Nuclear Crisis — Or Nuclear Theater?
Comparing the Cuban Missile
By risking nuclear war, Kennedy forced removal of the Soviet missiles from the Americas. But early in 1965, the Soviet Union began deployment of more than a thousand missiles in its homeland, all capable of reaching any target in the United States; their replacements later carried ten or more warheads each. Some of these replacement missies remain aimed at us today. Yet Americans have learned to tolerate the threat of nuclear attack on a far grander scale than the Cuban missiles because the potential for retaliation from American nuclear weapons has prevented Soviet and now Russian authorities from ever launching a strike.