287. Memorandum for the record, July 201

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The MONGOOSE operation against Cuba has now been in operational phase for about six months. During this period we have infiltrated and maintained nine intelligence teams (about half the expected number the lesser number accountable for by extreme and unexpected difficulties encountered); interrogated thousands of refugees at Opa Laka; recruited and are regularly working with a substantial number of third country agents who report political, economic, and military [Typeset Page 957] information; recruited two or three Cuban defectors in place, and several Cuban defectors who have taken refuge outside of Cuba. In addition U–2 flights have been run regularly.

The operation is expensive for CIA, [less than 1 line not declassified] in direct costs and a greater amount each month in indirect support costs. However, the effort has given us substantial amount of hard intelligence on political, economic, and military conditions within Cuba which was not available to us six months ago.

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I summarize the situation about as follows:

1. A continuation of this effort will provide additional new current hard intelligence and possibly reveal opportunities for political, guerrilla or insurgent activities designed to overthrow Castro. No such opportunities considered reasonably certain of success are apparent at the present. However, the deteriorating situation will cause further resentment by the people and possibly cause a break in the political structure at the top or defection on the part of the military.

2. I have received many suggestions recently from individuals who feel dynamic action such as mass landings and a more positive military approach is indicated. Our information does not support this viewpoint and I believe any such attempt would face disaster unless U.S. military forces en masse were committed in support of such movement.

  1. Review of Operation Mongoose. Secret. 2 pp. CIA, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80–B01285A, Box 6, DCI Meetings with the President, 1 December 1961–30 June 1962.