Few who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 will forget the fear and apprehension they felt. The world stood on the brink of a nuclear holocaust as U.S. ships imposed a blockade to force Soviet missiles out of Cuba. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief as the Soviets agreed to remove their missiles in exchange for an American pledge not to invade Cuba, but all agreed a cataclysmic nuclear war had been only narrowly averted. Of the lessons that came from this episode, the one that stands out is that never again should the United States be put in a position where its cities are so close to nuclear destruction. Many assumed that lesson had been learned as decades of arms control, détente, and the end of the Cold War seemingly removed the specter of nuclear attack from our collective consciousness.
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