361. Editorial Note

In a memorandum to Secretary of Defense McNamara, October 8, 1963, Joseph Carroll, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, reported that an assessment of Soviet military personnel in Cuba, prepared in collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, concluded that “Soviet military personnel withdrawals are continuing and that total Soviet military strength in Cuba is now estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000—representing a reduction to date of at least two-thirds of the number originally estimated to be on the island during the crisis. Most of those remaining are advisors and technicians engaged in training Cuban personnel.” For text, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XI, pages 873874.

Two days later Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko assured President Kennedy and Secretary of State Rusk during their meeting in Washington that “there were now no Soviet troops in Cuba. The Soviet personnel now in Cuba were specialists training the Cubans in the use of arms supplied by the USSR. When this limited task was accomplished these would be withdrawn.” Upon being asked by Kennedy “how many Soviet military specialists would remain in Cuba in, say, six months,” Gromyko replied that “he preferred not to speak in terms of dates but he wished to ask the President to understand that the USSR had in Cuba only military specialists with a limited mission.” For text of the memorandum of conversation, see ibid., pages 875877. At a White House meeting on November 13, Director of Central Intelligence McCone reported that the Soviets were “continuing a gradual withdrawal” but that “no military equipment has been withdrawn.” For text of McConeʼs memorandum for the record, see ibid., pages 883885.