The Cuban Missile Crisis
Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)


Washington, December 7, 1962, 1:54 p.m.

7742. Ref: CINCLANT message DTG 021702Z Nov 62.(1)

1. The JCS concur that planning should proceed for employment of nuclear weapons for limited war operations in the Cuban area.

2. In developing these plans the application of force must be selective and discriminating in relation to the objective to be achieved. Collateral damage to nonmilitary facilities and population casualties will be held to a minimum consistent with military necessity.

3. [2 lines of source text not declassified]

4. In view of the above, the recommendations contained in paragraph 3 of reference message are approved for planning purposes. Request the JCS be advised promptly of any case where these limitations with respect to weapon yield or height of burst prevent the accomplishment of the military objectives.

1 This telegram, not found, was apparently a request for planning for the use of nuclear weapons. Back

Source: Department of Defense, OSD Historical Office Files, Secretary of Defense's Cable Files, Cuba, December 1962. Top Secret. Repeated to the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Commander of the Air Forces, Atlantic, and Commander of Army, Atlantic.

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.