Bureaucratic Politics and Intelligence in The Bay of Pigs

In 1961 at the Bay of Pigs, exiles from Cuba performed an amphibious physical attack. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had done the recruitment, training and equipping of these Cuban exiles brigade. Moreover, pilots from America in support of the invasion flew some combat missions. However, in not more than three days, the Cuban president, Fidel Castro, had intervened and crushed the invasion but there were reports of hundred exiles that died. Besides, the assault force survivors spent the subsequent one and a half years languishing in the prisons of Havana.
The then U. S. presidents, Kennedy, R. , was troubled within himself for having had approved this operation that morally, intellectually and tactically was bankrupt from its inauguration. Bureaucratic politics, a national security policy models by Graham Allison, helps clarify the dilemmas of Kennedy’s shadowy vacation. The use of analogical reasoning in this ill-fated invasion based on the past successes that were concealed revealed the faultiness of enacting foreign policies in decision making.
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) may have misguided President Kennedy to result to the wrong policy decisions in dealing with Cuba and her president (Johnson, 1983, 25). Analogical reasoning by the way of process tracing could have aided Kennedy in making up his final decision. Though the press had been informed of the progress of the preparations of the invasion, it downplayed the same more specifically to the Cuban expatriates who had exiled the Miami political representatives in the interest of the national security.
Further revisiting the unfolding of events in the Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochmos) leaned more on a political outcome than a decision arrived at rationally. The present struggles between the different governments’ officials’ gave birth to this Bahia de Cochmos since each independent side had its priorities, problems and perceptions totally conflicting with the others’. This invasion was a unitary rational actor’s unconscious policy decision emerging from coalition, compromise, confusion and competition among the aforesaid officials of the government who had different perceptions of the issue at hand (Blight, 1999, 7).
Though no acting solely, these parties were in a common competitive game as elaborated by the model of bureaucratic politics. Endorsements by Eisenhower, an Indian, some staffers and the CIA funding held more significant roles invasion than the chiefs in the determination of the final outcome though they had no elaborate intention in the invasion. For instance, Eisenhower only supported the attempts of destabilizing Cuba while Nixon, a U. S. presidential nominee of the Republicans foresaw the benefits he was to enjoy once the toppling of Castro was successful prior the general elections.
Another active participant of the Cuban program included Bissell, a former Yale’s economist and the CIA deputy director who worked towards the programs expansion. He was determined, having the hopes of being Kennedy’s selected successor, to overthrow the government of Cuba through an amphibious invasion. He later collaborated with Eisenhower to fuel the assault force with heavy firepower. All through even after the eventful inauguration, President Kennedy supported the plan by his issuance of the relevant guidelines though he was doubtful of the invasion success.
As the operation matured, various last minute changes had to be adopted. These were a reflection of the hidebound interests of individual players and organizations. Air strikes were prompted with the aim of eradicating on the ground any intervening attempts by the air force in the Castro’s government (Halperin, 1974, 14). The risks facing Kennedy’s political arena equaled those of the military. Confusion and competition between the officials resulted about the operation since each bureaucracy had its own goals that it promoted for its interests.
However, amidst all these, the ruinous upshot exploded. This invasion succeeded because of the collaboration of the bureaucrats. Though Kennedy thought that his infiltration of the Cuban exiles was quiet, the CIA kept the press updated and sent battle communiques to the Cuban political front based in Miami. Kennedy also perceived that was the invasion to face a bounce-back, guerrilla operations would work out. Other stakeholders like the air force staff played it well. The role of intelligence in the Invasion
Intelligence calls for use of analogical reasoning and the utilization of the history properly in coming up with decisions especially foreign policy decisions. However, of the two reasoning by analogy seems to take a greater portion. In the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy placed less trust in advice given to him and suggestions from various administrations. For instance, he chose to independently deal with the Laotian foreign policy resolutions when the joint chiefs and the staffers seemed to be reluctant in updating him the happenings in the Bay of Pigs.
He goes further to reflect on the European crises and not only the crisis in Cuba on missiles. Robert Kennedy stands out to be a statesman capable of escaping single analogy confines. Although a foreign policy maker, Kennedy employs historical reasoning in his policy decision making and this proves to be superficial as compared to reasoning by analogy. Besides, it is an ordinary phenomenon. The problems that were at hand in Cuba invasion could not have been perceived and recognized since the stakeholders merely made observations and their reasoning was logical with no analogical reasoning.
They never referred from the past similar incident’s problems in order to handle the current in a more reasonable manner. Even though Kennedy was sympathetic with the operation’s motives and had no apprehensiveness about Castro’s overthrowing by the U. S. , the CIA plan was never persuasive to him. He was focused on the probabilities of accomplishing the operation and also attaining political success (Vandenbroucke, 1984, 7). He favored smaller teams infiltration than undertaking an amphibious assault.
The CIA managed to maneuver tactfully and shrewdly in the operations preparation and execution without loosing. This agency enjoyed the information monopoly on the Cuban issue. Furthermore, its officials were more passionate about the problem than the rest thus remained to be very convincing to the others. Besides, other key players like Bissell, a doctorate degree holder, with their divergent values, goals and stakes and power resources had reliable decision inputs. Besides, Bissell’s personality was superb. Schlesinger defines his intelligence as superbly clean organized and articulated.
These activists were gurus in intelligence works and concealed operations. Despite the undoubted fact that the operation was highly risky, the CIA culture of accurately calculating and providing for these perils was utilized. With the president being at some points being unenthusiastic, the bureaucratic players involved in the operation could easily access him and influence his decisions through the OSSs and the Ivy League ties (Murgado, 2003, 8). This would time and again prompt him to react to the favor of the operation.
The channel that was used for decision making was tightly concealed from the Cuban expertise civilian decision makers’ sources. This ensured that Cuban civilians could not forecast of the catastrophe that faced their country. In addition, through the wisdom of various players, the landings were successful; with Castro’s air force being down away with on the ground since an air strike had been called prior. In conclusion, the landings in the Bay of Pigs justifies the outcomes realized from a bureaucratic progression that a single actor or organization would have hardly accomplished.
On the other hand, future foreign policy decision makers have to learn from past mistakes so as to avoid echoing the lamentations of Kennedy. Though history and historical reasoning are reliable in the making of these policy decisions, they greatly remain to be superficial. Consequently, reasoning from analogy can help these foreign policy decision makers come up with more relevant and rational decisions. References Blight, J 1999, Politics of Illussion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined. Lynne Rienner, Boulder, CO
Halperin, M 1974, Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy. Brookings Institution, Washington, DC Johnson, L 1983, Seven Sins of Strategic Intelligence, World Affairs, Vol. 146, p. 23-28 Murgado, A 2003, The Bay of Pigs Invasion: A Case Study in Foreign Policy Decision-Making. Columbia College, viewed 5 August 2010 from <http://etd. fcla. edu/CF/CFE0002522/Murgado_Amaury_200905_MS. pdf> Vandenbroucke, L. S. (1984). Anatomy of a Failure: The Decision to Land at the Bay of Pigs, viewed 5 august 2010 from <http://www. latinamericanstudies. org/bay-of-pigs/failure. pdf

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