As I recall, to avoid having Soviet missiles within 90 miles of Florida, President John F. Kennedy triggered the Cuban missile crisis by threatening to board Soviet vessels carrying nuclear-tipped missiles to Cuba. Then, he avoided disaster by agreeing to give up our missiles in Turkey in exchange for the Soviets not putting their missiles in Cuba. But just a few years later, Soviet submarines with nuclear-tipped missiles were off all our coasts. Yet, the roof did not fall in.

So, Kennedy won a temporary reprieve from having missiles near one U.S. coast by permanently giving up our right to base nuclear missiles in Turkey. Is running such a huge risk for such a paltry result really a sign of “extraordinary diplomacy”?

David Karro, Falls Church