20. Memorandum for the Files0


  • Meeting 4:10 p.m., January 16, 1961


  • Ambassador Willauer, General Gray, Messrs. Barnes, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], Captain Spore, Messrs. Scott, Devine, and Curtis

General Gray presented his draft of the Defense Department paper.1 He read through the document and noted several language changes on his copy for incorporation in the final document.

The salient features are incorporated in the following paragraphs.

The problem was stated to be to evaluate the possible military courses of action in event of a determination of inadequacy of the present political and paramilitary program to remove Castro.

There was a three fold approach to the problem. The first (a) is unilateral action by the U.S.; the second (b) is with a volunteer “Cuban” army; and the third (c) is a combination of the first two.

Intelligence estimates of Cuban strength were reported and included some present jet capability. There is an estimate of the availability of only 750 able-bodied Cubans willing to fight out of the estimated 65,000 Cubans in the Miami area. Under approach (b) it is estimated that a minimum of 5,000 men, preferably 10,000, will have to be overtly trained and that 7 months is the minimum time period required. Mr. Scott noted that the basis for estimating a force of 5,000 will have materially changed in 7 months with present trends in Cuba and the probable degree of USSR support to Castro. It was noted that with a requirement of 5,000 and only 750 Cubans available substantial numbers of other Latin volunteers are required.

The final conclusion is that course (a) is the only realistic one with a certainty of the outcome. There was discussion of a further contingency to provide support for a spontaneous indigenous uprising. There was discussion of format and procedures. Ambassador Willauer presented his draft of a covering statement2 to Mr. Barnes and Mr. Scott for study.

General Gray did not expect that another meeting will be required and plans delivering the final draft of his paper on Wednesday3 morning to Mr. Scott.

  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Cuba Program, Nov 1960-Jan 20, 1961. Secret. Drafted by Curtis.
  2. Document 19.
  3. Not found
  4. January 18.