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INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF DIPLOMACY

GUISD

Pew Case Study Center

EDMUND A. WALSH SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

Case 334

The Cuban Missile Crisis: United States Deliberations and Negotiations at the Edge of the Precipice
GABRIELLE S. BRUSSEL
Columbia University

2011. All rights reserved. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. ISBN 1-56927-334-0

GUISD PEW CASE STUDY CENTER Institute for the Study of Diplomacy Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University 1316 36th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007 Tel.: (877) 703-4660 ext. 204 / (202) 965-5735 ext. 204 Fax: (202) 965-5811 Web site: http://www.guisd.org

CASE 334

The Cuban Missile Crisis: United States Deliberations and Negotiations at the Edge of the Precipice
GABR IEL LE S. BR US S EL
CO L UM B IA UNIV ER S IT Y

BACKGROUND On Monday, October 22, 1962, after six days of secret U.S. government deliberations, President John F. Kennedy announced on television that the Soviet Union had placed offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba. The Soviets had staged a sealift to Cuba, which had begun in July of that year and continued over the next few months, which constituted a major military deployment involving more than one hundred shiploads and containing several thousand vehicles and more than twenty thousand men. U.S. policymakers interpreted these actions as contradictions of explicit Soviet pledges and statements that Soviet aid to Cuba was defensive and would remain so. The United States employed political pressure on bilateral and multilateral levelsthrough both formal and informal channels. It also applied military pressure while policymakers sought to resolve the crisis short of war. The United States succeeded in presenting a firm and resolved stance, but it stopped short of a bellicose
1992, 1988. All rights reserved. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. ISBN: 1-56927-334-0. Do not duplicate or place on library shelves/reserves without express written permission. Email: dolgasc@georgetown.edu

response. The administration, and particularly the president, was not interested in beginning a military confrontation with the Soviet Union, but the United States was strongly committed to proving to its allies and adversaries that it could meet whatever it perceived as a threat to its national security and its sphere of influence. Furthermore, since the Soviets had been warned against employing such a display of force, the administration wanted to prove it would back up statements of policy with actions. Publicly the crisis lasted for six daysfrom Kennedys speech on October 22 until the official Soviet statement on October 28 that the missiles in Cuba would be dismantled and removed from the island. For U.S. policymakers, however, the crisis began on October 16 at 11:45 A.M. during the first meeting of the group of advisors that became known as the ExComm.1 The group served the president almost twenty-four hours a day as the United States managed the situation. When they were presented with the evidence of the missiles, U.S. government officials were surprised and angered by the Soviet deception. Kennedy personally assembled a politically diverse group of advisors comprising representatives of the public and private sectors that he believed would contribute to a successful resolution. They were men he depended on regard1

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less of rank or political affiliation, men he believed served their country and his administration above all. They were recruited regardless of seniority, the criteria for their selection being President Kennedys assessment of their intelligence, judgment, and loyalty. During the crisis this advisory group consisted of: Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon Secretary of State Dean Rusk (who was absent during a large part of the deliberations) Under Secretary of State George Ball Soviet expert and Ambassador at Large Llewellyn Tommy Thompson2 Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric General Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Paul Nitze The Central included: Intelligence Agency members

Former Secretary of Defense Robert A. Lovett Wall Street lawyer and former High Commissioner of Germany John McCloy The ExComm was primarily divided into two campsthe hawks and the doves3with the hawks advocating a military confrontation and the doves stressing negotiation. The hawks included Taylor, Acheson, the Joint Chiefs (without U.S. Marine Corps Commandant David Shoup), McCloy, Nitze, and, initially, Dillon and McCloy. The doves were Robert Kennedy, McNamara, Gilpatric, Ball, Thompson, Sorenson, Stevenson and Lovett. The others were indecisive, shifting their opinions as the days wore on. The president mandated, and his advisors agreed, that the crisis remain secret until the United States formulated a plan. Consequently, to avoid leaks, the circle of people in government who knew about the crisis remained extremely tight. The group met almost continuously for the two weeks of the crisis. It broke up into smaller groups for purposes of analysis and debates while experts presented information, but the composition of the general group remained consistent. The Soviets placed missiles on an island that the United States had viewed as its backyard since the late nineteenth century. U.S.-Cuban relations, though certainly strained by 1962, had been closely tied for almost a hundred years. As far back as 1808, U.S. foreign policy and government officials had viewed Cuban interests as their own. Repeated offers to buy Cuba culminated in the Ostend Manifesto of 1854, which stated that the United States had the right to acquire Cuba. Later U.S. government officials asserted that Cuba was indispensable to the United States. On January 1, 1959, Cuban rebels took control of the government. The United States officially recognized the new regime on January 7. Not long after, U.S.Cuban relations began to deteriorate. Tensions increased steadily, and the two nations went head-tohead in public forums. Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro refused to back the United-States in its Cold War with the Soviet Union. In April 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly refused to meet with Castro during his trip to the United States, instead leaving Washington to play golf. By December Castro had declared himself and his revolution Communist and had received substantial Soviet backing. Soon the United

Deputy Director Marshall Carter for the first day and Director John McCone, who returned to Washington on October 16, thereafter. The special assistants/advisors to the president included: McGeorge Bundy, advisor on national security affairs Presidential Counsel Theodore Ted Sorenson Kenneth ODonnell Other intermittent participants included: Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs Edwin M. Martin Deputy Under Secretary U. Alexis Johnson Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, U.S. representative to the United Nations USIA Deputy Director Donald Wilson State Department Director of Intelligence and Research Roger Hilsman Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who left the deliberations after a naval quarantine was chosen as the U.S. policy response but served as Kennedys personal emissary to France and West

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States reduced trade with Cuba and refused to purchase sugar from Cuba above world sugar prices. Cuba increased its anti-American rhetoric. The Soviets began to purchase sugar at premium prices, sent aid packages, and promised to support the Cuban people with . . . rocket fire if aggressive forces in the Pentagon dare[d] to launch an intervention against Cuba. Trade between the United States and Cuba diminished quickly. In 1958 exports from the United States totaled 69.8 percent of Cuban imports; by 1961 this figure was down to 3.7 percent. In contrast, Soviet imports from Cuba rose during the same period from 0 to 48.2 percent. Trade with Soviet bloc countries accounted for 73.4 percent of Cubas trade in 1961, while just three years earlier it had been a mere 2.5 percent. Tensions culminated in expropriation of all U.S. property in Cuba (196061) and the 1962 U.S. trade embargo. Further exacerbating the relationship was the 1961 Bay of Pigs episode. Supported by the CIA and personally approved by President Kennedy, anti-Castro Cuban exiles attempted to invade Cuba. The invasion failed, and the U.S. government withdrew its air support of the exiles after they reached the island. Although Kennedy made a public apology and the administration pursued diplomatic negotiations to secure the release of captured exiles from Cuban jails, the crisis contributed greatly to strained relations. Moreover, the Kennedy administration employed policies that had the potential to cause the ouster or death of Fidel Castro. The United States also encouraged the political and diplomatic isolation of Cuba with the declaration by the Organization of American States (OAS) in January 1962 that Cubas government was incompatible with the inter-American system. These incidents and policies created an atmosphere of mistrust and misapprehension, with the Soviets and the Cubans expecting an invasion and the United States fearing increased Soviet-Cuban ties and military build-ups. Cubas importance to the United States is a result of its geography and politics. it is ninety miles from the tip of Florida, closer than Puerto Rico to the coast of United States. It lies on the Windward Passage, the Straits of Florida, the Yucatan Channel, and the shipping lanes from the east coast of the United States. It has direct access to the strategic sea lanes of South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Western allies of the United States. Since its early role as a colony of Spain, Cubas proximity to the Caribbean sea lanes that

carry trade to Latin America has given it strategic importance. Cuba was the only communist country that had a U.S. naval base on its territory. It was also the only country that maintained both Soviet and U.S. military installations and by which Soviet naval vessels freely passed. Guantnamo Bay Naval Base, covering fortyfive square miles, 1 percent of Cuban territory, trains more than 40,000 U.S. military personnel every year. Built after the Treaty of Paris that ended the SpanishAmerican War, Guantnamo was leased in perpetuity to the United States. The Castro government has long maintained that the agreement for the base is illegitimate because the governments were not on equal footing and because Cuba was coerced into the contract by a foreign government. Many U.S. government officials and analysts feared that the Soviet Union would request a U.S. withdrawal from Guantnamo in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba. This proposition was never brought to the negotiating table, and President Kennedy maintained during the ExComm deliberations that it would be rejected out of hand. The Soviet placement of missiles in Cuba went beyond actual military and strategic importance; it was a modern, post-nuclear affront to U.S. perceived interests dating back to the early nineteenth century. On December 2, 1823, President James Monroe delivered an address to Congress in which he asserted that the United States viewed the Western Hemisphere as its sphere of influence and that European expansionism in the Western Hemisphere would be regarded as dangerous to [United States] peace and safety. The United States would respond in whatever manner was necessary to protect itself. In May 1904 President Theodore Roosevelts Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine refined the U.S. view of European expansionism by asserting that the United States had the right to intervene in the Western Hemisphere and Caribbean. Thus, the United States has long considered the Western Hemisphere a special region of influence. Although the Monroe Doctrine was originally directed at Western European expansion, subsequent interpretations were directed at the Soviet Union and the possibility of Soviet expansion in the region. The 1962 decision to put missiles in Cuba made Cuba the first Soviet ally to receive ballistic missiles. The United States viewed this policy as a direct attack against its public and private perceptions of regional influence and

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global balance. Ever since the Monroe Doctrine, the United States has perceived a special interest in excluding European military power from the Western Hemisphere. This was a powerful fact of [U.S.] political consciousness. . . .4 President Kennedy intended to address the Soviet decision immediately and firmly. His administration believed that the missiles would affect global perceptions of U.S. strength and resolve, causing allies and adversaries to question U.S. ability and commitment to global alliances. Furthermore, the missiles in Cuba would threaten the global power structure that the United States sought to maintain. The missile balance also contributed to uneasy relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. When Kennedy became president, he received contradictory evidence and intelligence. By late summer and certainly by fall 1961 the administration realized that Soviet missile superiority, which had been a campaign issue in 1960, did not existthat the United States, in fact, was ahead. Kennedy and his advisors discussed their options and decided to inform the Soviets that they knew the U.S. missile gap did not exist. In October 1961 Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric was selected to give a speech disclosing U.S. armed strength and revealing that the missile gap was actually reversedthe Soviets were at a military disadvantage, not the United States. The United States briefed its allies, including allies who the United States knew had been penetrated by Soviet intelligence officers, in order to reinforce its position.

U.S. POLICY RESPONSE The ExComm began by trying to understand why the missiles were deployed in Cuba. What could Khrushchev hope to gain by such a dangerous gamble? If the United States could understand the motivations of the Soviets, it could better manage an end to the crisis and communicate more effectively with the opposition. U.S. Deliberations Dean Acheson told Charles de Gaulle that the Soviets placed missiles in Cuba because they believed that they could get away with it.5 The discussions about the deployment went deeper than Achesons answer, how-

ever. At the first meetings of the ExComm, the advisors debated five hypothetical answers to the question of Soviet motivation. The first hypothesis was based on the Soviet Unions strong commitment to maintaining a position in Latin America and, specifically, to supporting the social and political revolution in Cuba. It was already sending great amounts of aid to Cuba. Although the United States had not continued its planned military and air support during the actual invasion of the Bay of Pigs, it had sponsored an invasion of Cuba less than two years before. The Soviet government saw an opportunity to defend a firm ally and decided to take it. Constant discussions were going on in Congress, in the White House, and in the Cuban exile community regarding invasion. On September 4 President Kennedy stated that . . . the Castro regime will not be allowed to export aggressive purposes by force or the threat of force. It will be prevented by whatever means may be necessary from taking action against any part of the Western Hemisphere. . . . Three days later he asked Congress for standby authority to call up reserves. On September 13 Kennedy reiterated his stand against Cuba and the Castro regime exporting aggressive purposes by force or threat of force [emphasis added]. One week later Congress passed a joint resolution on Cuba stating that the United States would prevent by whatever means may be necessary, including the use of arms, the Marxist-Leninist regime in Cuba from extending, by force or the threat of force, its aggressive or subversive activities to any part of this hemisphere. Although Kennedy and his administration repeatedly declared that the United States would not attempt additional military action against Cuba, the belligerent statements Kennedy made throughout September 1962 did not persuade the Cuban and Soviet governments that Cubas safety was ensured. Kennedy questioned whether the U.S. mistake was in not saying sometime before this summer that if they do this were [going] to act.6 The second hypothesis was that missiles in Cuba would alter the geopolitical and psychological situation, showing the world unequivocally that the United States was unable to control its sphere of influence, the Western Hemisphere. These missiles would tell U.S. allies that the United States could not stop Soviet influence ninety miles off the coast of Florida, in a country that had been a U.S. territory and, for more than sixty years,

