The Cuban Missile Crisis
Memorandum of Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council


Washington, November 13, 1962, 11 a.m.

Purpose of the meeting was to crystalize policy concerning procedures to be followed in view of information received on November 12th concerning the disposition of IL 28s and other matters.

Kuznetsov requested meeting with McCloy at 3:00 o'clock;(1) it was expected that this meeting might reveal Soviet position. In view of this, no firm policy position was developed, although there was an extended discussion of our position with regard to the IL 28s and also the question of inspection.

It was agreed that the IL 28s must be removed, and if they were removed, we could remove the quarantine. If the IL 28s are not removed, then it was felt we could take several steps to exert more pressure on Castro and the Soviets, and these would involve a meeting of the OAS to restate their policy, a statement by the President indicating non-compliance on the part of the Soviets, economic measures by the OAS, and a tightening of the quarantine. It was felt that one or several of these steps could be taken to extract a commitment to remove the bombers. However, we should not make a "no invasion" commitment unless appropriate measures for inspection were agreed upon by the Soviets and Castro.

McCone took a strong position covering the points outlined in attached memorandum of November 13th, warning against the serious long term outlook for Cuba and indicating that he felt the Soviets were trading on Castro's position and they in effect, could dictate Castro's terms if they so desired. Meeting did not seem disposed to go as far as McCone recommended, although the Vice President strongly supported this position.

The attached notes are pertinent.(2)

Also at a meeting on Monday, November the 12th at 5:30 in the White House with all present,(3) Mr. Bundy outlined the substance of a communication which had been received, expressing Khrushchev's views in response to the exchange of letters of November 5th and 6th. It was decided that the communication needed study and hence its receipt was noted and a meeting arranged for the following day.

The attached notes are pertinent.(2)

John A. McCone(4)


Memorandum Prepared by Director of Central Intelligence McCone


It is my belief that a Castro-Soviet Communist Cuba, whose stated intentions and past actions are to support and spread subversion throughout Latin America, is unacceptable to the United States and should be unacceptable to most, if not all, Latin American states.

It can be said that through the removal of the missiles (and we must assume but do not know positively that all are removed) and the removal of the IL 28s (if this can be negotiated) the threat to the security of the United States and the Latin American states from a nuclear strike is removed. However, two serious problems remain:

One, no means have been established to reasonably guarantee that offensive missiles will not be reintroduced or, if offensive missiles remain on the island, that they will not be secretly placed in operational status. Aerial surveillance will help, but will not guarantee our ability to detect such an activity. Ground inspection would if properly organized and granted freedom of movement. But this has been denied by Castro and the denial is now supported by Mikoyan.

Furthermore, the SAM sites if operating can effectively deny aerial inspection. There can be no explanation for Soviet insistence on leaving the SAM sites except to shield future clandestine emplacement of offensive weapons such as MRBMs and IRBMs if the Soviets choose at some future time to reintroduce these weapons systems.

A combination of aerial inspection and properly organized ground inspection would give an effective guarantee against reintroduction of missile systems. The ground inspectors would have to have freedom of action so that they could make on-site checks of the ever increasing refugee and agent reports of the storing of missiles and their equipment in caves, which cannot be totally dismissed.

Therefore prior to a "no invasion" commitment we must have complete arrangements for inspections and they cannot be frustrated by either the Soviets or Castro.

Secondly, Castro remains over-equipped with ground equipment. He also now has amphibious equipment capable of supporting insurgency movements against any of the Caribbean, Central American states or states in the northern tier of South America. Castro has never changed in his determined effort to subvert these states. He has trained insurgents by the thousands; there are large numbers, they are in Cuba now in training. His insurgents are directed against a number of Central and South American states. He repeatedly expresses violent intentions against the organized governments of these states. Therefore one can only conclude that he would use his newly acquired amphibious lift and a substantial part of his excess arms to support insurgents who can readily overthrow neighboring governments. Our policy should anticipate this and should be designed to take action regardless of how extreme to remove this threat if the eventualities mentioned above materialize.


1 See Document 175. Back

2 The notes were not attached. Back

3 See Document 172. Back

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

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80-B01285A, DCI Meetings with the President, 1 July 1962-31 December 1962. Top Secret. Drafted by McCone. A note on the source text indicates the meeting was "Held at State Dept." This was not one of the official numbered Executive Committee meetings. According to Rusk's Appointment Book, he and Ball--and apparently the rest of the Committee minus the President--met in Ball's office from 11 a.m. to noon. (Johnson Library)

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.