Return of the dragon: US boots won’t land in Ladakh

Less than a year after the world was on the precipice of a nuclear apocalypse, JFK reached out to Nikita Khrushchev to stop the manic rush to stockpile nukes. In his commencement speech at American University on June 10, 1963, ‘A Strategy of Peace’, he called for nuclear disarmament and peaceful coexistence of a democratic America and a Communist USSR. A 46-year-old Kennedy had witnessed the two most alarming crises during the second year of his presidency: the Cuban Missile Crisis and the India-China War.

However, around eight months before the landmark speech, JFK’s stance on Communism was drastically different—not to forget the Kennedy clan’s deep ties with senator Joseph McCarthy. Kennedy had come out openly in support of New Delhi during the 1962 India-China war with a ballast of American weapons and other supplies for the Army. He wanted India to win.

As the marauding People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued with its massive assault on the eastern and westerns theatres with an Indian defeat imminent, a panicked Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru shot off a second letter to Kennedy requesting immediate deployment of 350 US Air Force combats jets, including two bombers.

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