Free «The Bay of Pigs» Essay Sample


Howard Jones is the author of two other popular books; death of a generation and Mutiny on the Amistad. Currently, Jones is serving as a researcher and lecturer of history at the University of Alabama. His book, the Bay of Pigs which is 272 pages long was published on published by oxford university press in Augusts 2010. The book contains 7 main chapters which are: Genesis, Trinidad, Zapata, politics, d-day, requiem and inquisition necessarily in that order. Jones' book takes full account of recent Central Intelligence Agency declassified documents. From the book, one thing is clear; actions of institutions such as CIA are not always successful but are bound to fail if they are executed erroneously. In his book "The pigs Bay", Jones exposes the weakness and flaws exhibited by CIA and led to humiliation of the United States by Cuba in august 1961.


In the year 1961, more than 1400 Cuban exiles invaded what had been their homeland at the Bay of Pigs. They had one objective in mind; to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro. According to Jones, the amphibious plan (Wyden 123) was not the brainchild of the exiles but of the CIA. Before this attack, CIA had succeeded in assassinating national leaders in Iran and Guatemala and so they felt that Cuba was not going to be an exception. The author notes that CIA, as an institution, had calculated its moves in the best way it knew how and was certain of victory. Mafia groups were to be used to assassinate Castro so that CIA could afford what it called "plausible deniability."



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Before the attack, the United States ambassador to Cuba had warned Eisenhower administration that the chances of assassinating Castro were slim. This administration, however, failed to heed the ambassador's advice and went ahead with the attacks. Jones notes that this invasion put in motion what the John F. Kennedy's administration after coming into power could not control. Both the pentagon and the CIA, in the meantime, voiced their confidence in the invasion. Their confidence, according to analysts and the author may have been brought about by previous victories. As already noted, before invading Cuba, the CIA had successfully assassinated leaders in Guatemala and Iran (Vandenbrouke 490). The Bay of Pigs invasion results were the exact opposite of what the CIA and pentagon expected. All were left confused especially after weighing the implications of the attack. The outcome of the attack was to alter Kennedy's foreign policy for good. His trust on an institution that he had laid all his hopes waned and this was to be seen later during the Cuban missile crisis.

Jones and other researchers relying on CIA recent declassified documents blame a number of factors for the failed attack at the Bay of Pigs. All agree that the central intelligence agency's (CIA) choice of landing point was wrong. War scientists agree that landing sites are some of the determinant factors on the outcome of an invasion and so its choice must be well thought (Mays 1040). Jones also notes that the inability of CIA and all its accomplices failed to disable the Cuban force. This fact was later to cost the CIA dearly. Another reason why the attack failed is because the United States administration overestimated the Cuban's willingness to support invasion that would overthrow their veteran leader; Fidel Castro. On this, both the pentagon and the CIA were wrong (Sierra 45). The people of Cuba, as was later revealed, were strongly behind Castro and any attempts to oust him would be strongly rejected.

The invasion ruined, in a great way the reputation of CIA as an institution and that of officials who were in the fore front during the attack. After the failed invasion, CIA official who were responsible for the attack were either fired or asked to resign. Kennedy's reputation was ruined. Jones describes the attack as poorly planned and flawed. It exposed the weaknesses of the United States once most trusted security agency. The relationship between CIA and the Pentagon was affected greatly. Kennedy's administration and administrations that followed thereafter could not trust the CIA. Before invading Cuba, the CIA all reasons to believe that failure was not an option.

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The Bay of Pigs invasion worsened the relationship between America and Cuba.  The relationship deteriorated further during the Cuban missile crisis. Sanctions and trade embargos placed by the United States on Cuba further served to worsen the relationship between these two nations.  Lifting sanctions may not improve the relationship between these two nations (Kramer 240). In his conclusion, Jones seems harsh on both Kennedy and attorney general at the time who happened to be the president's brother; Robert. Jones finds that the two were obsessed with the idea of assassinating Castro.

Nothing could stop the two brothers from achieving their objective. From his sources, the author indicates that the president and the attorney general had been warned of the difficulties that could be associated with the invasion. The two, nevertheless, went ahead with their plans hoping that a "miracle" or a "magic bullet" would help assassinate Castro (Jones 270). Howard Jones exposes the weaknesses and the flawed nature of plans that the institutions that both the president and attorney general expected to deliver results. Poor executions of CIA plans led to unsuccessful invasion. The author blames not the CIA alone but also the insistence of the pentagon that the attacks had to go on.


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