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having been raised only days earlier in Khrushchev's public October 27 letter to Kennedy), “since it is the subject of direct negotiations between Washington and Moscow.”
The documents also permit a far fuller analysis of the role of the United Nations, and particularly Acting Secretary General U Thant, in trying to navigate a delicate neutral role between the superpowers and actively seeking a United Nations role in the resolution of the crisis. Writing both Khrushchev and Kennedy to propose compromise measures to assuage the crisis, traveling to Cuba to seek Castro's approval for UN inspection of the missile removals, negotiating with Mikoyan, Kuznetsov, and Zorin over the mechanisms to conclude the dispute, U Thant emerges as a fuller figure, particularly as the Soviets courted his support (by backing his inspection plan) even at the price of additional tensions with Havana.
Soviet-Cuban (and Khrushchev-Castro) Tensions
The reports of Soviet envoys' reports dealing with Cuba, particularly those of USSR ambassador Alekseev in Havana, add to the emerging story of differences between Khrushchev and Castro that has long been known of in general but which became far more vivid and concrete with the appearance, first, of the third volume of Khrushchev's posthumously-published tape-recorded memoirs in 1990,23 followed by the release later that year of the Castro-Khrushchev correspondence at the height of the crisis, 24 and finally, in January 1992, with the holding of an oral history conference on the crisis in Havana with Castro's enthusiastic participation.25
From a peak of ostensible revolutionary solidarity in the early days of the crisis, Soviet-Cuban ties became strained as the crisis wore on by a series of disagreements—from Moscow's concern that Cuban zeal (reflected in the shooting down of an American U-2 plane on October 27) might provoke a U.S. invasion, to Khrushchev's belief (hotly disputed by Castro) that the Cuban leader had advocated a recourse to nuclear war (if the U.S. attacked Cuba) in his cable to Khrushchev on October 26, to Khrushchev's failure to consult with Castro before agreeing to Kennedy's terms for withdrawing the missiles on October 28, to a dispute over whether to permit UN inspection of Soviet ships in Cuban ports to verify the withdrawal of missiles, to a Cuban anger over Moscow's succumbing to Washington's demand to pull out Soviet IL-28 bombers as well as the nuclear missiles.
The alarming reports received by Moscow from its envoy in Havana helped lead Khrushchev to dispatch his trusted trouble-shooter,
MORE ON BOBBY AND THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
by Jim Hershberg In accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Robert F. Kennedy-the Attorney General and brother to President John F. Kennedy-has occupied a singular place, and not merely because his posthumously-published memoir, Thirteen Days, became a best-selling (and sometimes controversial) account of the crisis as well as a unique portrait of what it felt like to be a high-level decision-maker looking down the gun barrel of nuclear war. RFK also garners special attention for his key
role at two particular points in the crisis. One came early on, in the secret debates in the White House “Excomm” (Executive Committee) after the missiles were discovered in mid-October, when he ardently opposed a surprise U.S. air strike against the sites under construction in Cuba, likening such an action to Pearl Harbor (“I now know how Tojo felt,” he noted at one point in the debate) and condemning it as morally unworthy; the argument helped turn the tide in the debate away from an air strike and toward a blockade or “quarantine,” which Kennedy announced to the world on October 22. The second key moment came at the climax of the crisis, on Saturday evening, October 27, with Moscow and Washington seemingly on a collision course, when Robert Kennedy met secretly with Dobrynin at the Justice Department and the two men hammered out the terms of a secret arrangement whereby the Attorney General conveyed his brother's oral pledge that Washington would quickly pull its Jupiter missiles out of Turkey, as Khrushchev had publicly proposed earlier that day, so long as the Soviets removed their own missiles from Cuba and kept quiet about the Turkish aspect of the deal.2
Recently-released Russian archival documents, published in English translation in the Cold War International History Project Bulletin (the present issue and no. 5, Spring 1995), shed additional light on Robert F. Kennedy's actions during the crisis, particularly his back-channel contacts with Soviet ambassador Dobrynin. This article seeks to note briefly some of these new findings, and also appends Robert F. Kennedy's own declassified memorandum of the controversial 27 October 1962 encounter with Dobrynin to supplement the Dobrynin's version (and other accounts) published in the Bulletin in early 1995.3 (The Bulletin thanks Prof. Peter Roman of Duquesne University for providing this document.)
First worth noting from Dobrynin's cables is his initial impression of Robert Kennedy as a hardliner and "hot-head," driven by political ambition, liable to support impulsive actions, and hardly a character one would predict that Dobrynin would end up collaborating with to resolve the crisis. This is not altogether surprising given the contentiousness of the issues, the combativeness of Robert Kennedy's personality, and the fact that President Kennedy had used his brother to transmit personally to Dobrynin on 4 September 1962 a strong message of concern regarding Soviet military aid to Cuba. Moreover, in Dobrynin's cabled report of his first meeting with Robert Kennedy during the crisis, late on the evening of October 23 (the night after the president's speech), RFK's deep anger and sense of personal betrayal toward Khrushchev
continued on page 344
Anastas Mikoyan, to smooth the Cubans' ruffled feathers, and the Soviet records of Mikoyan's conversations with Cuban leaders in early November 1962, published in Bulletin 5, dramatically reveal the emotional rift which had emerged between the two communist allies. 26 (Cuban authorities subsequently released their own minutes of two of those conversations, which are printed below; see box.)
