字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント October 22, 1962. US President John F Kennedy deploys a fleet of warships to Cuba. To intercept Soviet cargo ships, which are already on the way, transporting nuclear missiles to the island. Kennedy strategically called the impending showdown: "A strict quarantine of all offensive military equipment.” What it really was, was a blockade – which is an act of aggression. One wrong move on either side would trigger an all out nuclear war. And it all started here, a week earlier. With an aerial photograph that doesn't seem to show much, unless you're looking for something specific. Pretty much immediately following the allied victory in World War II, the United States and Soviet Union became bitter enemies, kicking off a decades-long struggle for global influence known as the“Cold War”. Espionage and intelligence were at the center of this conflict, most crucially surrounding the mutual buildup of nuclear arsenals capable of unprecedented levels of destruction. But the US initially had a hard time keeping track of their nemesis. The Soviet Union was notoriously secretive, and hid itself, and its actions from the world. "An iron curtain has descended across the continent." 「Nobody knows what Soviet Russia intends to do in the immediate future." Then-US President Dwight D Eisenhower saw a solution that built on experimental intelligence gathering from World War II: Aerial photo analysis. In the late 1950s, the new high-altitude U-2 spy plane took photo reconnaissance to the next level. It was equipped with a powerful camera and could fly at a staggering height of 70,000 feet or roughly 13 miles above Earth's surface. “These cameras are described as capable of spotting a golf ball on a putting-green from 40,000 feet.” In 1961, Eisenhower authorized the creation of a new surveillance arm of the CIA: the National Photographic Interpretation Center, or NPIC. This small team of photo interpreters was trained in photogrammetry the science of determining measurements from photographs. Using this method, an expert photo interpreter could identify specific equipment hidden in the tiny details of photographs and recognize signs of nuclear missile site construction. So what's all this got to do with Cuba? After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, where the US attempted to overthrow Cuba's communist government, ties between the Soviet Union and Cuba strengthened. The US worried that the Soviets might use Cuba as a nuclear missile base. If so, they would suddenly have the Western Hemisphere within range of nuclear weapons. The CIA began flying U-2 missions over Cuba and bringing the imagery to the NPIC, whose photo interpreters pored over every detail, searching for evidence of Soviet presence on the island. It was like looking for a needle in a mile-long haystack – that's how much film a single U-2 mission yields, covering huge amounts of land. But on October 15th, 1962, Dino Brugioni, a senior photo interpreter, found something. This photo proved, beyond doubt, that the Soviets were building nuclear missile sites in Cuba. Brugioni identified military tents and trucks, arranged in known-Soviet patterns. Launcher equipment. And, most critically, missile transport trailers measuring 65 feet in length. Which, when compared to a photo taken in Moscow, made it a perfect match for the Soviet SS-4, which had a range of 1,100 nautical miles, meaning American cities as far as Washington, DC would be in reach. When the NPIC briefed Kennedy on what they'd found, the president ordered a scaling up of U-2 missions to photograph and analyze all of Cuba. Photo analysts updated Kennedy daily and in secret on their progress, which gave them time to decide how to confront the Soviet Union. Given the evidence, Kennedy was strongly advised to launch air strikes against the missile sites and invade Cuba. But he took a more measured approach with his "strict quarantine of all offensive military equipment.” Which kicked off 6 intense days between the US and the Soviet Union, with Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev calling Kennedy's move “an act of aggression that pushes mankind to the abyss of world nuclear missile war.” "Round the clock processing of their film shows that work on the missile sites is being accelerated." The damning photos were revealed to allies at the United Nations, as the US military rapidly mobilized and was placed on high alert, and Cuba prepared for another invasion. But when Soviet freighters reached the quarantine line…. "A Soviet-chartered vessel Amaruchla is stopped, boarded, and inspected, then cleared to proceed to Cuba." "Apparently the Soviet vessels loaded with offensive weapons have turned back." A few days later, Kennedy received a message from Kruschev. The Soviet Union had agreed to withdraw from Cuba in exchange for the US removing missiles it had placed in Turkey and Italy. So, the nuclear missile sites were dismantled and the Soviets left. Transporting their nuclear missiles with them back across the Iron Curtain. In a personal thank you letter to the NPIC, Kennedy emphasized the importance of the analysis and interpretation of the Cuban photography in advising the US's response in what is now called the Cuban Missile Crisis. "In summary: the Soviet Union did embark upon a bold venture to establish clandestinely in the Western Hemisphere a major offensive weapons base." "That they were deterred in this effort is in large part attributable to the type of reconnaissance photography that we have just reviewed."