First I have to comment about my reaction to the movie 13 days. One is I thought this was a great movie depicting the real life events of the Cuban Missile crisis. I found I was sitting on the edge of my seat for most of the movie. I am not an expert on this chapter in American history and I was very surprised at how terrifyingly event that made us get so close to a third World War. I learned a lot about our history and a lot about our government reactions to this scary event and how our leaders came to the decisions they did to be lucky enough to reach a peaceful solution.
Although the movie never told you what motivated president JFK to follow though with the actions he did there were some clues and inferences the story hinted at. JFK was a very smart man who wanted peace but was willing to do whatever it took to keep the American people safe. In the end he was motivated by the unwillingness to start a world war and his unwillingness to see American casualties. JFK took a calm nonthreatening approach to seek a peaceful solution. He ordered a block-aid or “quarantine” surrounding Cuba instead of ordering an air strike. He was also open to delegation with the Soviet administration even though it may make him look weak. Even with what seemed like direct opposition from his military advisers, JFK solved this crises without firing on the enemy.
I found their were a lot of discriminative stimuli in the movie. One was that the election was on the near future. In the beginning of the movie this was a bigger factor in how the president choose to inform the public and his actions on stopping this crisis. When it finally became clear that this is a very serious threat with serious consequences this discriminative stimuli suffered extinction. Another discriminative stimuli was how the president public responsibility were carried out. JFK had to still go ahead with his normal schedule so that nobody would know they were starting a crisis. Although this was only temporary because once his made his public address the cat was out of the bag. The media and public awareness was still a major part through out the movie and was a key element in the story. One discriminative stimulus that got my attention the most was the sub that appeared to protect the Soviet freighters ships, when the “quarantine was first implemented. When it was just the ships American battle cruisers had a course of action to stop the ships but with the presences of the sub it changed the entire situation for the worse. I guess you could say the Soviet sub was a discriminative punisher, because now the ships would not go under intimidate attack.
Everything changed when they found missiles in Cuba. The American government were on a tight time line with little room for error. This was a huge crisis that few men would have been able to navigate smoothly. Next time I watch this movie I will try and find even more psychological factors because each one played an important element in to how we came to a peaceful solution.