, is the federal uniformed service of the U. S. Public Health Service, is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. Along with the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of two uniformed services that consist only of commissioned officers and has no enlisted or warrant officer ranks, although warrant officers have been authorized for use within the service. Officers of the PHS are classified as noncombatants, unless directed to serve as and part of the armed forces by the President or detailed to a service branch of the armed forces. Members of the commissioned corps wear the same uniforms as the United States Navy, or the United States Coast Guard, with special PHS Commissioned Corps insignia, hold ranks equivalent to officers of the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard. Officers of the commissioned corps receive their commissions through the PHS Commissioned Corps's direct commissioning program.
As with its parent division, the Public Health Service, the commissioned corps is under the direction of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The commissioned corps is led by the Surgeon General; the Surgeon General reports directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Health. The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps had its beginnings with the creation of the Marine Hospital Fund in 1798, reorganized in 1871 as the Marine Hospital Service; the Marine Hospital Service was charged with the care and maintenance of merchant sailors, but as the country grew, so did the ever-expanding mission of the service. The Marine Hospital Service soon began taking on new expanding health roles that included such health initiatives that protected the commerce and health of America. One such role was quarantine. John Maynard Woodworth, a famous surgeon of the Union Army who served under General William Tecumseh Sherman, was appointed in 1871 as the Supervising Surgeon.
Woodworth's title was changed to "Supervising Surgeon General," which became the Surgeon General of the United States. Woodworth is credited with the formal creation of the Commissioned Corps. Woodworth organized the Marine Hospital Service medical personnel along Army military structure in 1889 to facilitate a mobile force of health professionals that could be moved for the needs of the service and country, he established appointment standards and designed the Marine Hospital Service herald of a fouled anchor and caduceus. That year of 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed an Act into law that formally established the modern Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. At first open only to physicians, over the course of the twentieth century, the Corps expanded to 11 careers in a wide range of specialties to include veterinarians, engineers, nurses, environmental health specialists, scientists and other allied health professionals. Today, the commissioned corps is under the United States Public Health Service, a major agency now of the U.
S. Department of Health and Human Services, established by Congress in 1979-1980, it was established in 1953 as the U. S. Department of Health and Welfare, is still led by the Surgeon General; the commissioned corps allocates officers to all seven uniformed services depending on the health or medical needs of the other uniformed services. The commissioned corps was featured in the 1950 motion picture Panic in the Streets, in which Richard Widmark portrayed a Public Health Service physician tracking down a bubonic plague victim; the stated mission of the Commissioned Corps of the U. S. Public Health Service is "Protecting and advancing the health and safety of the Nation" in accordance with the commissioned corps's four Core Values: Leadership, Excellence and Service. Officers execute the mission of the commissioned corps in the following ways: Help provide healthcare and related services to medically underserved populations: to American Indians, Alaska Natives, to other population groups with special needs.
Plus, the commissioned corps provides officers to other uniformed services the United States Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps. Commissioned corps officers may be detailed to other federal agencies including the Department of Defense, TRICARE, Department of Justice, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior. Commissioned corps officers may develop individual memoranda of understanding with other o
Border War (1910–1919)
The Border War, or the Border Campaign, refers to the military engagements which took place in the Mexico–United States border region of North America during the Mexican Revolution. The Bandit War in Texas was part of the Border War. From the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the United States Army was stationed in force along the border and on several occasions fought with Mexican rebels or federals; the height of the conflict came in 1916 when revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked the American border town of Columbus, New Mexico. In response, the United States Army, under the direction of General John J. Pershing, launched an expedition into northern Mexico, to find and capture Villa. Though the operation was successful in finding and engaging the Villista rebels, in killing Villa's two top lieutenants, the revolutionary himself escaped and the American army returned to the United States in January 1917. Conflict at the border continued and the United States launched several additional, though smaller operations into Mexican territory until after the American victory in the Battle of Ambos Nogales.
