Teaching Case - Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs

Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs

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  • Product Description

    Abstract:
    In April 1961, President Kennedy denied US military assistance to a force of CIA-trained Cuban exiles attacking Cuba, thus sealing the fate of the Bay of Pigs invasion. When the losses had been tallied, 114 exiles were dead, Castro was left with 1,200 prisoners, and the Kennedy administration was publicly embarrassed. The case recounts the formulation and failed execution of this CIA plan to invade Cuba. The authors trace the origins of the plan under the Eisenhower administration and follow Kennedy through his first three months in office, during which time he first heard of, then revised, and ultimately approved a trimmed-down version of the plan. This case was initially designed to illustrate the importance of decision-makers' identifying and testing their own and their advisers' presumptions. Extending this theme, the case may be used in conjunction with The CIA to 1961 (HKS Case Number 280.0) as an exercise in "organizational placement." Had Kennedy used this method to better understand the institution of the CIA, he might have questioned them more closely and avoided some of the tragedy of the Bay of Pigs. For further discussion of the placement method, see The CIA to 1961 abstract.

    Learning Objective:
    This case was initially designed to illustrate the importance of decision-makers' identifying and testing their own and their advisers' presumptions. Extending this theme, the case may be used in conjunction with The CIA to 1961 (HKS Case Number 280.0) as an exercise in "organizational placement." This case may also be used to demonstrate the hazards of transition in the American presidency.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1998
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 279.0
    Case Author: Joshua Rosenbloom and Stephen Bates
    Faculty Lead: Richard Neustadt, Ernest May, and Melanie Billings-Yun
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 30
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/279.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/279_2.pdf

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