The Cuban Missile Crisis
Memorandum for the Record


Washington, November 5, 1962.


Discussion with Mr. Bundy at 1:45 this date

I commented on Governor Stevenson's report #1630, November 4th, midnight,(1) summarizing the McCloy/Kuznetsov meeting. I stated that we felt that the meeting was constructive, stating McCloy had adhered to policy but pointed out that the examination of missile cases on ships would not necessarily constitute convincing proof that missiles were actually exported; that no arrangement has been agreed on IL 28s, and that no form of verification short of a combination of aerial and on-site inspection would give us final answer. Bundy gave me a copy of draft of President Kennedy's cable to Stevenson and McCloy, November 5, copy attached.(2) I commented as follows:

I felt that we faced a serious problem in the future of Cuba and read my memo of 5 November (copy attached). In addition I stated that it seemed to me that we were going too far in assuming that we would have to grant reciprocal rights if we insisted on UN on-site inspection, of which my point was that the Kennedy/Khrushchev agreement provided for inspection of the dismantling, removal and continuing absence of offensive weapons and this agreement in no way referred to inspection of U.S. territory. Therefore it seems to me that the effect of the negotiation is to set up a situation in which we will have to submit to a situation not anticipated in the agreement if we are going to force the other sides to fulfill their obligations. Secondly, the question of the SAM sites. I advised Bundy that the building of the expensive SAM installation and the large number of operators required were the principal reasons that I suspected installation of offensive missiles. I could not rationalize the Soviet move on any other basis. I was now equally disturbed at the Soviet's insistence that the SAMs remain in being and operational and their obvious deception in claiming they are operated by Cubans and not by Soviet personnel. I explained that I now feel that the SAMs are being left there to shield the reintroduction of missiles at some future time or the emplacement of missiles which are secretly detained on the Island. There can be no other explanation. The SAMs are useless as a defense against our military action as our attacking planes can come up in low undetected and destroy them instantly. Therefore they are targeted against U-2s. By leaving them on the Island the gravest situation faces us. We will be in complete ignorance of their activities and the reintroduction of weapons at a future time is a distinct possibility.

In later conversation with the AG I made both of these points very emphatically. He said he would discuss them personally with the President.

John A. McCone(3)


1 Document 142. Back

2 Not attached, but see Document 147. Back

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

4 Secret. Prepared by McCone.


1. Castro will retain power. He will be given Soviet assurances and economic assistance to permit him to "ride through" the recent fiasco. He will hold his political organization together. It will be more violent than it has in the past.

2. Militarily he will be stronger. Undoubtedly vast quantities of armament has been received recently (Note: we should enumerate types and quantities identified from pictures). He therefore has more for his own defense and to pass out to insurgent groups throughout the hemisphere.

3. He will have a maritime capacity against Central America and the northern tier of Latin American by the utilization of 6 Khronstad and 18 Komar vessels.

4. He will have an air strike capability against this same area with IL 28s.

5. By retaining the SAMs, he will provide a shield against aerial inspection and therefore can arrange with the Soviets for the re-introduction of MRBMs and IRBMs with reasonable safety as the SAMs will protect him against our U-2 photography. This was the original purpose of the installation of the SAMs and there can be no question but that their retention is for no other purpose than to provide this same protection for the installation of MRBMs in the future.

6. Sophisticated communication equipment will give him an improved capability to communicate with Moscow and also to broadcast instructions to his agents and operators throughout the Hemisphere.

John A. McCone(5)

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

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80-B10285A, Memos for the Record. Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by McCone.

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