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Bay of Pigs Operation

Bay of Pigs Operation

How do you start a Bay of Pigs Operation research paper? Our expert writers suggest like this:

"Success has a thousand father, failure is an orphan." With these words, spoken on national television, President John F. Kennedy accepted full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. In private, Kennedy showed a different face, asking his advisors on more than one occasion: "How could I have been so stupid as to let them proceed?" The April 1961 operation, known alternatively as:

  • The Cuba Project
  • The Trinidad Operation or
  • Operation Zapata

The Bay of Pigs Operation was one of America's lowest points in the Cold War, and damaging to Kennedy's early presidency. The CIA blamed the failure on his lack of nerve. "These charges would plague him for the rest of his life and became the core of the CIA apologia. CIA instructors told new agent classes that Kennedy had 'chickened out' at the Bay of Pigs." But the failure of the Bay of Pigs operation has numerous causes, most of which have nothing to do with Kennedy.

Genesis for the Bay of Pigs Operation

The genesis for the Bay of Pigs Operation can be directly traced to causes: the 1959 Cuban Revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power (combined with his subsequent adoption of Soviet-style communism) and the CIA history during the Eisenhower administration of intervening in the affairs of other nations (Iran and Guatemala). When the first plans were being laid at the CIA, the "Guatemala model" was fresh in their minds. "In one week the CIA had overthrown the Guatemalan government. A force of 150 exiles, firing hardly a shot, and a handful of World War II P-47 fighters, flown by American pilots hired by the agency were the overt weapons." The success of the Guatemalan coup, and the ability of the CIA to remain undetected in its planning and operation, led Eisenhower to approve NSC.5432/1 in September 1954, allowing the CIA to take "increased action against Communist penetration in Latin America".

In October 1961, the CIA prepared its own internal report on the Bay of Pigs. The immediate background of the project is succinctly summarized: Formal U.S. Government adoption of the project occurred on 17 March 1960, whenPresident Eisenhower approved an Agency paper titled "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime" and thereby authorized the Agency to undertake this program:

Eisenhower and the Bay of Pigs

Eisenhower would later alter his private papers to show that he had no knowledge of "Operation Pluto," as it was first called, or any other military action against Cuba. However, a smoking gun can be laid at his feet for his approval on September 25, 1956 of NSC.5613/1 which read: "If a Latin American State should establish with the Soviet bloc, close ties of such a nature as seriously to prejudice our vital interests[the United States must] be prepared to diminish Governmental economic and financial cooperation with that country and to take any other policy, economic or military actions deemed appropriate." E. Howard Hunt, Watergate conspirator, was one of the key CIA operatives behind the Cuba Project, would write: "Only divine intervention could rid Cuba of Fidel Castro." Apparently the CIA would assume that role.

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