After the U.S invaded Cuba, their lose in the event diminished their reputation as a country. This left the U.S vulnerable to ridicule. As Document A states: “it is a prime example of giving the Russians a huge advantage-the opportunity to take the initiative, to chose the time, place and form of a new crisis” (Document A).
The place chosen by the Russians was Cuba. America’s ego had already been hit, and the construction of missiles in Cuba added insult to injury.
In order to retain their sense of control, the U.S order a blockade. “The American blockade was now spread out below, over thousands of square miles of blue Caribbean” (Document I). By heeding the word of Robert McNamara, the U.S maintained control without, yet again, risking defeat through a head on invasion. If the U.S’s reputation had been stronger at the time, they would have leaned towards the more forceful action. War would have been the outcome. Even Charles Marshall said: “prestige is the faculty enabling a great Power to avoid final, miserable choices between surrender and war” (Document H).
The blockade proved minuscule in ending the situation but the U.S wanted to keep its ego elevated by maintain the illusion of control. It took the negotiation of the U.S,