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Former defense secretary Robert McNamara, 50 years after the tense events of 1962, declared that the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the international system ever came to nuclear war. He suggested that the combination of the existence of such weapons and human fallibility could result in the destruction of all nations and almost did when the United States and the Soviet Union confronted each other over Soviet missiles on Cuban soil in October of 1962. Many fear that nuclear Armageddon could occur, even if leaders and people do not choose it, as long as nations possess these powerful weapons.

Because of the possibility of nuclear war, the history, context, and events surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis have been studied extensively. The story involves the long ...

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