602. Talking Paper for the Chairman of the JCS, January 241

[Facsimile Page 1]

Talking Paper for the Chairman, JCS, for his use at NSC Executive Committee meeting of Friday, January 25, 1963, 4 PM


  • Papers for NSC Executive Committee Meeting, January 25 at 4 p.m. (U)

Background—On 8 Jan 63, NSAM 213 established the Interdepartmental Committee on Cuba with Mr. Cottrell as chairman. Mr. Cottrell is also the Coordinator of Cuban Affairs within the State Department. The Secretary of the Army was appointed the DOD representative.

[Typeset Page 1577]

—Recently the JCS have advised the Secretary of the Army generally as follows:

a. US Policy Toward Cuba. JCS favor a course that actively pursues the supplanting of the Castro/Communist regime by one compatible with US objectives and sharing where possible the aims of the Free World. (JCSM 67–63 and 69–63)

b. The Use of the OAS. JCS view is that withdrawal of Soviet troops from Cuba should constitute a basic tenet of hemispheric policy, the Council of the Organization of American States/Organ of Consultation (COAS/OC) should continue in being under the 23 October Resolution and that action should be initiated now leading toward establishment of a relationship between the OAS and the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB). (JCSM 71–63)

c. US Policy Toward the Cuban BrigadeJCS believe that the Cuban Brigade, as such, is of very limited military value either as an active or reserve unit and that no attempt should be made to retain its identity with a US military force. Concerning the third course of action, as modified in Enclosure C hereto, existing programs for induction of Cuban volunteers into the Army and Navy are considered appropriate and should provide sufficient opportunity for interested individuals to serve in the Armed Forces. (JCSM 70–63)

—On 22 Jan 63 a memorandum for Mr. McGeorge Bundy was circulated with copies to all members of the NSC Executive Committee on the subject: “CUBA—Back-up Papers and a Summary of Recommendations of the Coordinator of Cuban Affairs”. Included therein were papers on US policy toward Cuba, the OAS and the Cuban Brigade.

—On 24 Jan 63 two revised papers were circulated on “Summary of Coordinator’s Recommendations” and “United States Policy Toward Cuba”. Also a new page 8 for “United States Policy Toward the Cuban Brigade” was transmitted.

Discussion—The Chairman, Interdepartmental Committee wishes to obtain approval at the 4:00 p.m. meeting, Friday, 25 Jan 63, of his revised papers as well as the two other papers that remained unchanged “United States Policy in Cuba in the Organization of the American States” and “Current Problems Concerning Cuba.”

—There remain some major and minor differences between the views expressed in the subject papers being circulated and those of the JCS. The enclosures hereto contain specific recommendations for revision of certain parts of the State Department papers:

A—Summary of Coordinator’s Recommendations

B—US Policy Toward Cuba

C—US Policy in Cuba in the OAS

D—US Policy Toward the Cuban Brigade.

[Facsimile Page 2] [Typeset Page 1578]

Recommendations—It is recommended that the Chairman, JCS use the revisions proposed in the enclosures hereto at the Friday, 4 p.m. meeting, 25 Jan 63 of the NSC Executive Committee.

Opinion as to Recommendations:

Director, J–5 (Concur) (Nonconcur)

Director, Joint Staff (Concur) (Nonconcur)

Talking Paper prepared by: Colonel D.C. Pollock, USMC

Western Hemisphere Branch, J–5

Extension 77556

[Facsimile Page 3]

Enclosure A


Revise paragraph on page 4 as follows:

“The Brigade should be disbanded as a military unit and individual members urged to accept civilian training or to enlist in the existing U.S. military program for Cubans. Our moral obligation would be discharged to the Brigade members and creation of a privileged class in the exile community would be avoided.

Reason: The Cuban Brigade, as such, is of very limited military value either as an active or reserve unit and no attempt should be made to retain its identity with a U.S. military force. A reserve unit specifically identified with the Brigade would inevitably become the focal point for Cuban exile activities. Any impulsive, irrational act by Brigade members, as members of the US reserve forces, could be a source of embarrassment to the United States.”

[Facsimile Page 4]

Enclosure B


1. Revise paragraph on Page 1 as follows:

United States Policy

On November 20, 31 December 1962, the President set forth the broad guidelines on United States policy with respect to Cuba in the following words:

As for our part, if all offensive weapons systems are removed from Cuba and kept out of the hemisphere in the future, under adequate [Typeset Page 1579] verification and safeguards, and if Cuba is not used for the export of aggressive communist purposes, there will be peace in the Caribbean. And, as I said in September, “we shall neither initiate nor permit aggression in this hemisphere”. “It is a policy of the United States to work for a change in the communist regime in Cuba. It is not our intention, under present conditions, to invade Cuba, obviously, or to begin a war against Cuba, providing Cuba lives in peace with its neighbors, or providing Cuba does not engage in aggressive acts.”

Reason: The President on 31 December 1962, in the background briefing conducted in the Paul Home, Palm Beach, Florida, said, “So I think that all we can set down now is a general attitude of the United States toward Castro, which I think we have indicated, our opposition to Castro, and also an indication of our willingness to support any free choice that the Cuban people may make following Castro, to hold out a hope to the people in Cuba, in and out of the government, that the United States would be sympathetic to a change within Cuba. We can’t, it seems to me, under present conditions, go further than that.”

The foregoing is a more flexible statement of policy and does not preclude the possibility of the United States taking unilateral action at some time in the future.

2. Revise paragraph 5a, page 6 as follows:

“An OAS resolution condemning Cuba for its actions which continue to endanger the peace, deploring refusal to allow inspection, condemning the presence calling for withdrawal of Soviet troops, recommending continued surveillance and continued vigilance against subversive activities, and terminating the invocation of the Rio Treaty on the missile crisis continuing the COAS/OC in being under the 23 October Resolution, together with”

Reason: It is the view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the withdrawal of Soviet troops in Cuba should constitute a basic tenet of hemispheric defense policy.

[Facsimile Page 5]

Further, they also recognize the valuable role of the Council of the Organization of American States/Organ of Consultation (COAS/OC) during the recent crisis, and believe that the Organ of Consultation should continue in being to consider the resolutions under review in the paper. Furthermore, it is considered that the Soviet offensive threat which occasioned the convocation of the COAS/OC could reappear at any time. Soviet armed forces remain in Cuba. Surveyed and secure missile launching sites, essential artillary equipment, and skilled personnel for missile warfare are on hand in Cuba. The missiles themselves could be rapidly reintroduced, perhaps by air. Thus in a matter of hours, a new direct Soviet threat could materialize.

  1. Papers for NSC Executive Committee meeting on January 25: U.S. policy toward Cuba, the use of the OAS, U.S. policy toward the Cuban Brigade. Top Secret. 5 pp. NDU, Taylor Papers, NSC Actions, 19 Nov. 62–28 Feb. 63.