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a U.S. satellite. The perception that even the Western Hemisphere was unmanageable for the United States would have lead the world to ask: How could the United States be expected to extend protection to its allies all over the world if it could not protect itself from missiles in Cuba? The United States considered that even this question in the minds of allies or adversaries would have altered the global balance of power. The third hypothesis raised the possibility that the missiles were placed in Cuba simply to be removed. Rusk suggested that Mr. Khrushchev may have . . . known that [the United States does not] really live under fear of his nuclear weapons to the extent that . . . he has to live under fear of ours.7 The missiles could be used as bargaining chips to secure the Soviet borders with Turkey or traded to obtain a more positive settlement of the Berlin arrangement for the Soviets. If the United States made military concessions, it would diminish its prestige. Soviet statements suggested that they would trade Cuba for Berlin support this hypothesis.8 The fourth hypothesis, advanced by Nitze and Taylor, was that the missiles would, in fact, alter the strategic strength of the Soviet Union with relatively little cost. The Soviets knew that the missile gap did not exist, but they traded on the fact that the United States believed it to be true. The newly announced U.S. military superiority made them vulnerable. Placing missiles in Cuba would help the Soviets change the balance of missile power. Bases in Cuba for Soviet mediumrange ballistic missiles and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (MBRMs and IRBMs) were a quick and relatively inexpensive means of cutting the U.S. warning time. Although the United States would still retain a 2to-1 military superiority over the Soviet Union, the missiles in Cuba would substantially change the appearance of that superiority. Kennedy noted later that appearances contribute to reality, and the United States could ill afford the appearance of weakness or decreasing strength. The fifth hypothesis assumed that the Soviets wanted the United States to discover the missiles and attack the island, thereby splitting the allies and fueling anti-American sentiment through the world. Questioning this theory, however, President Kennedy wondered if . . . any other time since the Berlin blockade . . . the Russians [had] given [the United States] so clear provocation . . . because theyve been awfully cautious

really.9 Discussing U.S. policy options for response to the emplacement, Robert Kennedy effectively argued that such an attack would horrify the world. The United States was one of two superpowers in the world, he said; for it to attack Cuba would destroy the essence [of ] our history and our ideals.10 The ExComm members discussed these five possibilities at length. In the end they decided that the answers to the question were the perceived balance of military power and a basic testing of Kennedys will. The missiles would embarrass the U.S. government and demonstrate its inability to control its sphere of influence. Furthermore, according to the U.S. advisors, the Soviets believed that the risk they were taking was not great. They were testing the will of a young and relatively inexperienced administration. Khrushchev thought Kennedy too young, intellectual, not prepared well for decision-making in crisis situations.11 Soviet Motivations The ExComm assessments were somewhat accurate, though they were also bound by U.S. perceptions of reality, which did not coincide with Soviet and Cuban perceptions. The primary Soviet reasons for deploying the missiles were to defend the Cuban revolution and to deter a U.S. attack. ExComm policymakers immediately discounted this motivation. The United States knew it did not intend to invade Cuba and believed it had communicated this intention to the Soviets and the Cubans. In fact, it had not. The Soviets believed the United States thought it was in its interest to launch a first strike against Cuba. We had no doubt the United States would repeat the attack on Cuba after the Bay of Pigs.12 Furthermore, in the Soviet view, and most especially in Khrushchevs eyes, the loss of Cuba would have been a terrible blow to Marxism-Leninism, diminishing Soviet stature throughout the world, but especially in Latin America.13 The placement of missiles in Cuba was first discussed in April of 1962 between Anastas Mikoyan, Soviet first deputy premier and special envoy to Cuba at the end of the Cuban missile crisis, and Khrushchev.14 Khrushchev continued personal discussions with advisors throughout the spring. By July some Presidium (now called Politburo) members were let in on the discussions with Cuba, but there was no written correspondence.15

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Khrushchev believed estimates that a Soviet invasion of Cuba would take three or four days, a week, maybe, and, therefore, the same time would be needed for a U.S. invasion. [Since t]hat was not long enough to defend against it, even by retaliating somewhere else . . . [i]t was thought [to] deter an invasion beforehand.16 The Cubans did not agree with the Soviet defense assessment, asserting that they had 270,000 armed and mobilized troops and could fight an invasion much longer than several days. In fact, this was double McNamaras 1962 estimate.17 The Soviets also believed that the missiles would repair the strategic imbalance in deliverable missiles.18 Deploying missiles on the U.S. periphery would establish Soviet strength, countering the U.S. missiles posed on the Soviet borders.19 During his 1959 U.S. tour, Khrushchev asked, How would [the United States] feel if there were Soviet military bases in Mexico and Canada.20 The ExComm discussed this on Tuesday, October 16. Rusk reminded the policymakers that McCone suggested some weeks ago that one thing Mr. Khrushchev may have in mind is that . . . we dont really live under fear of his nuclear weapons to the extent, that . . . he has to live under fear of ours. Also we have nuclear weapons nearby, in Turkey and places like that.21 Khrushchev maintained exactly that view: In addition to protecting Cuba, our missiles would have equalized what the West likes to call the balance of power . . . now [the United States] would learn just what it feels like to have enemy missiles pointing at you; wed be doing nothing more than giving them a little of their own medicine.22 Soviet officials later said that correcting the nuclear balance was important to Khrushchev because there were only two thoughts: defend Cuba and repair the imbalance. But defending Cuba was the first thought.23 U.S. Response On Tuesday, October 16, members of the ExComm assembled in the White House Cabinet room for their first meeting. CIA analysts and photo reconnaissance intelligence experts made a formal presentation. After the initial presentation of the U-2 photographs, the ExComm discussions turned to the significance of the missiles. The men present in the room had a wide range of responses. President Kennedy was angered by the Soviet actions and quite aware of the implications of

such a ploy. It was, he said, an effort to materially change the balance of power . . . a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo.24 Although Kennedys advisors were not unanimous about the U.S. response, they agreed that the political implications of the missiles were serious and that their emplacement was a deliberate challenge to U.S. prestige and influence. Even Adlai Stevenson, whose relations with the president were strained after the crisis25 and who encouraged nonmilitary solutions, said, No politician could have missed the significance of Russian missiles in Cuba. We just had to get them out of there.26 The advisors, however, were not in accord on the U.S. policy response, nor were they all concerned with the military consequences of the Soviet actions. MRBMs and IRBMs were placed in four missiles sites on the southern edge of Sierra del Rosario in west central CubaGuanajay and Sagua la Grande (to have three battalions of MRBMs each), and San Crist bal and Remedios (to have two battalions of IRBMs each). In total there would be forty launch padsSan Crist bal and Sagua la Grande would each have twelve, and Guanajay and Remedios would each have eight. The weapons transfers were accomplished in two phases, with the defensive weapons first and the offensive missiles and weapons later. The plan included MRBMs with ranges up to 1,100 nautical miles; IRBMs with ranges up to 2,200 nautical miles; IL-28s (Beagle bombers) with ranges of 600 nautical miles and the ability to deliver nuclear or nonnuclear payloads of 6,000 pounds; surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) with the ability to strike at targets at altitudes of 80,000 feet and at a horizontal distance of 30 nautical miles; Cruise missiles; KOMAR guided-missile patrol boats; and MiG-21 aircraft capable of speeds up to 1,000 knots at 40,000 feet. Soviet technicians, operators, mechanics, and soldiers sent to the four installation points numbered more than 20,000. The MRBMs had an estimated ability to hit onethird of the United States, including the District of Columbia, St. Louis, and Dallas; Panama; and all of Central America. The IRBMs stationed in Cuba were estimated to be able to hit southeastern Canada, all of the United States, Mexico, Central America, Panama, and most of South America. The U.S. policy was not one that came out of the blue; it was publicly and privately reiterated by many advisors. From the beginning McNamara maintained that a missile is a missile. It makes no great difference

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whether you are killed by a missile fired from the Soviet Union or from Cuba.27 He did not believe that the Soviets were attempting to alter the military balance. The military balance [has not] changed.28 McNamara argued in favor of limited action because it could be increased as the situation warranted it. At the 6:30 P.M. meeting on that first day, he urged the president to consider the consequences of an air strike against Cuba, saying, The consequences of these actions have not been thought through clearly.29 He said further, I dont know quite what kind of a world we live in after weve struck Cuba, and . . . weve started it . . . After weve launched . . . sorties, what kind of world do we live in. . . . I think State and [Defense] ought to work on the consequences of any one of these courses of actions, consequences which I dont believe are entirely clear.30 The options that the ExComm addressed included inaction, private diplomatic advances, an expression of outrage at the United Nations, limited military action in the form of a blockade of Cuba, surgical air strike against the island, and general invasion. The president did not believe that the missiles changed the global military balance, but he did believe that they had serious political ramifications, and, consequently, the United States had to respond to their emplacement. After months of reassurances against such an action, the United States would not tolerate a Soviet action carried out in such a deliberate and deceitful manner.31 Furthermore, missiles in the Western Hemisphere pointing directly at the United States would not be judged in the same manner as missiles similarly targeted but located in the Soviet Union. Kennedy believed that not addressing the Soviet actions would have severe consequences in Soviet military and political expansionism. He said, [W]hen we said were not going to and then they go ahead and do it, and then we do nothing, then . . . I would think that our risks increase. . . . After all this is a political struggle as much as military.32 Soviet expert and newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Bohlen attended the meetings on the first two days. In a memorandum to the president he noted that no one can guarantee that this can be achieved by diplomatic actionbut it seems to me essential that this channel should be tested out before military action is employed.33 The Bohlen plan suggested sending a letter to the Kremlin before pursuing a military response. Although Sorenson worked on composing such a letter

for several days, he concluded that it was impossible to write a letter to Khrushchev to which his reply could not outmaneuver us.34 Consequently, the Bohlen plan as such was rejected. Diplomatic advances were not discounted completely, although they were not considered without other concurrent actions. They were rejected outright as a preliminary to U.S. actions. Diplomatic notes would provide the Soviets and the Cubans with warning time and would not change the U.S. position. A private diplomatic approach would be time consuming, but the administration feared the possibility that nothing would be accomplished in a public forum. Furthermore, Kennedy and his advisors believed that they had already on many occasions warned the Soviets against this type of action. Bringing the issue to the U.N. Security Council alone was discounted because, as a permanent member, the Soviet Union had an automatic veto and, ironically, Soviet Ambassador Valerian I. Zorin was serving as the chairman of the Council. Another alternative, which seemed especially attractive in light of the possibility of disengaging the Soviet-Cuban alliance, was to approach Castro directly. The ExComm considered sending a message that would highlight the problems for Castro. The United States saw it as action [by] the Soviets . . . [which] threatened [Castro] with attack from the United States, and . . . therefore the overthrow of this regime. The United States would point to Soviet statements suggesting the possibility of bargaining Soviet support [for Cuba] and these missiles, against concessions in Berlin, and elsewhere, and therefore . . . threatening to bargain him away.35 This approach was not rejected, but it was set aside for the time being as Kennedy believed this to be a U.S.-Soviet confrontation and crisis. Since the weapons were Soviet-designed, Soviet-built, Soviet constructed, and Soviet-controlled, he did not believe that addressing Castro on this issue would be useful. Approaching Castro would have afforded the Soviets advance notice. Furthermore, Castro might have responded defensively, thereby forcing a faster or more difficult military confrontation if he had not perceived the approach to be genuine.36 The ExComm members next discussed the alternative of military action. The hawks believed that the Soviet missiles had strategic as well as political value. General Taylor and Assistant Secretary Nitze argued

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that the missiles exposed part of the U.S. strategic bomber force to sudden ground attack and cut the U.S. warning time from approximately fifteen minutes to three minutes or less.37 Advocates of military action against Cuba pointed out that military action was the only option that would physically remove the missiles. The direct surgical air strike on the missiles in Cuba option came to be known as the fast track. Proponents of this alternative maintained that the missiles were not defensive or placed for the sake of Cuba but were, in fact, designed to enhance the Soviet position and to intimidate the United States and its allies. The other option that claimed ExComms attention was the slow track. Advocated by the doves, this plan called for a limited military embargo of Soviet shipments to Cuba, enforced by a naval blockade of the island. McNamara was one of the earliest advocates of the blockade. He argued that it was limited pressure, which could be increased as the circumstances warranted. Further, it was dramatic and forceful pressure, which would be understood38 yet, most importantly, still leave [the United States] in control of events.39 Both of these alternatives constituted direct confrontations with the Soviets. The naval blockade, however, would be somewhat less provocative as it did not entail the immediate risk of casualties. It could be graduated and tightened, and, although it would be a show of force, it would not be immediately life threatening. In addition, the United States had planned military maneuvers off the coast of Florida that could be used to cover the preparations. Opponents of the blockade, including Acheson, Taylor, and General Curtis LeMay, criticized the policy because the Soviets could take advantage of it. They correctly concluded that it would not remove the missiles. It could easily drag on while the world debated its legality and legitimacy. At the same time, the Soviets could continue their missile construction and build-up. Furthermore, if the Soviets attempted to run the blockade, the United States would be forced into firing the first shot. Above all, traditional rules in international relations protected the freedom of the seas. A blockade was an act of war. Vice-President Johnson had recently characterized it as such in response to Republican Senator Kenneth Keatings demand for an embargo of Cuba. By Wednesday, October 17, Secretary McNamara, in Robert Kennedys words, became the blockades strongest advocate, arguing that limited pressure

could be increased as the circumstances warranted. Further, it was dramatic and forceful pressure, which would be understood yet, most importantly, still leave [the United States] in control of events.40 The fast track had advocates as well. At the first ExComm meeting, the majority of advisors encouraged an air strike. They perceived the United States as threatened strategically and believed it would have to respond in a quick military manner that left no room for debate; a surprise attack on Cuba would have removed the missiles and proved to the Soviets and to the world that the United States stood by its word. The United States had warned the Soviet Union repeatedly against emplacement of missiles in Cuba, and now the United States should respond in a forceful manner, according to advocates of the position. The joint Chiefs of Staff, Acheson, and Taylor remained strong proponents of a surgical air strike against Cuba, while other advisors changed their opinions sharply. Advisors quickly pointed to the ramifications in other U.S. military posts and situations. Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric pointed to the points of vulnerability around the world, suggesting that precautionary measures might have to be taken. He also said that the measures adopted must be military and political.41 McNamara was also concerned with the consequences and ramifications of a surgical air attack, suggesting that U.S. forces around the world must be put on alert.42 Under Secretary of State George Ball was among those concerned with the costs of such a response. On October 17, the second day of the meetings, he became the first firm opponent of an air strike.43 Ball said that the bombing of Cuba would be in distinct contradiction of U.S. traditions and history. Robert Kennedy agreed and became the staunchest advocate of this philosophy. Kennedy believed that the U.S. response must be consistent with U.S. values. He maintained that the United States was fighting for something more than just survival and that all our heritage and our ideals would be repugnant to such a sneak military attack.44 In an argument with Acheson, he said that advocating a surprise attack by a very large nation against a very small one . . . could not be undertaken by the United States if we were to maintain our moral position at home and around the world.45 Furthermore, he said, My brother is not going to be the Tojo of the 1960s, nor would he initiate a Pearl Harbor in reverse.46