Conflict was not only subject to Americans. Revolutionary activity breaks out in Mexico. United States Army deploys to several border towns to protect American lives and property and to ensure that fighting between rebel and federal forces remains on the Mexican side of the border. In late 1910, Francisco Madero issues the Plan of San Luis Potosí, a proclamation which called for Mexican citizens to rise up against the federal government of Porfirio Díaz, in San Antonio, Texas. On 20 November, Madero planned to attack the border town of Ciudad Porfirio Diaz, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. Due to the lack of reinforcements, Madero canceled the operation and left to New Orleans, Louisiana, to prepare another plan. Porfirio Díaz pressured the United States government into issuing orders for Madero's arrest. Madero escapes across the border back into Mexico on 14 February. Magonistas began campaigning in northern Baja California in February, they captured the Mexican border town of Mexicali on 11 February and marched to Tijuana where they defeated the federal garrison.
The Mexican government retaliated and attacked Tijuana in June, forcing the rebels to cross the border and surrender to the United States Army at San Ysidro, California. In March, Francisco Madero led 130 men at the Battle of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua; the rebels lost the battle, but the federals retreated which left Madero's army in control. Madero began smuggling arms and ammunition on a large scale from across the border. On 16 March, rebel saboteurs in Ciudad Juárez bombed the barracks and homes of the Mexican Army garrison. A large nitroglycerin explosion was seen on the American side of the border. Two days a large cannon which sat in the town square of El Paso, Texas and was taken to Ciudad Juárez. Maderista rebels fought federal troops loyal to Porfirio Díaz at Sonora, in April. United States troops across the border in Douglas, were attacked by Mexican forces and in response the Americans intervened which left the rebels in control of the town. Madero's rebels under Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco attacked federal forces at the major Second Battle of Ciudad Juarez from 7 April-10 May.
The American garrison of El Paso, exchanged fire with rebels resulting in minor casualties on both sides. Porfirio Díaz exiled. Francisco Madero calls for an end to warfare in the country, he offered to pay rebels of different factions but only if they would lay down their arms or join his new federal Army. Fighting breaks out between rebel factions. United States Army continues garrisoning American border towns. General Pasqual Orozco rebels against President Madero and begins a campaign in the border state of Chihuahua. Madero responds by sending an army. Villa rebels against the Madero government soon after. Federal forces of President Francisco Madero establish Fort Tijuana along the international border with California in response to the Magonista campaign. Nogales, was attacked by General Obregón's army of over 2,000 Constitutionalistas in 1913. Defending federal forces under General Emilio Kosterlitzky collapsed and surrendered to the United States Army garrison of Nogales, Arizona; the Battle of Naco is fought.
Álvaro Obregón's rebel army defeated the federal Mexican border town garrison of Sonora. United States troops watched the battle from across the border. American troops in Naco, begin construction of Fort Naco, one of 12 forts built by the United States Army along the border for protection against warring Mexican forces. General John Pershing and Pancho Villa meet at Fort Bliss and would meet again in 1914 at Ojinaga, Chihuahua. On 9 April, the Tampico Affair, an incident in Tampico, between United States Navy sailors and Mexican troops, occurred, it resulted in the severing of diplomatic relations between the United States. In response to the Tampico Affair, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to approve an armed invasion of Mexico. Congress approves the invasion; the United States Navy's Atlantic fleet under Admiral Frank Fletcher was sent to the port of Veracruz and occupied the city after an amphibious assault and a street battle with Mexican defenders. The longest battle of the Mexican Revolution was fought at Naco, across the border from Fort Naco and Naco, Arizona.
