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Journal of Cold War Studies 6.2 (2004) 1-2



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Editor's Note


Because the number of pages in this issue, as in the previous issue, had to be limited much more than usual to compensate for the length of the Fall 2003 issue, we had to make some adjustments, as I mentioned in my previous Editor's Note. Part2 of my article on "The Collapse of East European Communism and the Repercussions within the Soviet Union" was originally going to appear in the Winter 2004 issue, but because Part 2 is longer than Part 1 (which itself was unusually long), I am deferring publication of it until the Fall 2004 issue (Vol. 6, No. 4). The third of the three special issues on "The Collapse of the Soviet Union" was originally going to appear as the Summer 2004 issue, but it will now appear as the Winter 2005 issue (Vol.7, No. 1) instead. Our special issue on "Tibet, South Asian Security, and the Cold War" will appear as the Spring 2005 issue (Vol. 7, No. 2). In the future we will be able to avoid the need for adjustments of this sort because we have arranged for a higher page limit with MIT Press.

This issue begins with the first part of a two-part article by James Hershberg on an important aspect of the Cuban missile crisis that has been almost totally overlooked in the past. When President Kennedy was notified in mid-October 1962 that Soviet nuclear missiles were being secretly deployed in Cuba, he came under great pressure to respond. For various reasons, the option of doing nothing or of agreeing to accept the missiles was not deemed viable, so Kennedy instead had to decide how he could ensure the removal of the weapons. Most analyses of the crisis have implied that Kennedy had two main options: He could order a naval blockade against Cuba to keep out any further shipments and put pressure on Moscow to pull out the missiles that were already on the island. Or he could undertake direct military action against Cuba, launching a preemptive air attack followed by an all-out invasion and occupation of the country. What has usually been overlooked is that Kennedy in fact had a third option—the possibility of a quiet diplomatic overture to the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, to try to persuade him to drop his alliance with the Soviet Union and reach an accord with the United States. Hershberg's article reveals that Kennedy did actually pursue this third option, albeit haltingly, a few days after he imposed a blockade ("quarantine") of Cuba. The diplomatic contacts between the United States and Cuba, as Hershberg shows, occurred via the mediation of Brazil, a country with which the United States had not always enjoyed the easiest of relations. Part 1 of Hershberg's article provides the context for understanding why Brazil wanted to serve as an intermediary during the Cuban missile crisis and why Kennedy did not simply brush aside the Brazilians' offer of help. Part 2, to be published in the next issue, provides a fascinating, detailed account of U.S.-Cuban-Brazilian diplomacy during the crisis itself. [End Page 1] Nothing ultimately came of the diplomatic route, but Hershberg fills in an important dimension of the U.S.-Soviet-Cuban confrontation.

The second article in this issue, by Raymond Garthoff, provides a wide-ranging survey of the impact of foreign intelligence activities on Cold War history. The limitations of secrecy and the unavailability of sources have often deterred scholars from studying the role of intelligence in policymaking and in the outcomes of events, but, as Garthoff makes clear, enough fresh material has emerged in the post-Cold War era to warrant much greater scrutiny of the way intelligence was used during the Cold War. Garthoff, who has had practical experience in intelligence (as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency in the early 1960s) and is a long time observer of U.S.- Soviet relations, argues that scholars in the future should look not only at specific Cold War...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 1-2
Launched on MUSE
2004-03-22
Open Access
No
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