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Acheson staunchly opposed the analogy of Pearl Harbor. He argued that the United States had warned the Soviet government for months against placing offensive weapons in Cuba. The president had specifically discussed this in his public statements of September 4 and September 13, 1962. On October 3 Congress had authorized the president to prevent by whatever means may be necessary Cuba from endangering U.S. security. Furthermore, Acheson stated, the Western Hemisphere had, since the Monroe Doctrine, been in the U.S. military and political sphere of influence. The doctrine unequivocally stated that European interference in that sphere will not be tolerated by the United States. For Acheson, these warnings negated the surprise attack suggestion of the Pearl Harbor analogy. For the president and the attorney general, however, these statements and warnings were not enough to justify a surprise attack. In fact, the attorney general later characterized President Kennedys decision against the attack as based on his belief in what is right and what is wrong.47 The final option the ExComm considered was a general invasion of Cuba. Few of the advisors believed that the U.S. response should begin with such extreme action, though several advisors saw it as an opportunity to take Cuba away from Castro. This response was quickly discounted as risking a world war. At the very least it was a step that would give the world cause to indict U.S. aggression and interventionism for years to come. Mindful of previous crises during which the president had not received complete information, President Kennedy set an informal agenda for the ExComm meetings encouraging discussion by all present regardless of rank. Open discussion of all alternatives was encouraged, with advisors presenting and updating reports, analyses, and suggestions. The president believed that his presence had a constraining effect on the discussion, arresting interaction between less senior advisors and their supervisors and overwhelming the possibility for true give-and-take. For this reason and because he wanted to maintain his schedule to convey the appearance of normality, Kennedy did not attend the deliberations during the first days.48 Robert Kennedy served as an informal chair at the meetings, although the discussions were rarely directed and largely unstructured. The president instructed the group to develop a consensus in favor of one or two specific responses, which

he would consider in making his decision. Discussion quickly centered on whether the immediate U.S. response should be a blockade or an air strike. On the third day of the crisis, Thursday, October 18, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko called on the president. During the meeting, which had been planned weeks before, Gromyko told Kennedy that the Soviets would do nothing about Berlin or a German peace treaty until after the November 6 congressional elections. He said that U.S. hostilities against Cuba could lead to problems between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviet Union, he continued, had given Cuba assistance for purely defensive purposes. At that point, Kennedy stopped him, saying that the United States had no intention of invading Cuba and the Soviet Unions supplying of arms to Cuba was having a profound effect on the people of the United States and was a source of great concern.49 Kennedy then read Gromyko his statement of September 4, which declared that Soviet placement of offensive weapons in Cuba would have serious consequences and that the United States would go to any length to stop Cuban aggression and Soviet expansionism in Latin America. He did not ask Gromyko directly whether there were offensive missiles in Cuba. If Gromyko was puzzled by the presidents actions, he did not appear so. Upon leaving the White House, Gromyko described the meeting as useful, very useful.50 As the days wore on, the meetings and debates continued. Certain people, from government analysts to reporters, began to be aware that a major policy issue was under discussion, although they were not quite sure of its content. The president ordered the armed forces to stand at DefCon 2, a stage of military preparation that is one step away from actual confrontation. As the United States fortified its position, it publicly defended the build-up as part of long-planned naval activities in the CaribbeanPhilbriglex-62.51 Arthur Sylvester, information chief of the Defense Department, denied the significance of the build-up, saying that the exercise had nothing to do with any possible imminent action against Cuba.52 Time was running short, however. Speculation centered on Berlin, on India, and on the Far East as well as on Cuba. At one point during the deliberations W. Averill Harriman, assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs, was summoned to a private anteroom in the west wing of the White House and left there as a decoy to encourage journalists to speculate

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about a crisis in the Far East rather than in Latin America. Martin Hillenbrand of the German Affairs Office and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Philips Talbot were also called to the White House in a public manner as decoys.53 Government officials did everything they could think of to avoid publicity. One evening a mid-level official told Secretary Rusk, I know there is something going on that you dont want to talk about. But if security is all that tight, maybe youd better tell all those big wheels from across the river to get their cars off the street.54 After that the limousines were left in the basement garage On the evening of Thursday, October 18, when the State Department gave a dinner party for Gromyko, the ExComm was divided into two clear campsair strike versus blockade. At the beginning the group was divided almost evenly. McCone, Dillon, Taylor, Acheson, and Nitze favored a strategic air strike. Initially McGeorge Bundy had supported a blockade, but by that time he also favored an air strike. Robert Kennedy, McNamara, Gilpatric, Thompson, Ball, and Lovett, however, believed that the United States must pursue a blockade, at least before resorting to more drastic military action. The air strike proponents suggested an advance warning to both the Cubans and the Soviets through contacts in the Swiss government.55 Soviet expert Llewellyn Thompson, resuming an argument he had supported in earlier meetings, maintained that the missiles were placed and controlled by the Soviets. To consider Castro as a major policymaker in this crisis, he believed, would be futile. Since this was a dramatic departure from previous Soviet military policy (they had never before placed missiles outside the Soviet Union), Thompson argued, the plan must have originated in the Kremlin. A resolution, therefore, had to be negotiated with the Kremlin. Furthermore, attacking the Soviet missiles meant killing Soviets, and it was unlikely that Khrushchev would not respond in kind somewhere in the world. President Kennedy agreed. During a briefing with Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay, Kennedy said that although he understood the position of the joint Chiefs of Staff in calling for immediate military action, there would in all probability be some Soviet military retaliation to a U.S. military action. They, no more than we, Kennedy said, can let these things go by without doing something. They cant, after all their statements, permit us to

take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians and then do nothing.56 Robert Kennedy, continuing an argument that he and others, including McNamara and Ball, supported, maintained that the president was not faced with a zero-sum choice. Instead, he suggested that the president should begin with responses that offered the least risk of war and increase pressure if necessary. The blockade was a limited action that could be tightened or supplemented with an air strike as time went on. A turning point occurred when Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon shifted his opinion away from support of an air strike to a blockade. What changed my mind, he suggests, was Bobby Kennedys argument that we ought to be true to ourselves as Americans, that surprise attack was not in our tradition. Frankly, these considerations had not occurred to me. . . .57 Around 10:00 P.M. the advisors left the State Department to meet with the president. In a meeting that lasted past midnight, they presented two policy options they had been debating for days: the air strike and the blockade. In the course of the meeting the advisors were not able to answer all of the presidents questions, and their own opinions began to shift again. The president sent them back to the State Department for further deliberations. The next day the advocates of the two plans split up to write recommendations outlining the steps each policy would require. Presidential Assistant Theodore Sorenson was asked to draft a speech that would justify the blockade. It was to include an analysis of the Latin American countries that could assist in the blockade and the military procedures that would be used to stop ships. The advocates of immediate military action were required to draw up a list of riot-control equipment that would be used to maintain domestic security throughout Latin America; weapons that would be barred from Cuba; an analysis of the Cuban exile groups in the United States; and a proposed communication to Khrushchev designed to persuade him that it would be inadvisable to move militarily against us in the Caribbean, in Berlin, or elsewhere in the world.58 The Justice and State departments were entrusted with the task of building the legal defense for the blockade. The deliberations were not over, however. On Friday, October 19, the opponents of a blockade continued to raise criticisms of the plan and to argue the futility of such action. Furthermore, they suggested that the slow

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track of a blockade would remove any advantage that the United States might have with a surprise attack. Reporters were becoming more persistent as the global U.S. military mobilization continued. At 1:20 P.M. an alert went out to Atlantic and Caribbean bases and commands warning them against possible attacks. High-level policymakers were canceling appointments and speaking engagements. Government officials were remaining in Washington when they were scheduled to be in other places. Troop movements and mobilizations were being questioned, even though they were covered somewhat by the naval exercises. The president maintained his scheduled campaign stops in Illinois while his advisors continued their discussions, but questions were being raised about what was going on. Time was running out. International and Legal Ramifications The ExComm now began a new debate: What could be the justification for the limited response, or slow track, which was, in fact, an act of war? Furthermore, what domestic constitutional questions were involved? Although the blockade was considered a less provocative response, it was not in accord with international law or with U.S. traditions. The history of foreign policy provides numerous examples of the importance to governments of freedom of the seas. Indeed, the United States had fought the War of 1812 to protect American access to the seas. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and State Department Deputy Legal Advisor Leonard Meeker were responsible for creating a legal framework to justify the naval blockade. Although the administration already believed that it was important for its actions to have a legal basis, Thompson emphasized the importance of this point in dealing with the Soviet government. He noted that although the Soviets might manipulate the legal justifications or ramifications of a situation, they consistently sought legal interpretations to justify their actions in the international sphere. Katzenbach maintained that U.S. military actions (including a blockade) could be justified on the international principle of self-defense based on Chapter VII, Article 51, of the United Nations Charter. Moreover, a blockade would not require a declaration of war. Meeker agreed that U.S. actions were valid on the basis of self-defense, but he maintained that a blockade or

defensive quarantine59 would be considered use of force prohibited by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which states: All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. There are, however, exceptions to the use of force prohibition, including self-defense in an armed attack, action by the United Nations itself, and regional arrangements. The regional arrangements exception, stated in Article 52(1) and Article 52(2), sanctions appropriate actions for the maintenance of regional peace and security. Katzenbach believed that the blockade with a regional sanction would provide a solid legal basis. He also felt that the United States could, without the sanction, defend the blockade in view of a states right of self defense. An Organization of American States (OAS) sanction, under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocity, or Rio Treaty (a treaty to which Cuba is a signatory), established cooperative relations and a forum to deal with internal and external conflicts among the American states. Meeker argued that this treaty would legitimize a quarantine of Cuba. Meeker especially noted Articles 6 and 8 of the Rio Treaty, which condone measures taken within the organization (including the recommendation of force by one or more members) to resolve a situation that endangers the peace and security of the hemisphere: Article 6: If the inviolability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political independence of any American State should be affected by an aggression which is not an armed attack or by an extra-continental or intra-continental conflict, or by any other fact or situation that might endanger the peace of America, the Organ of Consultation shall meet immediately in order to agree on measures which must be taken in case of aggression to assist the victim of the aggression or, in any case, measures which should be taken for the common defense and for the maintenance of the peace and security of the Continent.

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Gabrielle S. Brussel Article 8: For the purposes of this treaty, the measure on which the Organ of Consultation may agree will comprise one or more of the following: recall of chiefs of diplomatic missions; breaking of diplomatic relations; breaking of consular relations; partial or complete interruption of economic relations or of sea, air, postal, telephonic, and radiotelephonic or radiotelegraphic communications; and the use of armed force.

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The advisors recognized that the language used to describe the crisis was critical. Meeker was careful, therefore, to qualify the naval response as a defensive quarantine rather than a blockade. A defensive quarantine would not necessarily imply a state of war, while a blockade would be subject to considerable retaliation as an act of war. Both advisors underscored the statement in Article 2(4), which outlaws use of force that is inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. They suggested that the quarantine would be legal in the context of Article 2(4) as it supported the aim of maintaining international peace. Furthermore, within the sanction of the regional institution, the OAS, a defensive quarantine would not be illegal. Sorenson began a draft that announced a blockade but suggested that the United States would increase the pressure of the blockade and proceed to more offensive actions if the Soviet build-up continued. The Presidential Decision At 2:30 P.M. on Saturday, October 20, after five days of almost constant deliberations, the ExComm presented two alternative proposals to President Kennedy: 1. Begin with a naval blockade and increase the military pressure as the crisis demands; or 2. Begin with an air strike of Cuba, probably accompanied by an invasion of Cuba. Assistant Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric summarized the general opinion of the ExComm: Essentially, Mr. President, this is a choice between limited action and unlimited action; and most of us think that its better to start with limited action.60 Adlai Stevenson said that the United States should be prepared to negotiate to remove the missiles. He

suggested that the president should consider proposing that Cuba be demilitarized, neutralized, and its territorial integrity guaranteed by the demobilization of U.S. forces at Guantnamo Bay Naval Base. Additionally, either as an alternative or as an accompanying proposal, the president should consider dismantling the obsolete Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy. Kennedy discounted both options. He did not want to give up Guantnamo at that time, and he refused to be perceived as trading away an ally for the safety of the United States, whether the missiles in the Mediterranean were militarily useful or not. Primarily, the United States could not and would not negotiate under threat. The president did agree, however, that the political importance of the U.S. negotiating position had to be addressed and strengthened. With the exception of Stevenson, the ExComm fully agreed with the presidents refusal to include the U.S. missiles in a negotiation package. A straw vote revealed that the ExComm remained split, with six advisors voting for a surgical strike and eleven advocating a naval quarantine within a context of international negotiations.61 That morning the president ordered the U.S. missiles stationed in Turkey to be defused. This rendered them incapable of firing without a direct order by an authority.62 This was done to consolidate the responsibility of the crisis into the hands of the executive and to prevent, to the best of the administrations ability, escalation through mistake, misperception, or miscalculation of an unauthorized government official. This action did not affect the U.S. strategic position or diminish its security. By the fall of 1962, only Air Force General LeMay believed that the Jupiters were good military weapons.63 Turkey maintained that the missiles were a physical sign of the U.S. commitment to NATO, and to Turkey in particular. In May and June 1962 the State Department had broached the subject with the Turkish government; both times the Turkish government refused to discuss it. Although in August 1962 Bundy had pursued the subject of how to remove the missiles, no action had as yet begun.64 President Kennedy decided in favor of a blockade or defensive quarantine.65 Although he realized that the quarantine would not remove the missiles, he knew that an air strike would not necessarily remove all of them either, thereby forcing an escalation to higher levels of military confrontation. This course allowed the United States to increase pressure as required. Once the

