News Release

Ukrainian Missile Crisis




Katrina vanden Heuvel notes in her recent piece for the Washington Post: “The Cuban missile crisis was 60 years ago, but it’s urgently relevant today” that President Biden “warned that in the Ukraine war, ‘for the first time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons.'”

With James Carden, she just co-wrote the piece How did we avoid a Cuban Missile ‘Armageddon’? Strategic empathy.”

They write: “During the Cuban crisis, Kennedy was under intense pressure to act militarily, by striking the Soviet missile sites or invading Cuba, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff; members of the Executive Committee (ExComm) of the National Security Council (including, and especially, from his own vice president, Lyndon Johnson); and from congressional leaders, including Senate Armed

Services Committee Chairman Richard Russell. But time and again, to the consternation of his hardline civilian and military advisers, Kennedy pulled back from the brink.”

Publisher and editorial director of The Nation, Vanden Heuvel is president of the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord and writes a weekly column for the Washington Post. She is author of the books The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama and, with Stephen F. Cohen, Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers.
James Carden is Washington columnist for Asia Times and former adviser to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the U.S. Department of State.