The Unheard Voices of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Daniel Puentes, , UCS

The beginning of 2021 marks a prominent time in the world of arms control. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force today, January 22, 2021. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is set to expire on February 5, 2021. Both the Biden administration and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have expressed their wish to extend New START unconditionally for five years, signaling the US and Russia’s commitment to arms control. Most people don’t know that over 58 years ago, another important event in nuclear security occurred in January 1963: the formal end to the Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis. While those fateful 13 days (October 16–28, 1962) brought the world near the brink of a thermonuclear war, danger persisted for the remainder of the year. This event was one of the dangerous periods in recent history.
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