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United States went forward with an attack, there would have been little recourse. The quarantine bought some time. The president was scheduled to make a statement on Monday October 22, but the administration was not sure it could keep the crisis from reaching the press. James Reston of the New York Times had many of the facts. Alfred Friendly of the Washington Post also had a fair idea of what was going on. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post, in addition to the New York Herald Tribune, complied with the request that they wait on the story until the president had gone public hours later. The final hours of the weekend were spent drafting the presidents speech to the public; contacting congressional leaders; coordinating the military mobilization and naval buildup; establishing support systems, including doctors and nurses, that would be needed in the event of a military confrontation; and dispatching ambassadors to inform our allies. Kennedy also sent personal envoys to French President Charles de Gaulle, Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Presidential letters, sent through U.S. embassies, went to forty-three heads of state. The president gave a final, last-minute consideration to an air strike during a meeting with General Walter C. Sweeney, Jr., commander-in-chief of the Tactical Air Command, on the morning of Sunday, October 21. Sweeney explained that an air attack could not be certain of destroying all the missile sites in Cuba. In fact, he said, approximately ten percent of the missiles would remain, necessitating a U.S. invasion. That confirmed the presidents decision to begin with the naval quarantine. The air strike plan as outlined by the military included bombing several populated areas as well as military installations. Later reports suggested that U.S. intelligence advisors had estimated that 25,000 Cubans would be killed if the decision had been made to bomb the missiles sites and destroy the bases.66 Once the president made his decision, time and energy were channeled into reviewing the speeches to be made and deciding on the exact presentation the president would make. There were many questions: How would he explain the U.S. evidence? Would he present the photographs on television? Should the president admit to illegal reconnaissance flights over

Cuban air space? Should he state that the United States would continue its blockade whether it received regional approval from the OAS or not? Should the speech mention Berlin and try to forestall a retaliatory action there? Kennedy decided against showing the enlarged photographs on the grounds that the viewer would probably not be able to discern the missile sites in the photographs. Robert Kennedy later admitted that the first time he looked at the photographs he had to take the photo reconnaissance analysts at their word, since what he saw appeared to be no more than the clearing of a field for a farm or the basement of a house. This had been the reaction of many of the experts in the room, including President Kennedy.67 Although the public would have seen later stages of construction, the president did not want to present questionable evidence. At the same time the administration did not want to heighten panic, so the president removed any specific references to Hiroshima and megatonnage. The speech would admit the secret surveillance of Cuba and would announce that the United States would increase this surveillance until the crisis abated. Surveillance was justified in an earlier OAS communiqu condemning secret military preparations. Although the United States would institute the blockade in any event, the ExComm chose not to review that point in the speech in the hope that the statement about the defense of [U.S.] security and of the entire Western Hemisphere would encourage regional unity and approval. The speech discouraged Soviet advances in Berlin, stating that the United States would resist any hostile retaliations anywhere in the world including in particular [against] the brave people of West Berlin.68 At 2:30 P.M., October 21, the National Security Council formally ratified the decisions of the ExComm. Admiral George W. Anderson outlined the navys plan for the blockade. Orders from the Pentagon readied Guantnamo naval base for a possible confrontation, evacuating family dependents and assigning operational control of specified army and air force units. In the evening Secretary of Defense McNamara formally approved the procedures and authorized air force interceptors flying in the United States to carry nuclear weapons. On Monday, October 22, the political and military preparations continued. John McCloy flew back to the United States from Europe to join the Stevenson team

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at the United Nations. A blockade-planning directive was ordered to the Atlantic fleet, and the air force missile crews received maximum alert orders. One hundred fifty-six Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) were readied for firing. The bomber force was dispersed, with B-47s sent to forty civilian airports and the B-52 bomber force ordered into the air. During the following month a significant portion of the B-52s were in the air at all times. In addition, the force on the ground carried a full load of fuel and bombs and was ready to take off on fifteen minutes notice. Five army divisions were on full alert, and 180 ships were deployed in the Caribbean.69 The ExComm met to discuss the presidential announcement. Abram Chayes, the legal advisor of the State Department, stressed that the legal basis of the quarantine was the right of collective action found in the Rio Treaty and in the UN Charter. He emphasized the OAS right to take collective actions to guard the security of the region and Article 52 of the UN Charter, maintaining a states right to make regional arrangements. The United States did not point to Article 51 of the UN Charter protecting the right of all nations to selfdefense because that article allowed a broad interpretation of self-defense. International justifications and pleas of self-defense had been established over many years. Chayes maintained that a dangerous and difficult precedent would be set if the United States extended the interpretation of self-defense to anticipatory selfdefense in regard to the placement of offensive missiles close to U.S. borders when an attack, although possible in the future, was obviously not imminent. The legal advisors urged policymakers to support the U.S. position with the other available avenues of international legal posture. This was agreed upon, and the text of the presidents speech was changed. Chayes agreed with Meekers emphasis on terminology, strongly recommending that the U.S. action be termed a defensive quarantine rather than a blockade. The president also accepted this idea. Action Memorandum No. 196 was approved, formally establishing the advisors as the Executive Committee of the National Security Council for the purpose of effective conduct of the operations of the executive branch in the current crisis. Later that day President Kennedy met with leading members of Congress, many of whom had been flown back to Washington. McCone, Rusk, and McNamara

began the briefing with a description of the intelligence reports and a report of the U.S. response. Members of the congressional group were fairly uniform in their criticism of a blockade. Believing it slow and ineffective, they called for stronger action. Some, including Senator Richard Russell of Georgia and Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas (both Democrats), went so far as to call for an invasion. President Kennedy later suggested that the congressional leaders were responding as the executive advisors had at first. He believed that if they had gone through the five-day period we had gone throughin looking at the various alternatives, advantages and disadvantages . . .they would have come out the same way we did.70 Kennedy responded to the congressional leaders by stating that he was acting by executive order, presidential proclamation, and inherent powers, not under a resolution or an act of Congress.71 He was seeking bipartisan governmental unity, he explained, but the planned U.S. response of a quarantine would continue in any event. Congressional support was important to Kennedy, but he had already decided that the executive branch would formulate a response without contacting Congress. The State Department was also preparing briefings. Secretary Rusk left the meeting with Congress for a meeting with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. Dobrynin was given an advance copy of the presidents speech. Rusk recalled that Dobrynin age[d] ten years right in front of [his] eyes.72 In fact, Dobrynins own government had not informed him of the missile deployment. In the State Departments international conference room, Under Secretary Ball briefed the ambassadors of forty-six allied countries, showing them photographs of the sites. U.S. ambassadors all over the world, including Foy Kohler in Moscow, were giving similar briefings At 7:00 P.M. (EST) President Kennedy broadcast on an international network arranged by the U.S. Information Agency:73 This government as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military build-up on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases, can be none other than to provide a

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nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere. . . . This urgent transformation of Cuba into an important strategic baseby the presence of these large, long-range and clearly offensive weapons of sudden mass destructionconstitutes an explicit threat to the peace and security of all the Americas. . . . This secret, swift and extraordinary build-up of Communist missilesin an area well-known to have a special and historical relationship to the United States and the nations of the Western Hemisphere, in violation of Soviet assurances, and in defiance of American and hemispheric policythis sudden, clandestine decision to station strategic weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo which cannot be accepted by this country, if our courage and our commitments are ever to be trusted again by either friend or foe. . . . Our unswerving objective, therefore, must be to prevent the use of these missiles against this or any other country, and to secure their withdrawal or elimination from the Western Hemisphere. . . . The president went on, outlining the initial response planned by the United States, including the naval quarantine, continued surveillance, reinforcement of Guantnamo Bay, and a diplomatic approach consisting of negotiations at the UN, through the OAS, and in bilateral discussions with Khrushchev. He warned that the United States would retaliate if necessary: It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. Kennedy concluded with a statement reaffirming the U.S. commitment to freedom and peace, Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right; not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope,

around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved. During the presidents speech, the State Department continued addressing world opinion to gain a world consensus favoring or at least understanding the proposed U.S. actions. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson requested that the Security Council convene to address the dangerous threat to peace and security of the world caused by the secret establishment in Cuba of longrange offensive missiles. He delivered this request to the chairman of the Security Council, Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin.74 The United States had ready a draft resolution calling for the dismantling of the missiles under the jurisdiction of the UN Observer Corps. If this were done, the blockade would be called off. Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs Edwin Martin briefed the ambassadors of the OAS, while Secretary Rusk met with members of the nonaligned and neutral nations. Characterizing the Soviet emplacement as a gross . . . error of judgement, Rusk appealed to the nations to look at this situation in terms of national purposes, national commitments, national interests. Further, he suggested that one of the issues . . . involved . . . the independence of states . . . and that Cuba was the victim rather than the perpetrator of the act.75 McNamara and Ball also held briefings that evening for the correspondents of the State Department and the Pentagon. When asked how far the navy would go to stop a Soviet vessel, McNamara responded, If there is an indication of offensive weapons on board and the captain refuses another course or port, we will use force.76 The OAS met at 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday, October 23, to discuss the U.S. resolution proposing a U.S. quarantine of Cuba. Martin estimated that the United States would get fourteen votesthe minimum necessary to approve the collective action under the Rio Treaty (two-thirds of the twenty-one member nations). The U.S. delegation, including Secretary of State Rusk, urged the OAS to act in concert for the defense of the entire hemisphere. The nations discussed the blockade throughout the day. Eighteen favored the blockade. The Bolivian ambassador, under instructions from his government to boycott the OAS for reasons relating to an earlier border dispute, was unable to participate in the proceeding. Deciding, however, to take a stand on what was viewed as one of the most important decisions the OAS would ever make, he abstained on a paragraph and

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voted with the majority. Uruguay alone abstained, making the vote nineteen to zero in favor of a U.S. naval quarantine of Cuba.

U.S.-SOVIET NEGOTIATIONS On Tuesday, October 23, the UN Security Council held its first meeting on the Cuban missile crisis. U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson denounced the Soviet actions in Cuba, while Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin accused the United States of risking world war and making false accusations. The Soviet ambassador introduced a resolution calling for condemnation of the United States for violating the UN Charter and increasing the likelihood of world war. The Cuban ambassador also condemned the U.S. actions, announcing that Cuba would never accept UN observers on the island. The United States estimated that it could depend on seven votes (including its own) from its allies among the permanent members, France, Great Britain, and China, and Venezuela, Chile, and Ireland who, by rotation, were sitting on the council. The Soviet bloc on the Security Council consisted of Romania and the Soviet Union, which, as a permanent member, had an automatic veto. The other alternate members during the rotation were neutral.77 Secretary General U Thant was asked to mediate the crisis. Edge of the Precipice In Washington the CIA presented evidence to the ExComm that as of the day before, four MRBM sites were operational and many others had emergency capability." The Soviet technicians continued to improve the sites. The emergency capability would become fully operational shortly. The ExComm decided, with the presidents approval, that if a U-2 reconnaissance plane flying surveillance over Cuba was fired on, the United States would, with specific permission from President Kennedy, use bomber and fighter planes to destroy the Surface-to-Air missile site (SAM) that had shot down the U.S. plane. The United States did not know if nuclear warheads were on the island, so the administration shaped its strategy assuming the worst. In fact, two-thirds of the Soviet warheads were either on the island or en route to it. Thirty-six warheads for use on medium-range missiles and twenty-

four launchers were in Cuba, as well as nine Luna shortrange, nuclear-tipped missiles with six mobile launchers. Moreover, the local Soviet commander in Cuba had permission to fire a nuclear retaliation in response to a U.S.-ordered invasion of the island. The atomic warheads on the Soviet rockets had yields of six to twelve kilotons, or 6,000 to 12,000 tons of TNT. At 11:56 A.M. (EST) the U.S. Embassy in Moscow transmitted the response by Chairman Nikita Khrushchev to President Kennedys public statement:78 [M]easures outlined in your statement represent serious threat to peace and the security of peoples. United States has openly taken path of gross violation of Charter of United Nations, path of violation of international norms of freedom of navigation on high seas, path of aggressive actions both against Cuba and against Soviet Union. Statement of Government of United States America cannot be evaluated in any other way than as naked interference in domestic affairs of Cuban Republic, Soviet Union, and other states. Charter of United Nations and international norms do not give right to any state whatsoever to establish in international waters control of vessels bound for shores of the Cuban Republic. It is self-understood that we also cannot recognize right of United States to establish control over armaments essential to Republic of Cuba for strengthening of its defensive capacity. We confirm that armaments now on Cuba, regardless of classification to which they belong, are destined exclusively for defensive purposes, in order to secure Cuban Republic from attack of aggressor. I hope that Government of United States will show prudence and renounce actions pursued by you, which could lead to catastrophic consequences for peace throughout the world. . . . Kennedy responded immediately, transmitting a letter through the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. It was delivered in Moscow at 7:00 A.M. October 24 (Moscow time). Briefly discussing the