Pancho Villa's men attacked General Obregón's garrison on 17 October. During the 119 following days of siege warfare Villa was defeated. During th
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce. The Secretary is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate and serves in the President's Cabinet; the Secretary is concerned with promoting American industries. Until 1913 there was one Secretary of Commerce and Labor, uniting this department with the Department of Labor, now headed by a separate Secretary of Labor; the current Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross, nominated by President Donald Trump and approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017. Parties No party Democratic Republican Status Source: Department of Commerce: Secretaries As of April 2019, there are ten living former Secretaries of Commerce, the oldest being Frederick B. Dent; the most recent Secretary of Commerce to die was Peter Peterson, on March 20, 2018. The most serving Secretary to die was Ron Brown, who died in office on April 3, 1996; the line of succession for the Secretary of Commerce is as follows: Deputy Secretary of Commerce General Counsel of the Department of Commerce Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Commerce and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration Boulder Laboratories Site Manager, National Institute of Standards and Technology Official website
Military history of the United States
The military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries. During those years, the United States evolved from a new nation fighting Great Britain for independence, through the monumental American Civil War and, after collaborating in triumph during World War II, to the world's sole remaining superpower from the late 20th century to present; the Continental Congress in 1775 established the Continental Army, Continental Navy, Continental Marines and named General George Washington its commander. This newly formed military, along with state militia forces, the French Army and Navy, the Spanish Navy defeated the British in 1781; the new Constitution in 1789 made the president the commander in chief, with authority for the Congress to levy taxes, make the laws, declare war. As of 2017, the U. S. Armed Forces consists of the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, all under the command of the United States Department of Defense. There is the United States Coast Guard, controlled by the Department of Homeland Security.
The President of the United States is the commander-in-chief, exercises the authority through the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which supervises combat operations. Governors have control of each state's Air National Guard units for limited purposes; the president has the ability to federalize National Guard units, bringing them under the sole control of the Department of Defense. The beginning of the United States military lies in civilian frontier settlers, armed for hunting and basic survival in the wilderness; these were organized into local militias for small military operations against Native American tribes but to resist possible raids by the small military forces of neighboring European colonies. They relied on the British regular Navy for any serious military operation. In major operations outside the locality involved, the militia was not employed as a fighting force. Instead the colony asked for volunteers, many of whom were militia members. In the early years of the British colonization of North America, military action in the thirteen colonies that would become the United States were the result of conflicts with Native Americans, such as in the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip's War in 1675, the Yamasee War in 1715 and Father Rale's War in 1722.
Beginning in 1689, the colonies became involved in a series of wars between Great Britain and France for control of North America, the most important of which were Queen Anne's War, in which the British conquered French colony Acadia, the final French and Indian War when Britain was victorious over all the French colonies in North America. This final war was to give thousands of colonists, including Virginia colonel George Washington, military experience which they put to use during the American Revolutionary War. In the struggle for control of North America, the contest between Great Britain and France was the vital one, the conflict with Spain, a declining power, important but secondary; this latter conflict reached its height in the "War of Jenkins Ear," a prelude to the War of Austrian Succession, which began in 1739 and pitted the British and their American colonists against the Spanish. In the colonies the war involved a seesaw struggle between the Spanish in Florida and the West Indies and the English colonists in South Carolina and Georgia.
Its most notable episode, was a British expedition mounted in Jamaica against Cartagena, the main port of the Spanish colony in Colombia. The mainland colonies furnished a regiment to participate in the assault as British Regulars under British command; the expedition ended in disaster, resulting from climate and the bungling of British commanders, only about 600 of over 3,000 Americans who participated returned to their homes. Ongoing political tensions between Great Britain and the thirteen colonies reached a crisis in 1774 when the British placed the province of Massachusetts under martial law after the Patriots protested taxes they regarded as a violation of their constitutional rights as Englishmen; when shooting began at Lexington and Concord in April 1775, militia units from across New England rushed to Boston and bottled up the British in the city. The Continental Congress appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief of the newly created Continental Army, augmented throughout the war by colonial militia.
