452. Memorandum from Komer to McGeorge Bundy, October 291

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Planning Group this morning was seized by near euphoria. Most talk was on how to exploit our victory.

I’m less euphoric. We’ve given K. a bloody nose in a way very hard for USSR to take without attempting in some way to recoup. Whole image of Soviet “invincibility” will be eroded if K. doesn’t do something.

On other hand, key lesson of Cuba “test of wills” is Soviet caution in a showdown. Hence I don’t see early Berlin showdown as sensible gambit (though Soviets could do plenty in Berlin short of this).

At any rate, it is to our advantage to keep Soviets talking, rather than acting. Why don’t we now press for a Summit? We’d be dealing from a strong position, and could offer a few small cards on Berlin in exchange for broad modus vivendi. Such a move would look peaceful and statesmanlike at a time when everyone now knows our strength.

Also, we’ll never be in a better position to bring our allies along with anything we want. I’d argue for moving fast. Why doesn’t President announce invite in speech, if he gives one.

  1. Report on Planning Group meeting and proposal for a U.S.-Soviet summit. Secret. 1 p. Kennedy Library, NSF, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert W. Komer, Vol. I.