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cause of the crisis, Kennedy firmly announced that the quarantine would go into effect:79 I think you will recognize that the steps80 which stated the current chain of events was the action of your government in secretly furnishing offensive weapons to Cuba. We will be discussing this matter in the Security Council. In the meantime, I hope that we both show prudence and do nothing to allow events to make the situation more difficult to control than it already is. I hope that you will issue immediately the necessary instruction to your ships to observe the terms of the quarantine, the basis of which was established by the vote of the Organization of American States this afternoon, and which will go into effect at 1400 hours Greenwich time October twentyfour. . . . That evening the president signed the interdiction orders that were to go into effect the next day. The materials to be stopped included SAMs, bomber aircraft, bombs, air-to-surface rockets and guided missiles, warheads, support equipment for the banned weapons, and any other materials so designated by the secretary of Defense for the purpose of effectuating this proclamation. McNamara, as secretary of Defense, ordered the quarantine: Any ships headed for Cuba would be interdicted. The president reserved to himself the right to order each ship to be intercepted or boarded. Again, as with the order to defuse the Turkish missiles, by completely centralizing the orders the President aimed to reduce the ability of government officials to take matters into their own hands and unwittingly increase the levels of tension. The United States asked its African allies to refuse landing rights to Soviet planes seeking to refuel on African territory. This was especially important for Senegal and Guinea, the most practical refueling stops for planes en route to Cuba from the Soviet Union. Both nations disavowed the Soviet buildup in Cuba and agreed to refuse landing rights to Soviet planes. In Washington, Ambassador Dobrynin met with Robert Kennedy to discuss the events of the past six weeks. Kennedy reminded him of the repeated Soviet pledges not to place offensive missiles in Cuba and to give Castro only defensive assistance. Dobrynin

renewed those pledges and denied the existence of offensive missiles in Cuba. Kennedy observed that the president had chosen a less belligerent attitude toward the Soviet Union than other political figures in the United States would have and suggested that the Soviet actions had devastating implications for the peace of the world.81 Dobrynin questioned the U.S. silence regarding the missiles during the Kennedy-Gromyko meeting the previous week. The attorney general replied that there was nothing the President could tell Gromyko that Gromyko didnt already knowafter all, why didnt Gromyko tell the President.82 The president had met Soviet demands for the withdrawal of American troops from Thailand. He believed that he was negotiating in good faith and sneaking missiles into Cuba now displayed the Soviet leaders as hypocritical, misleading and false. Kennedy asked if the Soviet ships were continuing on their course toward Cuba. Dobrynin replied that that had been their instructions and he knew of no change.83 The meeting ended in a stalemate, neither man secure in his knowledge of the other. That evening the president met with British Ambassador David Ormsby-Gore. Ormsby-Gore suggested that Kennedy should release the aerial photographs proving the U.S. position. This would help to rally public opinion behind the U.S. position. It was absolutely imperative that the world accept that the missiles represented a real crisis rather than a political attempt to increase public support before the important congressional elections on November 6. The president agreed with the ambassador on this point and decided to publish enlarged versions of the pictures the next day. The quarantine line was drawn at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, October 24, by nineteen U.S. ships operating as Task Force 136. If the Soviet ships bound for Cuba continued at their current speed, two ships would be intercepted before noon.84 More than twenty Soviet ships bound for Cuba had been tracked by navy reconnaissance planes. President Kennedy received a warning from Khrushchev stating that the Soviet Union would not accept the U.S. ultimatum:85 Having posed these conditions to us with these conditions, you, Mr. President, have challenged us. Who asked you to do this? By what right have you

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Gabrielle S. Brussel done this? Our relations with the Republic of Cuba, like our relations with other states, regardless of what sort of state it may be, concern only the two countries between which those relations exist. . . . You, Mr. President, are not declaring quarantines, but advancing an ultimatum and threatening that unless we subordinate ourselves to your demands, you will use force . . . You are no longer appealing to reason, but wish to intimidate us. . . . Reference to the decision of the Organization of American States cannot in any way substantiate the demands now advanced by the United States. This organization has absolutely no authority or basis to make decisions like that of which you speak of in your letter. Consequently, we do not recognize these decisions. International law exists, generally recognized norms of conduct exist. We firmly support the principles of international law, strictly observe the norms regulating navigation on the high seas and in international waters. We observe these norms and enjoy the rights recognized by all states. You wish to compel us to renounce the rights that every sovereign state enjoys, you are attempting to legislate in questions of international law, and you are trampling upon the generally accepted norms of this law. . . . What morality, what law can justify such approach by the American Government to international affairs? You cannot find such a morality and such a law. . . . The Soviet Government considers that violation of freedom of the use of international waters and international air space is an act of aggression, pushing mankind toward the abyss of a world missilenuclear war. . . . Of course, we shall not be simply observers of piratical actions of American ships on high seas. We will then be forced on our part to take the measure we deem necessary and adequate in order to protect our rights. For this we have all that is necessary.

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interdiction line within one hour. A Soviet submarine had moved into position between the two ships. The U.S. Navy planned to meet the Soviets with an aircraft carrier supported by anti-submarine equipped helicopters. The U.S.S. Essex would signal the submarine by sonar. If it failed to respond, depth charges would be released to force the submarine to surface. The administration had come to the moment it had carefully attempted to avoid, the first exchange with an Russian submarine. Even at that moment the president asked if there was some way we can avoid it. This moment was characterized as the edge of the precipice with no way off.86 The U.S. government began to make final preparations for a retaliation by the Soviets in Berlin. At 10:25 A.M., however, a report stating that the Soviet ships had stopped dead in the water was received. Seven minutes later the report was confirmed. The fourteen ships closest to the quarantine line had stopped in the water or had turned back toward the Soviet Union, although the tankers bound for Cuba continued. The president was determined to afford both nations the time necessary to negotiate their way out of the crisis. No ships will be stopped or intercepted. . . . If the ships have orders to turn around, we want to give them every opportunity to do so. Get in direct touch with the Essex and tell them not to do anything . . . give the Russian vessels an opportunity to turn back. We must move quickly because the time is expiring.87 Avoiding the Confrontation The U.S. military community was not completely reassured by the Soviet actions. Some officers speculated that ships might have altered their course in order to rendezvous with Soviet submarines, six of which had been tracked in the area, and then attempt to force their way through the line. The president ordered the Soviet ships followed but not boarded. This, he believed would keep the United States in an alert position, afford Khrushchev time to plan his next move, aware of U.S. pressure and restraint, but not cause precipitate action. At 1:00 P.M. the administration released the photographs of Soviet bases in Cuba. This was especially important in London where public opinion was running against the U.S. administration. Many critics felt that the Democratic administration was creating a pro-

Just after 10:00 A.M. McNamara announced that the ships Gagarin and Komiles were going to reach the

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paganda campaign to aid its party during the upcoming elections U Thant, attempting to mediate between the two governments, proposed the simultaneous suspension of the quarantine and the arms shipments. This, he maintained, would facilitate and establish the groundwork for an immediate summit meeting between Khrushchev and Kennedy. Kennedy and Khrushchev responded to the secretary general the next day, Thursday, October 25. Khrushchev accepted the proposal: I declare that I agree with your proposals which accord with the interest of peace. Kennedy did not: As we made clear in the Security Council, the existing threat was created by the secret introduction of offensive weapons into Cuba, and the answer lies in the removal of such weapons. First, remove the missiles then the United States will negotiate. Otherwise, the quarantine will remain. Khrushchev decided to approach the U.S. government in an unofficial manner. He settled on inviting visiting businessman William Knox, president of Westinghouse International, to meet with him on Wednesday in the Kremlin. During the ensuing discussion, Khrushchev presented the Soviet view to a man he viewed as an informal channel to the U.S. government. Discussing semantic questions of offense and defense, he admitted what his ambassadors and official statements had been denying, namely that there were missiles and other offensive weapons in Cuba. Furthermore, the Soviet Union would use them if necessary. He warned that they would also sink the American vessels if the United States attempted to stop and board the Soviet ships. On Thursday, October 25, Walter Lippmanns column in the Washington Post suggested that there were three ways to get rid of the missiles already in Cuba: invasion and occupation, total blockade and what he termed a face-saving agreement, a trade of the U.S. missiles in Turkey for the Soviet missiles in Cuba. At 8:00 A.M. (EST) on Thursday, October 25, a Soviet tanker, the Bucharest, was intercepted but was allowed to pass through the quarantine line without a U.S. boarding. An East German passenger ship was also allowed through. The United States decided that since it was only a matter of time until a ship was boarded, contingency plans would have to be made. After long discussions the ExComm, the State Department, and the Pentagon agreed that the first ship to be boarded

must not be a Soviet ship nor the ship of a Western ally, but preferably should belong to a neutral state. That day at the United Nations, Ambassador Zorin denied the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, challenging Ambassador Stevenson to present evidence proving their existence. Stevenson obliged with a dramatic flair: Mr. Ambassador we do have the evidence. We have it and it is clear and incontrovertible. . . . You, the Soviet Union, have sent these weapons to Cuba. You, the Soviet Union, have created this new danger not the United States. . . . I remind you that the other day you did not deny the existence of these weapons, but today . . . you now say that they do not exist, or that we havent proved they exist. . . . All right, Sir, let me ask you one question. Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the U.S.S.R. has placed and is placing medium and intermediate range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no? Dont wait for the translation, yes or no? Zorin: I am not in an American courtroom. . . . In due course, Sir, you will have your answer. Stevenson: You are in the courtroom of world opinion right now and you can answer yes or no. You have denied that they exist and I want to know whether I have understood you correctly. Zorin: Continue with your statement. You will have your answer in due course. Stevenson: I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over, if thats your decision. And I am also prepared to present the evidence to this room. With that Stevenson turned to a set of easels behind him and presented the enlarged photographs of the Soviet missile sites to the Security Council. Zorin did not respond. Stevenson said, We know the facts, and so do you, Sir, and we are ready to talk about them. Our job here is not to score debating points. Our job, Mr. Zorin, is to save the peace. And if you are ready to

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try, we are. The Security Council adjourned later that day and did not meet again until the crisis had ended. At 7:00 A.M. (EST) Friday, October 26, the U.S.S. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., stopped the American-built, Panamanian-owned, Lebanese-registered freighter Marcula. The Marcula was bound for Cuba with a Soviet charter. It had been tracked since the previous evening. The encounter had been specifically planned by the White House; it was selected as a neutral ship sailing under a Soviet charter. The U.S. Navy stopped and searched the vessel. The Marcula cooperated with little protest, presumably under Soviet instructions. But construction of the missile sites continued at an increasing pace. Kennedy stepped up the psychological and political pressure. Low-level photo reconnaissance flights over Cuba were increased to one every two hours. From Florida to Washington, contingency plans were made in the event that the United States was forced to bomb and invade Cuba. The State Department was ordered to proceed with preparations for establishing a civilian government in Cuba after the occupation of that country by U.S. troops.88 On Friday, October 26, statements went to the press that there was no evidence to date indicating that there is any [Soviet] intention to dismantle or discontinue work on these missile sites. On the contrary, the Soviets are rapidly continuing their construction of missile support and launch facilities, and serious attempts are under way to camouflage their efforts.89 Early that afternoon, John Scali of ABC News was contacted by Fomin, who urgently requested that Scali meet him for lunch. Although Fomin was listed as a Soviet Embassy counselor, the U.S. intelligence community knew that he was a KGB colonel and the director of Soviet intelligence operations in the United States. Fomin asked if the State Department would be willing to settle the crisis under the following agreement: The missile sites would be dismantled under UN supervision and sent back to the Soviet Union, Castro would state publicly that he would not accept any further offensive weapons, and the United States would give an unconditional pledge never to invade Cuba. Scali said that although he believed the United States would be interested, he did not speak for the government and would have to contact the administration. Fomin urged Scali to send this proposal to the White

House, observing that Zorin would also be prepared to pursue an agreement along this terms. Scali went directly to Roger Hilsman, director of the Department of Intelligence and Research for the State Department. He dictated a memorandum, indicating what Fomin had said, and gave it to the secretary of state. The secretary brought the proposal to the president and returned to Scali with the following message for Fomin: I have reason to believe that the USG sees real possibilities in this and supposes that representatives of the two governments could work this matter out with U Thant and with each other. My impression is, however, that time is very urgent. Scali met with Fomin later that day. After being assured that the message came from the highest sources, Fomin rushed to send the communiqu back to his own government. That day Robert Kennedy met with Dobrynin. Dobrynin was puzzled about the U.S. reluctance to accept the missiles in Cuba on the same level that the Soviets viewed the U.S. missiles in Turkey. Robert Kennedy said, You are interested in the missiles in Turkey? He thought pensively and [continued], One minute, I will go and talk to the President. He went out of the room . . . [He] came back and said, The President said that we are ready to consider the question of Turkey, to examine favorably the question of Turkey.90 Dobrynin quickly contacted Moscow. That evening the White House received a long personal message from Khrushchev. In it, he debated the offensive character of the missiles and discussed the total destruction and devastation that would occur in a U.S.-Soviet nuclear confrontation:91 I see, Mr. President, that you too are not devoid of a sense of anxiety for the fate of the world, of understanding, and of what war entails. . . . I have participated in two wars and know that war ends when it has rolled through cities and villages, everywhere sowing death and destruction. You are mistaken if you think that any of our means on Cuba are offensive. However, let us not quarrel now. It is apparent that I will not be able to convince you of this. But I say to you: you, Mr. Presi-

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dent, are a military man and should understand: can one attack, if one has on ones territory even an enormous quantity of missiles of various effective radiuses and various power, but using only these means. These missiles are a means of extermination and destruction. But one cannot attack with these missiles, even nuclear missiles of 100 megatons because only people, troops, can advance. Without people, any means however powerful cannot be offensive. . . . But, Mr. President, do you really seriously think that Cuba can attack the United States and that even we together with Cuba, can attack you from the territory of Cuba?. . . . Has something so new appeared in military strategy that one can think that it is possible to attack thus? I say precisely attack, and not destroy, since barbarians, people who have lost their sense, destroy. I believe that you have no basis to think this way. You can regard us with distrust, but, in any case, you can be calm in this regard, that we are of sound mind and understand perfectly well that if we attack you, you will respond the same way. . . . This indicates that we are normal people, that we correctly understand and correctly evaluate the situation. Consequently, how can we permit the incorrect actions which you ascribe to us? Only lunatics or suicides, who themselves want to perish and to destroy the whole world before they die, could do this,. We, however, want to live and do not at all want to destroy your country. We want something quite different: to compete with your country on a peaceful basis. We quarrel with you, we have differences on ideological questions. But our view of the world consists in this, that ideological questions, as well as economic problems, should be solved not by military means, they must be solved on the basis of peaceful competition. . . . Let us normalize relations. . . . You asked what happened, what evoked the delivery of weapons to Cuba. . . . We were very grieved by the fact . . . that a landing took place, that an attack on Cuba was committed, as a result of which many Cubans perished. . . .

