The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102-138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102-138 added a new Title IV to the Department of Stateʼs Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editor is convinced that this volume, which was compiled in 1990-1991, meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

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Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 3 years (1961-1963) of the administration of John F. Kennedy. The subseries presents in 25 print volumes and 5 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of President Kennedyʼs administration.

This volume presents the documentary record of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and U.S. courses of action in response to the unsuccessful invasion. The volume covers the period January 1961 through September 1962. Volume XI, covering the period October 1962 through December 1963, includes documentation on the Cuban missile crisis and its aftermath. A separate microfiche supplement will contain additional documentation on the crisis and U.S. policy toward Cuba for the period 1961-1963 regarded by the editors as significant but not warranting inclusion in this printed volume or Volume XI. The microfiche publication will also include documentation supplementing Volume XII, American Republics.

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues for which space does not exist in the volume but which will be included in a microfiche supplement.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors gave priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records, which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes.

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies, including relevant National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates as may be declassified;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, Volume X

This volume is unique among Foreign Relations volumes published to date in its presentation of a detailed record of a major U.S. foreign policy with a central involvement of the intelligence community and centered upon covert military-political action. The editor decided early [Page VI] in the preparation of this volume in the late 1980s that the context, development, execution, and policy aftermath of the Bay of Pigs operation during the Kennedy administration warranted a detailed documentary record. The original research and compilation of this volume was completed in 1992 on the basis of the available records at the Department of State and the Kennedy Presidential Library, and those of various relevant agencies. The publication process was delayed until 1996 while the responsible Department historian, working with the invaluable cooperation and assistance of the CIA History Staff, greatly expanded the body of documentation selected from previously inaccessible intelligence records. Almost one-third of the 443 documents printed in this volume are CIA documents obtained directly from the CIA or from the Kennedy Library. The editor integrated these documents with those records of all the other agencies relevant to the policy making and execution processes. No previous volume in the series has ever included such a concentration of intelligence records.

In the first months of the Kennedy administration a crisis arose over the final planning and launching of the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs. The failure of the invasion led to a searching reexamination of Cuba policy. In addition, President Kennedy established a committee under former Army Chief of Staff General Maxwell Taylor and Attorney General Robert Kennedy to examine the causes of the defeat suffered at the Bay of Pigs. The editor has selected the primary documents relating to the policy reassessment, as well as the records of the most important testimony taken by the Taylor committee and the committeeʼs ultimate report to the President.

The policy assessment initiated in May 1961 led in November of that year to a decision to implement a new covert program to undermine and overthrow the Castro government in Cuba. This program was codenamed Operation Mongoose and much of the remainder of the volume after November 1961 is devoted to documenting Operation Mongoose. Oversight for Operation Mongoose was provided by the 5412/Special Group expanded to include General Taylor and Attorney General Kennedy. The focus of documentation selected on Operation Mongoose is on decisions made by the Special Group (Augmented) and their recommendations to President Kennedy.

Planning for Operation Mongoose was given additional impetus in the spring of 1962 by reports of expanded arms shipments from the Soviet Union to Cuba. The editor has included a selection of intelligence reports that indicated the growing concern in Washington over these shipments. These reports reveal a debate within the intelligence community in September over whether the Soviet weapons being introduced into Cuba included ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. The volume concludes with clear warnings from the United States to the Soviet Union [Page VII] that the introduction of such weapons into Cuba would precipitate a major crisis in U.S.-Soviet relations.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this volume because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

An unnumbered source note to each document indicates the documentʼs source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary [Page VIII] sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee has not reviewed this volume.

Declassification Review

The final declassification review of this volume, which was completed in 1996, resulted in the decision to withhold approximately .5 percent of the documentation selected. Five documents were denied in full. The remaining documentation provides an accurate account of the policy of the U.S. Government toward Cuba from January 1961 through September 1962.

The former Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information, which was superseded by Executive Order 12958 on April 20, 1995, and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, in particular Suzanne Forbes, the History Staff at the Central Intelligence Agency, especially Mary McAuliffe and Michael Warner, and other officials of specialized repositories who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

Louis J. Smith did the research and compilation of the volume, under the general supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. Kerry E. Hite, David C. Geyer, and Donna Hung coordinated the declassification of the documentation, and Vicki E. Futscher and Rita M. Baker did the copy and technical editing. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

May 1997