420. Memorandum from Komer to McGeorge Bundy, October 261

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Forward Planning Thoughts

1. While intelligence consensus is that Soviets will try and hold on to Cuban bases at least for bargaining purposes, let’s keep an eye on the possibility Soviets will secretly remove missiles, even dumping them in sea. We’ve discussed this among planners and it would be hard to do (especially removing traces of sites), but worth a word to intelligence people.

2. “Planning” level remains obsessed with importance of keeping up momentum, because the more time passes the better for Soviets and the more other pressures on us mount.

3. Therefore WWR group most worried lest U Thant appeal lead to protracted parleying in which steam goes out of US initiative, and it become much harder for us to escalate again if necessary. Unanimous consensus is Soviets playing for time in this sense.

4. By same token blockade options (WWR now enamored of POL cut-off), involve real timing problems. Can we reasonably expect to sustain them over indefinite period (say at least 30–90 days) against rising pressures and possible Soviet countermoves.

  1. Forward planning thoughts on Cuba. Secret. 1 p. Kennedy Library, NSF, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert W. Komer, vol. II.