If you are really concerned about the peace and welfare of your people, and this is your responsibility as President, then I . . . am concerned for my people. Moreover, the preservation of world peace should be our joint concern, since if, under contemporary conditions, war should break out, it would be a war not only between reciprocal claims, but a worldwide cruel and destructive war. Why have we proceeded to assist Cuba with military and economic aid? The answer is: we have proceeded to do so only for reasons of humanitarian conditions. . . . If assurances were given by the President and government of United States that the USA would not participate in an attack on Cuba and would restrain others from action of this sort, if you recall your fleet, this would immediately change everything. I am speaking for Fidel Castro, but I think that he and the government of Cuba, evidently, would declare demobilization and would appeal to the people to get down to peaceful labor. . . . Let us therefore show statesmanlike wisdom. I propose: we, for our part, will declare that our ships, bound for Cuba, will not carry any kind of armaments. You would declare that the United States will not invade Cuba with its forces and will not support any sort of forces which might intend to carry out any invasion of Cuba. Then the necessity for the presence of our military specialists in Cuba would disappear. . . . Mr. President, we and you ought not now to pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied the knots of war, because the more the two of us pull, the tighter this knot will be tied. And a moment may come when this knot is tied so tight that even he who tied it will not have the strength to untie it, and then it will be necessary to cut the knot. And what that would mean is not for me to explain to you, because you yourself understand perfectly of what terrible forces our two countries dispose. . . . These thoughts are dictated by a sincere desire to relieve the situation, to remove the threat of war.

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This letter arrived in four sections. The ExComm debated the legitimacy of the letter and the possibility of the Soviet government proceeding with its proposal. Acheson did not believe that the Soviets would go through with the deal. He viewed it as a personal plea from Khrushchev, dispatched without the consent of the Politburo. Although it did not ask for more than the United States was willing to give, it also did not specify how the missiles would be withdrawn. The ExComm decided to regard the letter as an actual proposal. The Soviet experts in the State Department were instructed to analyze it in conjunction with the memoranda on the Fomin discussions. The next day, Saturday, October 27, participants in the ExComm morning meeting learned that another Khrushchev proposal had arrived. In a formal and precisely composed response, which was broadcast over Moscow Radio, Khrushchev requested a quid pro quo. If the United States wanted the Cuban missiles dismantled, they would have to dismantle the missiles in Turkey:92 You are worried over Cuba. You say that it worries you because it lies at a distance of ninety miles across the sea from the shores of the United States. However, Turkey lies next to us. Our sentinels are pacing up and down and watching each other. Do you believe that you have the right to demand security for your country and the removal of such weapons that you qualify as offensive, while not recognizing this right for us? You have stationed devastating rocket weapons, which you call offensive, in Turkey literally right next to us. How then does recognition of our equal military possibilities tally with such unequal relations between our great states. . . . This is why I make the proposal: We agree to remove those weapons from Cuba which you regard as offensive weapons. We agree to do this and to state this commitment in the United Nations. Your representatives will make a statement to the effect that the United States, on its part . . . will evacuate its analogous weapons from Turkey. . . . We, having assumed this commitment in order to

give satisfaction and hope to the peoples of Cuba and Turkey and to increase their confidence in this security, will make a statement in the Security Council to the effect that the Soviet Government gives a solemn pledge to respect the integrity of the frontiers and the sovereignty of Turkey, not to intervene in its domestic affairs, not to invade Turkey, not to make available its territory as a place darmes for such invasion, and also will restrain those who would think of launching an aggression against Turkey either from the Soviet territory or from the territory of other states bordering Turkey. The United States will make the same statement in the Security Council with respect to Cuba. It will declare that the United States will respect the integrity of the frontiers of Cuba, its sovereignty, and undertakes not to intervene in its domestic affairs, not to invade and not to make its territory available as [a] place darmes for the invasion of Cuba, and also will restrain those who would think of launching an aggression against Cuba either from U.S. territory or from the territory of other states bordering on Cuba. . . . These are my proposals, Mr. President. . . . Fomin and Scali met again that afternoon. Fomin pointed to the Lippmann article of Thursday, October 25, linking the missiles in Turkey with the missiles in Cuba. Scali cautioned Fomin that it did not matter what anyone wrote without the authority of the U.S. government. James Restons columns in the New York Times were specifically designed to present the White House in a cautious light and to refute Lippmanns proposal. Reston argued that the Soviets had placed missiles in Cuba as bargaining chips to negotiate the removal of the U.S. missiles in Turkey or even the missiles defending Berlin, and therefore, to trade them was exactly what the Soviets had intended. During the October 27, ExComm meeting, the United States was confronted with a second problem: Rudolf Anderson, the U-2 pilot who flew one of the early flights that discovered the missiles, was shot down over Cuba. Earlier the ExComm had decided that, in the event of a U.S. casualty, it would respond with military force against the SAM site that had shot down its pilot. In the message the ExComm had just received,

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Khrushchev specifically stated that the missiles were in Soviet control:93 The weapons on Cuba that you have mentioned and which, as you say, alarm you, are in the hands of Soviet officers. Therefore any accidental use of them whatsoever to the detriment of the United States of America is excluded. These means are situated in Cuba at the request of the Cuban Government and only in defensive aims. Therefore, if there is no invasion of Cuba, or attack on the Soviet Union, or any of our other allies then, of course, these means do not threaten anyone and will not threaten. For they do not pursue offensive aims. Here was a confirmation that the Soviet SAMs in Cuba were fully operational and had attacked and killed a U.S. Air Force officer. The ExComm was shakenthe crisis was escalating and capable of getting out of control. Who had shot down Anderson? The Soviet standing order, it was learned later, to fire on any aircraft that flies overhead in wartime, was followed. The local Soviet commanders had twenty minutes to decide once the U-2 was spotted. They were unable to contact their superiors and General Georgy A. Voronkov gave the order to shoot. The president said, It isnt the first that concerns me [now], but both sides escalating to the fourth and fifth stepsand we dont go to the sixth because there is no one around to do so.95 First, there was a U.S. military casualty; second, the ExComm was not sure exactly how to respond to the Soviet proposal; and third, even more puzzling, what was the Soviet proposal? The advisors debated whether Khrushchev had been outvoted or overruled. Why did a second proposal contradictory to the first arrive? Had he lost control of the government? Perhaps the first letter had indeed been written without the knowledge of the other members of the Soviet government; when they learned of the letter, they unanimously vetoed the overtures it contained. Llewellyn Thompson did not believe this to be true. Instead, he theorized that the Soviets had construed Lippmanns proposal as inside information from the White House. Thompson also thought that the Soviets were probably divided in their assessment of the situation and its resolution. Therefore, when they read the column, although Scali had denied its validity

to Fomin, they decided to take the more forceful approach. Although it seemed a fair quid pro quo, the administration knew immediately that it would not be publicly acceptable. Thompson warned Kennedy that the Soviets would interpret Kennedys acceptance as proof of the weakness of his government and his presidency. Secretary Rusk suggested that the United States could accept the proposal and have Turkey reject it. In that way the Soviets would honor their agreement, while the missiles would remain in Turkey. The withdrawal would not affect the actual military balance because the Polaris submarines in the Mediterranean would provide protection to NATO and Turkey. In fact, the Jupiter missiles constituted less than three percent of the U.S. capacity to deliver a first strike. The president had been pursuing a tentative course toward removing the missiles, but no clear decision had yet been reached. In fact, Rusk had informally discussed the removal of the missiles with a Turkish government official. Although Turkey did not object to the U.S. military assessment of the missiles, the domestic costs of removing the missiles so quickly would be high, and Turkey preferred to wait for the stationing of Polaris submarines before removing the Jupiters. Obsolete missiles were now hostage to a crisis resolution. The president said, I am not going to go to war over worthless missiles in Turkey. I dont want to go to war anyhow, but I am certainly not going to go to war over worthless missiles in Turkey. Now I dont know how to get out of this.96 The missiles were committed to NATO. Trading them for the Cuban missiles would make U.S. allies and adversaries think that their doubts about the value of extended deterrence were well founded. Alliance security would be sacrificed at the cost of U.S. security. The president later said, appearances contribute to reality. The United States was in a crisis confrontation with the Soviet Union because of the importance of perceptions. It could not allow the impression to be created that it had traded an ally or lessened its commitment to an ally in a crisis. The ExComm addressed the question of the next step the U.S. government would have to take. Although the decision was not yet firm, the advisors began to fear that the initiation of an air strike would be a likely response. The president decided that the United States would agree to the trade, but he preferred that it be a

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private agreement between the two governments negotiated by Robert Kennedy and Anatoly Dobrynin. Kennedy also instructed Rusk to prepare a contingency plan. Andrew Cordier, president of Columbia University, said that he would be willing to contact U Thant and have him appeal to both nations to pursue a missile trade. Cordier was to speak with U Thant upon further signal by the U.S. government.97 The United States issued a public statement that the current threat must be addressedthe build-up must stop, the weapons must be rendered inoperative, and all shipments must be stoppedbefore negotiations and arms control efforts could continue. Robert Kennedy then made a proposal to the president and the ExComm that at worst would delay the escalation of U.S. military responses and at best would resolve the crisis: respond to the first Khrushchev correspondence and ignore the formal letter. He argued that the U.S. letter should accept the Soviet proposal clearly, specifying the U.S. understanding of the proposal and thus avoiding a debate on the missiles in Turkey. The president agreed that that might be a viable alternative and sent the attorney general and Sorenson to draft the letter. The success of the endeavor depended on whether Fomin was actually acting as a representative of his government when he met with Scali. The U.S. government did not reject the Soviet offer; it simply accepted a previous one:98 I have read your letter of October 26th with great care and welcomed the statement of your desire to seek a prompt solution to the problem. The first thing that needs to be done, however, is for work to cease on offensive missile bases in Cuba and for all weapons systems in Cuba capable of offensive use to be rendered inoperable, under effective United Nations arrangements. Assuming this is done promptly, I have given my representatives in New York instructions that will permit them to work out . . . an arrangement for a permanent solution to the Cuban problem along the lines suggested in your letter of October 26th. As I read your letter, the key elements of your proposalswhich seem generally acceptable as I understand themare as follows: 1. You would agree to remove these weapons sys-

tems from Cuba under appropriate United Nations observation and supervision; and undertake, with suitable safeguards, to halt the further introduction of such weapons systems into Cuba. 2. We, on our part, would agreeupon the establishment of adequate arrangements through the United Nations to ensure the carrying out and continuation of these commitments(a) to remove promptly the quarantine measures now in effect and (b) to give assurances against an invasion of Cuba. I am confident that other nations of the Western Hemisphere would be prepared to do likewise. If you give your representative similar instructions, there is no reason why we should not be able to complete these arrangement and announce them to the world within a couple of days. . . . I would like to say again that the United States is very much interested in reducing tensions and halting the arms race; and if your letter signified that you are prepared to discuss a detente affecting NATO and the Warsaw Pact, we are quite prepared to consider with our allies any useful proposals. But the first ingredient, let me emphasize, is the cessation of work on missile sites in Cuba and measures to render such weapons inoperable, under effective international guarantees. The continuation of this threat, or a prolonging of this discussion concerning Cuba by linking these problems to the broader questions of European and world security, would surely lead to an intensification of the Cuban crisis and a grave risk to the peace of the world. For these reasons I hope we can quickly agree along the lines outlined in this letter and in your letter of October 26th. The letter was transmitted and received by the Soviet Foreign Ministry in Moscow at 10:30 A.M. on October 28 (Moscow time). Robert Kennedy took a copy of the text to Dobrynin. He told Dobrynin that the United States knew that the work in Cuba had been continuing at increasing rates. Furthermore, the death of Rudolf Anderson had put the crisis on another level. The president did not want a military confrontation, but they

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had forced our hand. He continued, saying that the United States was ready to begin military action shortly. Dobrynin said he believed that the Soviet leadership was committed to its course of action. He did, however, question Kennedy about the Turkey-Cuba trade. Kennedy replied there could be no quid pro quo or any arrangement made under this kind of threat or pressure, and that in the last analysis this was a decision that would have to be made by NATO. However . . . President Kennedy had been anxious to remove those missiles from Turkey and Italy for a long period of time . . . and it was our judgement that, within a short time after the crisis was over, those missiles would be gone.99 Furthermore, he told Dobrynin that if the Soviets ever discussed this, we would deny it.100 President Kennedy promised, If this leaks into the press, I will deny it. I give my word I will do this, but this promise should not be made public.101 Kennedy presented the agreement to Dobrynin as a settled intent [of the U.S. government].102 Further, as long as it [was] not connected to the crisis, as long as nobody represented it as a quid pro quo, which it was not . . . and as long as nobody tried to make an open affair of it the arrangement would be consummated.103 It could not be publicly acknowledged, however, since the United States did not want the agreement to be taken by many people as a sellout of our allies.104 To avoid further U.S. military action, Robert Kennedy stated that the Soviet agreement must be forthcoming quickly, and he demanded an answer the next day. During discussions years later, McNamara said it was important to frame [the withdrawal] as it was framed, because . . . [the United States was] dealing not with a military problem, but with a political problem. And if [it] had not framed the withdrawal from Turkey as [it] did, [the United States] would have created another political problem. [It] would have divided the Alliance. [The United States] would have weakened it and the Soviets would have faced a weakened Alliance, and this would have been a danger to the Alliance.105

