Lessons Learned: Bay of Pigs Invasion

April 17, 2012

Lessons Learned: Bay of Pigs Invasion
Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.
from The Water's Edge

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss the Bay of Pigs invasion, which began on April 17, 1961. In the video, I look at the mistakes made before and during the invasion and discuss the importance of anticipating failure and planning accordingly. Here’s a question to consider when thinking about these kinds of actions: What steps should presidents take to make sure that they are thinking how their policies might fail rather than simply engaging in wishful thinking about how they will succeed? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Bay of Pigs, Castro, Kennedy, or Cuba, here are some books worth reading:

Lawrence Freedman. Kennedy’s Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. (2000)

Howard Jones. The Bay of Pigs. (2008)

Higgins Trumbull. The Perfect Failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower, and the CIA at the Bay of Pigs. (1987)

More on:

Defense and Security

Politics and Government

Diplomacy and International Institutions

Congresses and Parliaments

Polls and Public Opinion

Stephen Rabe. The Most Dangerous Area in the World: John F. Kennedy Confronts Communist Revolution in Latin America. (1999)

Julia E. Sweig. Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. (2009)

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