Letter: The crisis created by Khrushchev and Kennedy

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The Independent Online
Sir: The main lesson of the Cuban missile crisis is, as Robert McNamara concluded, ('At daggers drawn', 6 October), that as long as the control of nuclear warheads remains dependent on human fallibility, the nuclear holocaust is a near certainty.

What also struck those of us who endured the 13 days in October 1962 when 'the world teetered on the edge of the nuclear abyss' was that we were likely to be eliminated without consultation - neither Britain's 'independent' nuclear weapons, let alone Nato, were the least bit relevant. Our survival was entirely in the hands of Kennedy and Khrushchev. Next time it could be a Saddam Hussein or some other world dictator who determines our fate. As Mr McNamara concludes, 'the world must move back to a non-nuclear age' - or else.

Yours faithfully,

SHEILA JONES

London, NW3

7 October

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