The president refused to approve a military escalation, although the preparations continued for a military confrontation beginning as early as Tuesday, October 31. The president did, however, order twenty-four troop-carrier squadrons of the U.S. Air Force Reserve to active duty. It was estimated that a 60,000100,000 person ground force would be necessary to invade Cuba. The army and marine corps units were already in Florida or in the Panama Canal Zone. The U.S. military was prepared for any contingency. The U.S. government waited impatiently and pessimistically for the Soviet response. McNamara remembers the sunset of Saturday, October 27th. I, at least, was so uncertain as to whether the Soviets would accept replying to the first instead of the second, or accept . . . our acceptance of the formula of the first, that I wondered if Id ever see another Saturday sunset like that.106 Many of the advisors, including Robert Kennedy, George Ball, and Alexis Johnson, had similar feelings. On Sunday afternoon at 5:00 P.M. (Moscow time), however, Khrushchevs response was broadcast over Moscow radio and delivered to the U.S. Embassy there:107 I have received your message of October 27,1962. 1 express my satisfaction and appreciation for the sense of proportion you have displayed, and for realization of the responsibility which now devolves on you for the preservation of peace throughout the world. . . . In order to eliminate as rapidly as possible the conflict which endangers the cause of peace, to give an assurance to all people who crave peace, and to reassure the American people, all of whom, I am sure, also want peace, as do the people of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government, in addition to earlier instructions on the discontinuance of further work on the weapons constructions sites, has given a new order to dismantle the weapons, which you describe as offensive, and to crate and return them to the Soviet Union. . . . Cuba and the Cuban people were constantly under the continuous threat of an invasion of Cuba. . . .I should like to say clearly once more that we could not remain indifferent to this. The Soviet Government decided to render assistance to Cuba with

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Gabrielle S. Brussel means of defense against aggressiononly meant for defensive purposes. We have supplied the defense means which you describe as offensive means. . . . I regard with respect and trust the statement you made in your message of October 27,1962, that no attack would be no attack, no invasion of Cuba, and not only on the part of the United States, but also on the part of other nations of the Western Hemisphere, as you said in your same message. Then the motives which induced us to render assistance of such a kind to Cuba disappear. It is for this reason that we instructed our officers these means as I had already informed you earlier are in the hands of the Soviet officersto take appropriate measures to discontinue construction of the aforementioned facilities, and to dismantle them, and return them to the Soviet Union. As I had informed you in my letter of 27 October, we are prepared to reach agreement to enable U.N. representatives to verify the dismantling of these means. . . .

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This is an important and constructive contribution to peace. We shall be in touch with the Secretary General of the United Nations with respect to reciprocal measures to assure peace in the Caribbean area. It is my earnest hope that the governments of the world can, with the solution of the Cuban crisis, turn their urgent attention to the compelling necessity for ending the arms race and reducing world tensions. This applies to the military confrontation between the Warsaw Pact and NATO countries as well as to other situations in other parts of the world where tensions lead to the wasteful diversion of resources to weapons of war. President Kennedy insisted that the U.S. government resist any attempt to present the resolution as a U.S. victory. He appreciated the costs that the Soviet Union and Khrushchev would pay to dismantle the missiles. He did not want to raise the stakes for the Soviets or risk a change in the resolution agreement. In a letter to Khrushchev on December 14, however, President Kennedy reiterated his insistence that U.S. assurances against an invasion of Cuba were contingent on assurances that offensive weapons be removed from Cuba and not reintroduced, and that Cuba itself commit no aggressive acts against its neighbors. Castro and the Cuban government were not pleased with what they perceived as a Soviet betrayal. Khrushchev later admitted that Castro was not informed of the U.S.-Soviet deal regarding the missiles in Turkey. Castro issued a statement demanding that the United States end the blockade, economic pressure on Cuba, harassment by Cuban exiles, overflights of Cuban territory, and raids by exile commando groups and withdraw from Guantnamo Bay Naval Base. Furthermore, he refused to allow on-site UN supervision of the withdrawal of the weapons. Upon receipt of the official text of Khrushchevs statement, Kennedy released a formal reply:109 I consider my letter to you of October twenty-seventh and your reply of today as firm undertakings on the part of both our governments which should be promptly carried out. I hope that the necessary measures can at once be taken through the United

The letter also discussed the dangers of the nuclear age and the possibility for better relations between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Khrushchev urged caution in future military relations, stressing the necessity to avoid provoking a fatal step. Dobrynin called Robert Kennedy to arrange an immediate meeting. He said that the Soviet government had agreed to the U.S. proposal. The missiles would be dismantled and shipped back to the Soviet Union. Dobrynin also conveyed that Khrushchev wanted to send his best wishes to the president and the attorney general. The president ordered the overflights of Cuba discontinued and instructed the navy not to halt any ships. He also arranged for a watch of the Cuban exile groups to forestall any behavior that might endanger the agreement. Kennedys immediate response was released to reporters and read over Voice of America:108 I welcome Chairman Khrushchevs statesman-like decision to stop building bases in Cuba, dismantling offensive weapons and returning them to the Soviet Union under United Nations verification.

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Nations, as your message says, so that the United States will be able to remove the quarantine measure now in effect. . . . Mr. Chairman, both of our countries have great unfinished tasks and I know that your people as well as those of the United Sates can ask for nothing better than to pursue them free from the fear of war. Modern science and technology have given us the possibility of making labor fruitful beyond anything that could have been dreamed of a few decades ago I agree with you that we must devote urgent atten-

tion to the problem of disarmament, as it relates to the whole world and also to critical areas. Perhaps now, as we step back from danger, we can together make real progress in this vital field. I think we should give priority to the question relating to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, on earth and in outer space, and to the great effort for a nuclear test ban. But we should also work hard to see if wider measures of disarmament can be agreed and put into operation at an early date. The U.S. government will be prepared to discuss these questions urgently, and in a constructive spirit, at Geneva or elsewhere. . . .

NOTES
The author acknowledges the guidance of Professor Roger Hilsman and would like to express special gratitude to Professor Pamela S. Falk. 1. The advisory group that served Kennedy throughout the crisis was known later as the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (ExComm). For the sake of clarity, the term ExComm will be used throughout. 2. Charles Chip Bohlen, was present at the original meeting instead of Thompson, but, to avoid suspicion, he assumed his duties as ambassador to France. 3. The terms were not used during the crisis but were popularized later in an article in the Saturday Evening Post by Stewart Alsop and Charles Bartlett, December 8,1962. 4. McGeorge Bundy, Proceedings of the Cambridge Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, CSIA Working Paper No. 892, ed. D. Welch (Cambridge: Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, 1989), 32. [Hereinafter CC Transcript]. 5. Elie Abel, The Missile Crisis. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1966), 113. 6. John F. Kennedy, Kennedy Presidential Recordings Transcript (16 October 1962), 36. Papers of John F. Kennedy, Presidential Papers, Presidents Office Files, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston. [Hereinafter KPR Transcript]. 7. Dean Rusk, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 11:50 A.M.12:57 P.M.), 14. 8. Ibid., 15. 9. John F. Kennedy, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7.55 P.M.), 3536. 10. Robert F. Kennedy, The Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: W.W. Norton, 1969), 39; see also 3738. 11. Fyodor Burlatsky, CC Transcript, 24. 12. Georgi Shaknazarov, CC Transcript, 45. 13. R. Pope, ed., Soviet Views on the Cuban Missile Crisis (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1982), 123; see also Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers (Boston: Little, Brown and Company), 1970, 493. 14. Sergo Mikoyan, CC Transcript, 26. 15. Ibid., 27. 16. Ibid., 29. 17. B. Allyn et al., Essence of Revision: Moscow, Havana, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, International Security (14), no. 3 (Winter 198990), 140 and n.10. 18. Sergo Mikoyan, CC Transcript, 2930. 19. Allyn, Essence of Revision, 138. 20. McGeorge Bundy, Danger and Survival: The Political History of the Nuclear Weapon (New York: Random House, 1988), 418. 21. Rusk, KPR Transcript, 14. 22. Bundy, Danger and Survival, 418. 23. Mikoyan, CC Transcript, 30. 24. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times (New York: Random House, 1978), 545. 25. Bundy, Danger and Survival, 45859. 26. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 60. 27. Ibid., 51. 28. Robert McNamara, Proceedings of the Hawks Cay Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, CSIA Working Paper No. 891, ed. D. Welch (Cambridge: Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, January 1989), 10. 29. McNamara, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7.55.PM.), 25. 30. Ibid, 22. 31. See CC Transcript, 3235. 32. John F. Kennedy, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7:55 P.M.), 15. 33. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 553. 34. Sorenson memorandum, October 20, 1962, RFK

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Papers, in Robert Kennedy and His Times. 35. Edwin M. Martin, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7:55 P.M.), 5. 36. Dean Rusk, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7:55 P.M.), 5. 37. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 52. 38. Although the United States was not initiating a lifethreatening situation with a naval blockade, such action was considered against the freedom of the seas and could be interpreted as a violation of international law. Furthermore, precedent was against the United States because it had gone to war with England over a violation of the freedom to navigate the seas (War of 1812). 39. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 34. 40. Ibid. 41. Roswell Gilpatric, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7:55 P.M.), 50. 42. Robert S. McNamara, KPR Transcript (Presidential Recordings, 6:30 P.M.7:55 PM.), 50. 43. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 64. 44. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 549. 45. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 38. 46. Ibid.; Abel, The Missile Crisis, 64; Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 547. 47. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 64. 48. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 33. 49. Ibid., 4041. 50. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 77. 51. The purpose of the exercise was to liberate a mythical Republic of Vieques from a dictator named Ortsac (Castro spelled backward). It included 7,500 Marines, four aircraft carriers, twenty destroyers, and fifteen troop carriers. The exercise was scheduled to take place on the island of Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico. Invitations to the media had gone out long before October 1962. Graham T. Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971), 47; Abel, The Missile Crisis, 102. 52. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 103. 53. Ibid., 102. 54. Ibid., 79. 55. The Swiss government seemed a likely choice for such a task as it houses, even to this day, the U.S. Interest Section. The Interest Section functions in place of an embassy, dealing with U.S.-Cuban relations on a limited diplomatic basis. 56. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 36. 57. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 81. 58. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 45. 59. Meeker borrowed the phrase (with citation) from FDRs quarantine-the-aggressor speech. 60. Theodore C. Sorenson, Kennedy (New York: Harper and Row, 1965), 694. 61. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (New York: Fawcett Premier, 1965), 739. 62. George Ball, Alfred P. Sloan Transcript (New York), 5657.

63. Bundy, Danger and Survival, 428. 64. Ibid. 65. Although some of the members of the ExComm, including Secretary Dean Rusk, criticized questions of terminology as semantics, President Kennedy was impressed by the importance of terminology during the crisis. 66. Robert Kennedy Campaign Speech, October 13, 1964, Rockville Centre, New York, 64. 67. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 24. 68. John F. Kennedy, Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba, October 22, 1962, 7:00 P.M., cited in The Public Papers of the Presidents, John F. Kennedy, 1962 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1963), 8069. 69. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 132. 70. Ibid.; see also Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 55. 71. Sorenson, Kennedy, 702. 72. J. Blight and D. Welch, On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Hill and Wang, 1989), 185. 73. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 47, no. 1220 (November 12, 1962): 71530; see also D. Larson, ed., The Cuban Crisis of 1962: Selected Documents, Chronology and Bibliography, 2nd ed. (New York: University Press of America, 1986), Document 17: President Kennedys Message of October 22, 1962, 5963. 74. The chairmanship of the Security Council rotates. During October 1962 the Soviet Union was serving in the chairmanship. 75. Abel, The Missile Crisis, 125. 76. Ibid., 126. 77. The Security Council comprises fifteen members. Five permanent membersthe five Allies of World War II, the United States, the Soviet Union (now the Commonwealth of Independent States), France, Great Britain, and China have the special voting right of an automatic veto; and ten rotating members are elected by the permanent members for two-year terms based on geographic distribution. Although the nonpermanent members have a vote on the Security Council, their veto does not automatically defeat a resolution. A veto cast by a permanent member defeats the resolution. 78. Informal translation by the American Embassy in Moscow. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 69, no. 1795 (November 19, 1973): 63637, cited in Larson, The Cuban Crisis, 6768. 79. Ibid., 6869. 80. This was transmitted to the American Embassy as steps but was corrected there to read step. 81. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 66. 82. Ibid. 83. Ibid. 84. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 69. 85. Informal translation by the American Embassy in Moscow. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 69, no. 1795 (November 19, 1973): 63637, cited in Larson, The Cuban

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Crisis, 12729. 86. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 70. 87. Ibid., 72. 88. Ibid., 85. 89. New York Times, October 26, 1962, and Abel, The Missile Crisis, 176. 90. Allyn, Essence of Revision, 159. 91. Informal translation by the American Embassy in Moscow. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 69, no. 1795 (November 19, 1972): 64043, cited in Larson, The Cuban Crisis, 17580. 92. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 47, no. 1220 (November 12, 1962): 74143, cited in Larson, The Cuban Crisis, 18386 (unofficial translation). 93. Ibid., 185. 94. Allyn, Essence of Revision, 161. 95. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 9495. 96. McNamara, Alfred P. Sloan Transcript (n.d.), 63. 97. Cordier was chosen because he had been a deputy to U Thant, and Rusk believed that he could be discreet. 98. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 47 no. 1220 (November 12, 1962): 743, cited in Larson, The Cuban Crisis, 18788. 99. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 1089. 100. McNamara, Alfred P. Sloan Transcript, 59. 101. Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1990), 179. 102. Bundy, Alfred P. Sloan Transcript, 65.

