John F. Kennedy’s Decision-Making on the Berlin Crisis of 1961
Alexander Sergunin

This article examines the U.S. decision-making on the Berlin crisis of 1961. The author argues that this conflict was a serious challenge to the Kennedy crisis management system which was substantially modified during and after these dramatic events. Particularly, the center of decision-making shifted from traditional actors, such as the State and Defense departments or CIA to the National Security Council staff and presidential advisers. On a more general plane, the Berlin crisis has stimulated the development of both theory and practice of strategic planning and crisis management. The Berlin conflict management experience was useful for dealing with other international crises which happened during the Kennedy administrations (including the most dangerous one – the Cuban missile crisis of 1962).

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