The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102-138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102-138 added a new Title IV to the Department of Stateʼs Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editors are convinced that this volume meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

The superpower rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union was central to the foreign policy of the administration of President [Page IV] Kennedy, and the editors of the Foreign Relations series have recognized that centrality in the 25 volumes presenting the official record of U.S. foreign policy during the Kennedy years. The threat of Soviet expansion and subversion of areas and relationships vital to the security interests and well-being of the United States was the preeminent concern of the President and U.S. foreign policymakers. The perceived need to counter aggressive Soviet communism around the world dominated American foreign policy and dwarfed other issues.

Although mindful of how the cold war overshadowed American foreign policy in the Kennedy period, the editors of the Foreign Relations series believe that the events and decisions comprising these relations are better understood in the particular regional or topical contexts rather than as part of a single continuum of U.S.-Soviet relations. The editors decided to maintain the long-standing structure of the series, which took account of the major geographical regions defining U.S. foreign policy and presented documentation that reflected American interests and involvements in those regions. The Foreign Relations subseries for the Kennedy years, 1961-1963, therefore seeks to reflect the emphatic preoccupation of policymakers with U.S.-Soviet relations around the globe, while retaining much of the geographical-topical structure of the series carried over from subseries of volumes documenting how the Eisenhower, Truman, and Roosevelt presidencies managed relations with the USSR.

Nineteen of the 25 volumes document various aspects of U.S-Soviet relations. Nine set forth the core documentation on the major aspects of U.S.-Soviet relations and conflicts: the basic record highlighted by the Vienna Summit meeting in June 1961 (volume V), the complete exchange of messages between President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev (volume VI), the efforts at arms control (volume VII), the basic elements of national security policy including the military component of U.S.-Soviet relations (volume VIII), the events leading up to the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis and its aftermath (volumes X and XI), negotiations and plans arising from the threat of war over Berlin (volumes XIV and XV), and the threat of hostilities by Soviet-supported forces in Laos (volume XXIV). U.S.-Soviet confrontation and competition are also important elements in ten other volumes that document U.S. policies toward Western Europe (volume XIII), Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean (volume XVI), regional crises in South Asia (volume XIX), the Middle East (volumes XVII and XVIII), and the Congo (volume XX), and the deepening civil war in Vietnam (volumes I-IV).

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, [Page V] determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors gave priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records, which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes.

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies, including relevant National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates as may be declassified;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. Most but not all of the sources consulted in the preparation of this volume have been declassified and are available for review at the National Archives and Records Administration. The declassification review and opening for public review of all Department of State records no later than 30 years after the events is mandated by the Foreign Relations statute. The Department of State and other record sources used in the volume are described in detail in the section on Sources below.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume V

In selecting documents for this volume, the editors have sought to present a full if summary accounting of the overall nature and structure of U.S.-Soviet relations together with a more detailed documentary record of those high-level meetings, discussions, and policy debates on the broad range of issues making up the diplomacy of the cold war.

The editors have assembled and present in this volume the complete official record of President Kennedyʼs meetings with Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev at the Vienna Summit Conference, June 3-4, 1961, together with the related U.S. delegation records of the conference, the essential pre-conference preparatory correspondence and internal discussions, and the post mortems regarding the conference. A guide to the broader universe of State Department documentation at the National [Page VII] Archives and Presidential records at the John F. Kennedy Library is also included.

Also presented in this volume are the records of the major high-level U.S. meetings, policy discussions, working papers, and the principal comprehensive reports from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow regarding ongoing U.S.-Soviet conflicts. These major policy discussions and papers take up or touch upon a broad range of issues comprising U.S.-Soviet relations. This comprehensive accounting is more fully presented in more than 100 chronologically located editorial notes that describe major diplomatic episodes in U.S.-Soviet relations in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia and the ongoing arms control exchanges between the two nations that are fully documented in other volumes of the Foreign Relations series for the Kennedy presidency. This is an unprecedented procedure for the Foreign Relations series. It reflects the editorsʼ conviction that users of the series require in one volume a synthesis of what is spread over nine volumes documenting the 1961-1963 period.

The editors have sought to include in this volume the intelligence context within which U.S.-Soviet policymaking was conducted. Part of this context is made up of the major intelligence analyses that examined Soviet economic, political, and military strengths and intentions. More difficult to document is the continuous daily, weekly, and monthly flow of intelligence reports, summaries, and analyses within which U.S. policymakers worked. In order for readers to understand better this intelligence backdrop, the editors have included in this volume selections from the Current Intelligence Weekly Review that were disseminated widely to U.S. Government officials and which reflect the kinds of evidence, concerns, suspicions, and speculations that informed U.S. policymakers.

Finally, the editors present in this volume a roundup of important bilateral diplomatic negotiations on political and economic relations directly between the two nations. The genesis of ground-breaking cultural agreements and the “Hot Line” agreement both resulted from and were the means for some change in U.S.-Soviet relations.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and [Page VIII] printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this volume because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the documentʼs source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee [Page IX] monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee has not reviewed this volume.

Declassification Review

The final declassification review of this volume, which was completed in 1997, resulted in the decision to withhold approximately .14 percent of the documentation selected. No documents were denied in full. The remaining documentation provides an accurate account of the policy of the U.S. Government toward the Soviet Union.

The Information and Response Branch of the Office of IRM Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information, which was superseded by Executive Order 12958 on April 20, 1995, and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library, in particular Suzanne Forbes and Stephanie Fawcett, who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

[Page X]

Charles S. Sampson collected, selected, and edited the major portion of the material presented in this volume. John Michael Joyce collected and selected additional intelligence material, including the excerpts from the Current Weekly Intelligence Review, and drafted most of the editorial notes that provide cross-references to documentation on U.S.-Soviet relations in other volumes. David C. Humphrey, who oversaw the final stages of preparation of this volume, also reviewed and edited Mr. Joyceʼs research and selections and prepared additional editorial entries for this volume. Former General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the earlier stages of the research and editorial process. Vicki E. Futscher and Rita M. Baker did the copy and technical editing and Max Franke prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

June 1998