Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Military History

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Robert Young


The following examines the correlation between John F. Kennedy’s shift in American Foreign Policy and Nikita Khrushchev’s decision to deploy nuclear missiles to Cuba. It summarizes Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “New Look” strategy and then analyzes Kennedy’s “Flexible Response” in order to demonstrate the shift which occurred between the administrations. It then examines how this shift impacted Khrushchev’s decision making, summarizing the series of events that led to the Soviet Premier’s idea to place Soviet strategic weapons on Cuba in defense of Castro’s Revolution. The study also includes a discussion of the historiography of the subject and an examination of Eisenhower and Kennedy’s styles of leadership, focusing on how their different preferences shaped the policies their administration’s pursued.



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