Cuban Missle Crisis
Memorandum From the Director for Operations of the Joint Staff (Unger) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nitze)


Washington, October 12, 1962.


Political Actions/Military Actions Concerning Cuba


SecDef Memo of 2 October 1962(1)

1. In furtherance of our discussion of last evening concerning the project included in the reference, we are having a meeting at 1300 hours today of operational and logistical planners from CINCLANT and CINCSTRIKE for the purpose of developing our responses to the contingencies and other matters requested by the SecDef.

2. Pending completion of the requirement given us by the SecDef, a general picture of each of our military contingency plans for Cuba is tabulated below as a basis for your initial discussions with State. On the other hand, it may be better to delay discussions with State until we have completed our part of the requirement and have submitted it to the SecDef and the JCS on Monday, 15 October.

a. Blockade Plan--employs 24 to 36 destroyers, a carrier task force, etc., which can marshal significant strength to blockade Cuba, both air and maritime.

b. Air Strike Plan--currently being revised, but employs between 450 and 500 aircraft. In the event of any execution of this plan steps would be taken to alert all forces allocated to the other assault plans.

c. Fast Reaction Assault Plan--employs both air-borne and amphibious assault with about 32,000 troops in initial phase, with balance of assault forces arriving in increments as they become available. Ultimately builds up to about 80,000 troops in Cuba around D+18 days.

d. Full-Scale Deliberate Assault Plan--employs simultaneous airborne and amphibious assault with around 49,000 troops engaged on D-Day, building to about 60,000 by D+5 days, and again to 80,000 by D+16 days.

3. For your consideration, following are some of the political actions which might be undertaken in connection with the implementation of one or more of the foregoing plans: final arrangements for the tactical use of Mayaguana Island in the Bahamas; perhaps a request for token participation by Latin American military forces; in the case of blockade, notification of "neutral" shipping and publication of U.S. intent; in all cases, possibly, the preliminary political arrangements attendant to a state of war; and, of course, coordination with international organizations, such as the OAS and the UN during the execution of military action.

F.T. Unger(2)

Major General, USA

1 Document 4. Back

2 Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature. Back

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD (C) A Files: FRC 71 A 2896, Historical File, Cuba, November 1962. Top Secret.

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