Page 31 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

This is a SEO version of Foreign Service Journal - February 2013. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
FEBRUARY 2013
31
D
uring the late afternoon of Oct. 22, 1962,
diplomats at United Nations headquarters
in Manhattan were busy with the usual fall
business of the General Assembly. As a For-
eign Service ofcer assigned temporarily to
the U.S. delegation to the United Nations,
I had been focusing on the stalled nuclear
test ban negotiations in Geneva.
Like other members of U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson’s del-
egation, I had been asked to join him in his ofce that evening to
hear President John F. Kennedy’s speech to the nation. None of us
knew what the president was going to say. And as we listened, the
room grew quiet except for the sound of Kennedy’s voice from the
television—and not just out of respect for the president.
What he announced was shocking. Te Soviet government
had deployed missiles and bombers in Cuba capable of carrying
nuclear warheads to targets in the United States and elsewhere in
the Western Hemisphere. Te president declared: “It shall be the
policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from
Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack
by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retalia-
tory response upon the Soviet Union.”
After the speech, Stevenson spoke in sobering terms about the
dire situation and invited questions. I asked himwhether the Sovi-
ets already had nuclear warheads in Cuba. Te ambassador said
he did not know the answer to that question. In fact, no American
ADLAI
STEVENSON:
DREAMER OF
THINGS THAT
NEVERWERE
The New START Treaty was an encouraging
step, but we still need to implement
the nuclear test ban frst proposed
half a century ago.
BY JAMES E . GOODBY