The Russian, commonly known as Cuban missile crisis, was a controversy that existed between America, Cuba, and Soviet Union towards the end of the year 1962 when cold war was in the offing. The United States government attempted to overthrow the government of Cuba without success. On seeing this, Soviet Union government and that of Cuba embarked on constructing bases for producing nuclear missiles, with an intention of striking most parts of America. Towards the end of 1962, an American air force plane managed to capture in camera some missile bases being constructed in Cuba, which belonged to Soviet Union government.
The American government thought of launching attacks on Cuba following the declaration that they were not going to allow manufacturing of destructive weapons. They then ordered destruction of missile bases that were being constructed in Cuba. Owing to this crisis, the cold war was almost becoming a battle of nuclear weapons. Although counterintelligence played a big role during the Cuban missile crisis, its failure will forever be remembered by many.
In the history of American military, counterintelligence is a term that has been used for long to refer to a secret activity and information. Counterintelligence is mainly used to counter any information that foreign powers can access. The first counterintelligence to be developed in the United States was during the civil war. The same was very useful during the Cuban missile crisis. It was used to combat the missile bases of Soviet Union that were being constructed in Cuba. The counterintelligence had also been used in 1961 by the then president of United States, John F. Kennedy but they failed terribly and he ended up getting embarrassed. Eisenhower, the former president of United States told John Kennedy that the failure of counterintelligence will encourage Soviet to attack the United States unexpectedly. The counterintelligence launched attacks in 1961 in Mongoose but they failed.
At the beginning of the year 1962, Lansdale made plans of removing the government of Cuba from power with the help of counterintelligence. The officers from intelligence department in United States were taken in Cuba to sabotage all the organizations and radio broadcast. Early in 1962, America through Lansdale launched a plan that was designed to overthrow the government of Cuba and this led to guerilla attacks around September. In August 1962, with the help of counterintelligence, the government of America got information that the Soviet Union government was constructing a missile base in the country of Cuba. In the month of August, the intelligence officers played a role of collecting information that led to suspicion of what the government of Soviet was intending to do. This was indeed a failure on their part.
With the help of counterintelligence, satellites and planes were used to boost abilities of the officers to gather information. With the use of cameras and electronic gadgets such as sensitive radios, the counterintelligence was able to trap all the ongoing communications or any emissions that were electronic. Following the shooting of U-2, Eisenhower discouraged further usage of aircrafts in dealing with Soviet Union. Through the use of an intelligent agent from Russia, the United States was assisted to access high secrets that worked to the benefit of the counterintelligence. In the 1960s, the arms struggle that existed between America and the missile forces from Russia was mainly the focus of the world. This arms struggle extended to the Cuban missile crisis that took place in 1962.
Due to their access to top secret information, counterintelligence was targeted so much by the Soviet Union when cold war was in progress. The soviet government saw them as a big threat during the Cuban missile crisis especially when they combined resources from the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Due to the witch hunt that the government of Soviet Union has launched against the counterintelligence, it almost led to their failure in the first mission. This was heightened by their discovery of secret missile bases in Cuba.
However, the counterintelligence duration and existence had negative impacts on it during the Cuban missile crisis that led to a number of failures. Shortly after James J. Angleton took over the leadership of counterintelligence in 1960, the officers in the agency almost paralyzed the efforts of the CIAs against the Soviet Union. Analysts argue that, the way excesses were handled was a move to frustrate effort by the counterintelligence that eventually gave way to espionage. Due to such failures of counterintelligence, veteran intelligence officials were hired in order to assist in bringing frequent monitoring and tight security rules.
The plans by Soviet Union to establish a missile plant in Cuba raised questions how the counterintelligence was unable to anticipate that such plans were underway. Their negligence would have led to a missile war. Anatoly Gribkov, a senior army of Soviet Union at the time observed that nuclear war was almost about to take place and it was not a matter of hours or days but minutes. The realization by the counterintelligence that nuclear weapons were being manufactured secretly by the Soviet Union government in Cuba came too late although quick actions helped to save the situation.
The missile crisis that took place in Cuba has been said to be the closest that the world has ever witnessed. The American armed forces were very ready to launch attacks on soviet union missile base but on the other hand, the soviet union soldiers were ready too use the nuclear weapons to guard the island incase of any attacks. Nuclear war would have taken the world by storm all because of counterintelligence failure to work diligently.
Prior to the start of Cuban missile crisis, the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) was in charge of all counterintelligence activities. However, overtime, they involved themselves in McCarthyism politics during the cold war era. As a result, all the investigations failed to unearth all the illegal activities by the government of Soviet Union. To some extent, this failure led to Soviet Union soldiers knowing that they were being scrutinized. In this particular case, the counterintelligence failed to alert not only the entire world about what was happening in Cuba, but also they betrayed their own country. If what had happened prior to the cold war was anything to go by, the Cuban and Soviet Union government had portrayed possible intentions of destroying America and other countries. What the soviet government was doing was a violation of the international law.
Another historical failure of the counterintelligence during the Cuban missile crisis was its failure to offer support to the military operations. The counterintelligence failed to provide information that would enable the American military to plan and launch timely attacks. The counterintelligence did not volunteer information on the size and capabilities of the soviet military. They failed to work jointly with the military to ensure that execution of attacks was jointly carried out. The activities of manufacturing nuclear weapons were a big threat to the world of economy, let alone that of the United States. Immediately after the end of the Cuban missile crisis, the counterintelligence moved very quickly to justify its reason to exist. However, the American government had already lost confidence in it and dramatic transition was the last thing they expected. Since then, the major missions of the American intelligence have not changed even a single bit.
The Cuban missile crisis went down in the annals of history as the era in which nuclear weapon war would have erupted. The illicit plans by the Soviet Union government to secretly engage in manufacturing nuclear weapons in Cuba portrayed the weakness of American counterintelligence. For the simple fact that it was supposed to have provided information on any government plans to engage in production of destructive weapons, it was a big failure on their part no to do so. Furthermore, the counterintelligence failure to work jointly with the military to attack Cuba for harboring criminal activities led to loss of trust in it.