103. Ibid. 104. Bundy, Alfred P. Sloan Transcript, 66. Ambassador Dobrynin made one attempt, two days later, October 27, 1962, to make the deal public. He brought the attorney general an unsigned letter from Khrushchev to President Kennedy specifying the details of the agreement. After reading the letter, it is believed that Robert Kennedy told the ambassador the next day that there was no quid pro quo, and the letter makes it appear that there was. If you feel it is necessary to write letters then we will also write one which you cannot enjoy. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the attorney general warned that if the Soviets published any document regarding the deal, it would be automatically canceled. Dobrynin replied that the Soviet government would not publish the correspondence. Kennedy said. Speaking quite frankly, you also told me that your government never intended to put missiles in Cuba. RFK, handwritten notes (n.d.), and RFK to Dean Rusk, reporting on the interview, October 30, 1962, RFK Papers, cited in Schlesinger, Robert F. Kennedy, 564. 105. McNamara, Alfred P. Sloan Transcript, 67. 106. Ibid., 55. 107. U.S. Department of State, Bulletin 47, no. 1220 (November 12, 1962): 74345, cited in Larson, The Cuban Crisis, 18993. 108. Ibid., 19394. 109. Ibid., 19495.

CHRONOLOGY OF U.S.-CUBAN RELATIONS, 196063 1960 Aug. 6: The Cuban government nationalizes the property of companies owned or partially owned by the United States. Prime Minister Fidel Castro defends this on the grounds that the U.S. reduction of the Cuban sugar quota was, in effect, economic aggression against the Cuban government. Aug. 10: The United States releases an analysis of the nationalization, concluding that more than $1 billion was expropriated. Sept. 17: The Cuban government expropriates U.S.operated banks in Cuba. The United States protests this action. Oct. 19: The United States embargoes all exports to Cuba except nonsubsidized foodstuffs, medicines, and medical supplies. Nov. 24: The United States maintains that Soviet-bloc military aid to Cuba has totaled more than 28,000 tons since the revolution. 1961 Jan. 2: Cuba demands that the United States reduce its embassy personnel to a total of eleven within two days. Jan. 3: The United States and Cuba end diplomatic relations; their affairs are turned over to the Swiss and Czechoslovakian embassies, respectively. Feb. 1: Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa characterizes the U.S.-Cuban agreement regarding Guantnamo Bay Naval Base as illegitimate because Cuba was not on an equal footing with the United States and because the Cuban people were coerced by a system of government imposed upon them from abroad. Mar. 31: President John F. Kennedy reduces Cuban sugar imports to zero. Apr. 12: President Kennedy says that U.S. armed forces will not intervene in Cuba to overthrow Castro. Apr. 16: Castro mobilizes the Cuban armed forces against a U.S. invasion. Castro characterizes his government as socialist.

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Apr. 17: Miro Cardona, a Cuban exile leader, announces a seaborne invasion of Cuba. The unsuccessful invasion, which involves Cuban exiles supported and trained by the United States, becomes known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The United States denies involvement in the invasion but expresses sympathy for the rebels. The Cuban government captures 1,113 rebels. The United States admits it supported the exiles. Sept. 7: The U.S. Congress prohibits U.S. aid to any country providing aid to Cuba unless the president determines that such assistance is in the national interest. Dec. 2: Castro announces that he is a Marxist-Leninist and will be a Marxist-Leninist until the last day of . . . [his] life. 1962 Feb. 3: President Kennedy announces an embargo on shipments of all goods except medical supplies to Cuba. Mar. 2: The United States estimates that Cuba has received more than $110 million in military and technical services from the Soviet Union. MayJun.: On orders contained in a National Security Council memorandum, representatives of the State Department attempt to discuss withdrawing the U.S. Jupiter missiles deployed in Turkey. The Turkish government rebuffs the negotiators. Jul. 1962: Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missiles are sent secretly to Cuba. Aug. 1962: The National Security Council issues a second action memorandum ordering the withdrawal of the Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Aug. 19: Castro announces that farm land in Cuba will be taken over and state farms established. Aug. 24: The United States announces that Soviet military assistance to Cuba has increased more than twenty cargo ships are thought to have arrived in Havana harbor carrying military equipment. A Cuban exile group shells beach-front buildings in Havana. The United States disavows prior knowledge of the raid. Aug. 30: President Kennedy rejects Senator Homer E. Capeharts proposal for a U.S. invasion of Cuba. Sept. 1: Senator Kenneth Keating asserts that more than 1,000 Soviet military personnel and undisclosed amounts of Soviet military assistance are in Cuba.

Sept. 2: The Kennedy administration asserts that the Soviet military aid to Cuba is defensive. Senator Keating criticizes the Kennedy policy of do[ing] nothing. Sept. 3: A Soviet-Cuban joint communiqu announces Soviet military and technical assistance to Cuba. Sept. 4: Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin promises Attorney General Robert Kennedy that the Soviet Union will not initiate a provocation in Berlin or in Southeast Asia before the November 1962 election. Dobrynin also says that the Soviet Union will not give a third power the ability to start a nuclear war that would involve the Soviet Union. President Kennedy says at a press conference that the Soviet aid to Cuba is defensive, but he maintains that the United States will do anything to stop Cuban aggression and Soviet expansion in Latin America. Sept. 5: Secretary of State Dean Rusk tells nineteen Latin American allies that the United States will work to stop the expansion of communism in Latin America. Sept. 7: Senator Everett Dirksen and Representative Charles Halleck issue statements urging a stronger U.S. policy toward Cuba. Both statements propose the presidential authorization of troops to stop the expansion of Cuban communism. President Kennedy calls for the readiness of the reserves. Sept. 11: The Soviet Union repeats the warning that Cuba will be protected by Soviet military forces. Sept. 13: President Kennedy repeats his warning against Cuban expansion and offensive weapons in Cuba but says that the weapons in Cuba are defensive. He encourages US. allies to discontinue trade with Cuba. In a meeting with Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles, Dobrynin denies the possibility of offensive missiles in Cuba. Sept. 16: Senator Barry Goldwater attacks the do nothing policy of the Kennedy administration. Sept. 1718: Senators Goldwater, Strom Thurmond, and John Tower, and former Vice President Richard Nixon call for a U.S. blockade of Cuba. Sept. 18: In a meeting with Ambassador Foy D. Kohler, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev assures the ambassador that the last thing he wanted to do was to embarrass the President on the eve of the elections. Sept. 19: The U.S. Intelligence Board meets and approves an intelligence estimate concluding that the Soviets would not introduce offensive weapons in Cuba. CIA Director John McCone does not agree, but

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he is away on his honeymoon and is only able to cable his disapproval. Sept. 21: The Soviet government asserts in the United Nations that a U.S. attack on Cuba would mean war between the Soviet Union and the United States; the United States responds by asserting that the threat to peace . . . comes not from the United States, but from the Soviet Union. Sept. 26: Congress passes a resolution authorizing the use of force if necessary to stop Cuban expansion in Latin America. Oct. 10: Alpha 66, a Cuban exile group, claims responsibility for a raid in Cuba on October 7. Oct. 15: Reconnaissance photographs taken from U-2 flights over Cuba disclose long-range missile sites in Cuba. CIA Directors Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter and Dr. Ray Cline are notified; they, in turn, notify the others in the chain of command. Oct. 16: President Kennedy is informed of the missiles and forms an advisory board, inviting officials from his cabinet, the Justice Department, the CIA, the Department of Defense, and the State Department and other experts to meet in the Cabinet Room. All participants are instructed to work on solutions in absolute secrecy. Khrushchev and U.S. Ambassador Foy Kohler meet to discuss a wide range of topics, including Cuba and Berlin. The Castro government asserts that U.S. planes were flying provocatively and repeatedly over Cuban territorial waters. Oct. 17: Under Secretary of State George Ball presents the first sustained argument against an air strike on Cuba. Oct. 1720: The presidents advisory group, now called the ExComm, debates the options for removing the missiles. Secretary McNamara, supported by lawyers from the justice and State departments, presents a case for a blockade. General Maxwell Taylor presents the option of immediate military action in the form of an air strike. Oct. 18: Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko meets with President Kennedy at the White House to discuss U.S.Soviet relations. Gromyko repeats the Soviet denials regarding offensive missiles in Cuba. Kennedy does not confront the Soviet minister with the missile information, but he reads Gromyko the text of his press release of September 4. Gromyko does not respond.

The Department of Defense announces the transfer of twelve navy jet fighters to the southern tip of Florida, stating that the transfer occurred at the beginning of October. Oct. 20: President Kennedy meets with General Walter C. Sweeney, Jr., commander in chief of the Tactical Air Command; Sweeney says they could not be certain an attack would eliminate all missile sites. Kennedy makes his final decision in favor of a naval quarantine. Oct. 22: Under Secretary Ball briefs the representatives of forty-six NATO, SEATO, CENTO, and nonaligned nation allies. Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs Edward Martin briefs OAS allies. The United States formally requests a meeting of the UN Security Council. The ExComm is established under National Security Council Action Memorandum No. 196 as the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. President Kennedy meets with seventeen members of Congress and his cabinet to discuss the issues. Secretary of State Dean Rusk meets with Ambassador Dobrynin, giving him an advance copy of President Kennedys speech. President Kennedy addresses the nation, explaining the U.S. situation, announcing a defensive quarantine of Cuba, and showing photographs of the Cuban missile sites. He announces that the United States will respond to any threat or to any action that endangers its citizens. The Department of Defense puts U.S. military forces on alert throughout the world. Oct. 23: The United States submits a resolution to the OAS citing Article 6 of the Rio Treaty of 1947 authorizing member states to proclaim and enforce a blockade individually or collectively if the integrity or sovereignty or political independence of a nation is threatened. The OAS unanimously approves the U.S. blockade. Ambassador Dobrynin meets with Robert Kennedy to discuss the events. Dobrynin repeats the Soviet pledge not to place missiles in Cuba and denies the existence of missiles in Cuba. The ExComm agrees that, in the event of a U-2 casualty, the United States will hit a surface-to-air missile site in Cuba. The CIA presents evidence to the ExComm that four MRBM sites are fully operational, the rest have emergency capability, and technicians are continuing to improve the sites.

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The reserves are mobilized to active duty. Secretary McNamara orders the naval quarantine in effect. Castro addresses the Cuban people, telling them that the missiles are defensive and declaring that the U.S. blockade was an act of piracy. He mobilizes the Cuban military. The Soviet oil tanker Bucharest is intercepted but allowed to proceed with only alongside visual observation. Oct. 24: Two Soviet ships, which would be intercepted before noon stop dead in the water. U Thant, acting secretary general of the United Nations, proposes that President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev suspend all action while a summit is convened to discuss the issues. Khrushchev accepts; Kennedy does not, maintaining that the missiles must be removed first, although he does agree to maintain communications channels. Oct. 25: Ambassador Adlai Stevenson challenges Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin in the Security Council to deny the Cuban missiles. Zorin refuses to respond, and Stevenson produces the reconnaissance photographs; the Security Council adjourns. President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev, in letters to Acting Secretary General U Thant, pledge cooperation in the crisis. Khrushchev says that he will temporarily keep Soviet ships away from the quarantine line. In his Washington Post column, Walter Lippmann suggests a U.S.-Soviet missile tradethe Jupiter missiles in Turkey for the Soviet missiles in Cuba. Oct. 26: The American-built, Panamanian-owned, Lebanese-registered, and Soviet-chartered freighter Marcula is stopped and boarded by the U.S. Navy. It is allowed to continue to Cuba. Premier Khrushchev writes a personal letter to President Kennedy discussing the instability and insanity of the crisis, acknowledging the missiles, and agreeing to remove them if Kennedy pledges that the United States will not invade Cuba. A U-2 reconnaissance pilot, Rudolf Anderson, is shot down over Cuba. Oct. 26, 28: James Reston attempts to refute Walter Lippmann in his column in the New York Times, maintaining that the Soviet missiles in Cuba were always meant as bargaining chips, so bargaining with them is exactly what the Soviets had planned.

Oct. 27: The United States receives a letter from the Soviet government offering to trade the missiles in Cuba for the missiles in Turkey. ExComm members, especially military representatives, begin to encourage the air strike option. President Kennedy refuses to bargain under fire with the missiles. Robert Kennedy suggests that the United States respond to the first letter from Khrushchev and ignore the second. A letter pledging that neither the United States nor its allies will invade Cuba if the missiles are removed (subject to international verification and inspection) is sent to Khrushchev. Robert Kennedy, meeting with Ambassador Dobrynin, asserts that the United States will feel forced to go to war if the Soviets do not withdraw the missiles immediately. He adds that the missiles in Turkey will be withdrawn within a few months. Oct. 28: Premier Khrushchev announces the withdrawal of the Soviet missiles. Oct. 29: A State Department-Defense Department task force is convened to address the Cuban Missile Crisis issues, including the removal of the Jupiter missiles in Turkey. Nov. 2: Castro rejects any form of international verification or inspection of the missile withdrawal. Nov. 5: The United States receives assurance from the Soviet Union that it supported international verification or inspection of the missile withdrawal; the United States maintains that the no invasion pledge was subject to international inspection of the withdrawal process. Nov. 7: The United States and the Soviet Union agree to a withdrawal procedure whereby U.S. naval ships will inspect Soviet ships removing the missiles from Cuba. November 20: President Kennedy announces that the U.S. naval quarantine of Cuba has been lifted. 1963 Jan. 7: Following a Cuban decision to block international verification of the missile withdrawal, the United States and the Soviet Union issue a joint communiqu ending direct negotiations over the Cuban Missile Crisis. Apr. 15: The United States withdraws its Jupiter missiles from Turkey.

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