In addition to the Army, Congress created the Continental Navy and Continental Marines. He drove the British out of Boston but in late summer 1776 they returned to New York and nearly captured Washington's army. Meanwhile, the revolutionaries expelled British officials from the 13 states, declared themselves an independent nation on 4 July 1776; the British, for their part, lacked both a clear strategy for winning. With the use of the Royal Navy, the British were able to capture coastal cities, but control of the countryside eluded them. A British sortie from Canada in 1777 ended with the disastrous surrender of a British army at Saratoga. With the coming in 1777 of General von Steuben, the training and discipline along Prussian lines began, the Continental Army began to evolve into a modern force. France and Spain entered the war against Great Britain as Allies of the US, ending its naval advantage and escalating the conflict into a world war; the Netherlands joined France, the British were outnumbered on land and sea in a world war, as they had no major allies apart from Indian tribes and Hessians.
A shift in focus to the southern American states in 1779 resulted in a string of victories for the British, but General Nathanael Greene engaged in guerrilla warfare and prevented them from making stra
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis known as the October Crisis of 1962, the Caribbean Crisis, or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union initiated by the American discovery of Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation is considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961 and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to Cuba's request to place nuclear missiles on the island to deter a future invasion. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July 1962, construction of a number of missile launch facilities started that summer; the 1962 United States elections were under way, the White House had for months denied charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. The missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missile facilities.
The US established a naval blockade on October 22 to prevent further missiles from reaching Cuba. The US announced it would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the Soviet Union. After several days of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between US President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a US public declaration and agreement to avoid invading Cuba again. Secretly, the United States agreed that it would dismantle all US-built Jupiter MRBMs, deployed in Turkey against the Soviet Union; when all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 21, 1962. The negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow.
As a result, the Moscow–Washington hotline was established. A series of agreements reduced US–Soviet tensions for several years until both parties began to build their nuclear arsenal further. With the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War, the United States had grown concerned about the expansion of communism. A Latin American country allying with the Soviet Union was regarded by the US as unacceptable, it would, for example, defy the Monroe Doctrine, a US policy limiting US involvement in European colonies and European affairs but holding that the Western Hemisphere was in the US sphere of influence. The Kennedy administration had been publicly embarrassed by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in May 1961, launched under President John F. Kennedy by CIA-trained forces of Cuban exiles. Afterward, former President Dwight Eisenhower told Kennedy that "the failure of the Bay of Pigs will embolden the Soviets to do something that they would otherwise not do." The half-hearted invasion left Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and his advisers with the impression that Kennedy was indecisive and, as one Soviet adviser wrote, "too young, not prepared well for decision making in crisis situations... too intelligent and too weak".
US covert operations against Cuba continued in 1961 with the unsuccessful Operation Mongoose. In addition, Khrushchev's impression of Kennedy's weaknesses was confirmed by the President's response during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 to the building of the Berlin Wall. Speaking to Soviet officials in the aftermath of the crisis, Khrushchev asserted, "I know for certain that Kennedy doesn't have a strong background, nor speaking, does he have the courage to stand up to a serious challenge." He told his son Sergei that on Cuba, Kennedy "would make a fuss, make more of a fuss, agree". In January 1962, US Army General Edward Lansdale described plans to overthrow the Cuban government in a top-secret report, addressed to Kennedy and officials involved with Operation Mongoose. CIA agents or "pathfinders" from the Special Activities Division were to be infiltrated into Cuba to carry out sabotage and organization, including radio broadcasts. In February 1962, the US launched an embargo against Cuba, Lansdale presented a 26-page, top-secret timetable for implementation of the overthrow of the Cuban government, mandating guerrilla operations to begin in August and September.
"Open revolt and overthrow of the Communist regime" would occur in the first two weeks of October. When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, one of his key election issues was an alleged "missile gap" with the Soviets leading; the US at that time led the Soviets by a wide margin that would only increase. In 1961, the Soviets had only four intercontinental ballistic missiles. By October 1962, they may have had a few dozen, with some intelligence estimates as high as 75; the US, on the other hand, had 170 ICBMs and was building more. It had eight George Washington- and Ethan Allen-class ballistic missile submarines, with the capability to launch 16 Polaris missiles, each with a range of 2,500 nautical miles. Khrushchev increased the perception of a missile