U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba - 10 April 1962 Recommendation

This top-secret, now-declassified document - written by Lyman Lemnitzer (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) on 10 April 1962 - urges the Kennedy Administration to take military action against Cuba.

At about the same time, Nikita Khrushchev decided it would be wise to install ballistic missiles in Cuba, culminating in the “Cuban Missile Crisis” which occurred later that same year.

In short ... at the same time as President Kennedy’s military advisors were making recommendations to invade the island nation, the Soviets were planning to install ballistic missiles there.

This historically significant document consists of several pages. The first page, depicted in this image, contains the following words (split into more paragraphs here for easier reading):

1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the Cuban problem must be solved in the near future. Further, they see no prospect of early success in overthrowing the present Communist regime either as a result of internal uprisings or external political, economic, or psychological pressures. [Put differently, the American “Mongoose” plan would not work.] Accordingly, they believe that military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow the present Communist regime.

2. The United States cannot tolerate permanent existence of a Communist government in the Western Hemisphere. The present regime in Cuba provides Communism with a base of operations for espionage, sabotage, and subversion against Latin America. The stability of some governments in Latin America is already threatened by the overt and covert actions of the Cuban government.

Continued existence of this Communist government increases the probability that one or more other nations in Latin America will become Communist or Communist dominated. This will greatly increase the problems currently facing the United States and the Organization of American States.

While considered unlikely, it is possible for the Sino-Soviet Bloc to establish military bases in Cuba similar to U.S. bases around the Bloc periphery. Establishment of such bases would increase U.S. defense costs as forces were developed or shifted to meet this threat.

3. Time favors the Cuban regime and the Communist Bloc. They are provided with the opportunity to continue with their subversive efforts in Latin America. Increasing internal security measures by police state methods decrease ...

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image described above, online courtesy the U.S. National Archives and the National Security Archive at George Washington University.




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