Graham Allison, Harvard University

It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that 50 years ago tonight, we sat on the edge of World War III. We were nearing the end game of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a who-blinks-first nuclear stand off between the Soviet Union and the United States. Thankfully, we know how that ended, a masterstroke of diplomacy and brinksmanship by President Kennedy. Now, looking back on the anniversary, what did we really learn? And, on the eve our the Presidential elections, what lessons should be applied to our current international crises? Harvard University’s Graham Allison wrote the seminal analysis on the Cuban Missile Crisis: Essence of Decision. He has served our country in the Defense Departments under Presidents Reagan and Clinton and he has twice earned the DOD’s highest civilian award: The Distinguished Public Service Medal. (Originally broadcast 10-27-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

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