734. Memorandum from General Carroll to McNamara, December 201

[Facsimile Page 5]

SUBJECT

  • Assessment of Status of Soviet Military Personnel in Cuba

Summary

1. Since the October crisis of 1962, the role of the Soviet military in Cuba has changed and the great majority of Soviet military personnel [Typeset Page 1888] has been withdrawn. Most of the Soviets remaining are advisers and technicians engaged in training Cuban personnel in the operation of Soviet weapons, in supervising the use and maintenance of Soviet equipment turned over to the Cubans, and in operating and controlling the surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. We believe that no organized Soviet ground combat units remain in Cuba and that the only Soviet ground forces personnel remaining are those advising Cuban military units. Based on our continuing appraisal of Soviet activity, we estimate Soviet military strength in Cuba at present to be between four and seven thousand. The present number will probably remain relatively unchanged until the program of training Cubans in the SAM system is completed, at which time substantial additional withdrawals probably will occur.

  1. Transmits a DIA/CIA assessment of the status of Soviet military personnel in Cuba. Secret. 2 pp. WNRC, RG 330, OASD (C) A Files: FRC 71 A 2896, Cuba 381, May thru Dec. 1963.