Special Report

Cuban missile crisis

Cuban missile crisis

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, the nerve-wracking peak of the Cold War. To commemorate this event, Foreign Policy is tweeting the Cuban missile crisis in real time, chronicling the days, hours, and minutes when the world stood on the brink of nuclear destruction. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once noted that history is “lived forward” but “understood backward.” Join us as we retell the story of the Cuban missile crisis as it was actually experienced by John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, and Fidel Castro — forward rather than backward, in all its cliff-hanging excitement and unpredictability. Michael Dobbs, a Foreign Policy blogger and author of One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War, will draw topical lessons from the gravest national security crisis of the Cold War. How much does a president know when he makes decisions that could affect the lives of millions? Does he control events, or do events control him? Could we be faced with an Iranian missile crisis in October 2012? Is there a way back from the brink?


  • The Thirteen Days
    A day-by-day examination of the events of the crisis.

  • On the Brink
    Michael Dobbs‘s blog on the world’s most dangerous nuclear confrontation.

  • Join FP’s new joint contest with the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center

  • Tensions in September
    A closer look at the month preceding the crisis.

  • August in Focus

    Key Events in August
    An FP Slide Show

  • Key Events in July
    An FP Slide Show

  • What Was at Stake in 1962?
    A look at Russian and U.S. nuclear stockpiles.

  • President on Holiday as Crisis Mounts

    President on Holiday as Crisis Mounts

  • Cuba Almost Become a Nuclear Power in 1962

  • The Myth That Screwed Up 50 Years of U.S. Foreign Policy

  • The ‘Eyeball to Eyeball’ Moment That Never Was