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The Rest of the Story

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After successful brinkmanship and diplomacy by the Kennedy administration de-escalated the nuclear crisis, NPIC photo interpreters provided key support to confirm through imagery analysis that Khrushchev’s Soviet nuclear forces were, in fact, being withdrawn from Cuba. This photo from one week after negotiations ended shows a fleet of Soviet ships returning missiles and launchers to the USSR.

Throughout the crisis, NPIC provided timely, vital intelligence that shaped Kennedy’s understanding of the threat, and armed him with crucial details that formed the basis for the sound judgment and decision making Kennedy and his administration exhibited in tense negotiations with Khrushchev. The same professional analysis that averted nuclear war in 1962 informs the President and other policymakers is still produced at NGA today.