The Alekseev cables printed in the current Bulletin, when read in conjunction with the other sources noted above (particularly the Castro-Khrushchev correspondence) helps show how these tensions developed. On October 23 and 25, as the crisis mounted, Alekseev sent highly positive reports on the Cuban people's “calm,” confidence, and preparedness for military confrontation, even noting that the imminent danger had prompted a “special business-like efficiency and energy” that had even dispelled the “ostentation and verbosity that are characteristic of Cubans.” In the second of the aforementioned cables, however, a glimmer of disagreement appears when Alekseev states that Castro “approves of our policy of not giving in to provocations, and (avoiding) unnecessary conflicts,” yet at the same time “expressed a belief in the necessity of shooting down one or two piratic American (reconnaissance) planes over Cuban territory.” Another potential disagreement begins to surface when U Thant explores using Cuban President Oswaldo Dorticos' proposal to the UN General Assembly of October 8—in which the Cuban said a guaranteed U.S. pledge of non-aggression against Cuba would remove the need for Cuban military preparations; while Moscow echoed this formulation in Khrushchev's secret October 26 letter to Kennedy, the Cubans were now deeply distrustful that such a promise could be trusted.
By October 27, a new fissure had opened up over Khrushchev's public letter that day to Kennedy, which for the first time raised the possibility of a trade of Soviet missiles in Cuba for U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey-an idea raised without regard to the sensibilities of the Cubans, who thought they had an iron-clad agreement with Moscow to deploy the missiles that could not be “swapped” for American missiles elsewhere in the world. When Gromyko dispatched a message to Castro through the Soviet Embassy in Havana informing him that it would be “advisable” for him to quickly endorse Khrushchev's letter to Kennedy, Castro responded via Alekseev complimenting Khrushchev's "great diplomatic skill” but also noting that it had provoked “symptoms of a certain confusion in various sectors of the Cuban population and among some members of the military," who were asking "whether it constitutes a rejection by the USSR of its former obligations.” Castro also defended the downing of the American U-2 that day, brushing aside Alekseev's admonition not to "aggravate the situation and initiate provocations."
On the following day, October 28, Cuban anger deepened as Moscow and Washington settled the crisis over their heads, and to add insult to injury Moscow began pressuring Castro to agree to allow United Nations inspectors to examine the Soviet missile sites on the island to verify that work had stopped. “Confusion and bewilderment are reigning inside the Cuban leadership” as a result of Khrushchev's agreement to dismantle the missiles, Dorticos told Alekseev, adding that “under the present conditions of great patriotic enthusiasm of our people this report would be perceived by the infinitely electrified masses as a cold shower.” Alekseev's excuses that technical problems had delayed the sending to Havana of an advance copy of Khrushchev's letter to Kennedy—which had been read out over Moscow Radio before Castro (let alone Kennedy) received a copy-made hardly a dent in the “picture of incomprehension” painted by another senior official, Carlos Rafael Rodriguez.
In subsequent days, as Castro and Khrushchev jousted in their correspondence and Cuban forces continued to fire on American U2 planes, the Soviets implored the Cubans to display “self-restraint" and not take actions that could give the aggressors a pretext to blame our side," and vainly reiterated that “we consider it necessary" to satisfy U Thant's desire to have the UN conduct on-site inspections on Cuban territory-a demand Castro and the Cuban leadership angrily rejected in an open show of defiance.
But it was Khrushchev's letter of October 30 that sent Castro's anger to an even higher pitch; in it the Soviet leader acknowledged that “some Cubans” wished that he had not declared his willingness to withdraw the nuclear missiles, but that the alternative would have been to “be carried away by certain passionate sectors of the population and (to have) refused to come to a reasonable settlement with the U.S. government,” leading to a war in which millions would have died; Khrushchev also said he had viewed Castro's cable of October 26 “with extreme alarm,” considering "incorrect” its proposal that the Soviet Union “be the first to launch a nuclear strike against the territory of the enemy [in response to a non-nuclear U.S. invasion of Cuba) ... Rather than a simple strike, it would have been the start of thermonuclear war."
Reading the letter attentively,” as described in Alekseev's report of the meeting (printed below), Castro had only two, terse responses: there were not merely “some” Cuban comrades who failed to understand Khrushchev’s position, “but the whole Cuban people”—and as for the second item, Castro denied proposing that Khrushchev be “the first in delivering a blow against the adversary territory," only in the event that Cuba had been attacked and Cubans and Soviets were dying together; perhaps Khrushchev misunderstood or the translation was in error. Alekseev, unfazed, not only defended the translation but made it clear that Khrushchev had understood him all too well—"even in this case (of aggression),” the Soviet envoy admonished Castro, “it is hardly possible merely to approach mechanically such an important issue and to use nuclear arms without looking for other means.” The message: just as West Europeans had cause to wonder whether Americans would “trade New York for Hamburg,” linking local to strategic deterrence, the Cubans were sadly mistaken if they believed Moscow was ready to undertake global thermonuclear war—with the suicidal consequences that entailed-in defense of the Cuban Revolution.
Books that have appeared on the crisis in English in recent years incorporating newly-available evidence include: James G. Blight and David A. Welch, On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd ed. (New York: Noonday, 1990); James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn, and David A. Welch, Cuba On the Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse (New York: Pantheon, 1993); James A. Nathan, ed., The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992); Laurence Chang and Peter Kornbluh, eds., The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: A National
Security Archive Documents Reader (New York: New Press, 1992); Robert Smith Thompson, The Missiles of October: The Declassified Story of John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992); Mary S. McAuliffe, ed., CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis (Washington, DC: CIA History Staff, October 1992); Gen. Anatoli I. Gribkov and Gen. William Y. Smith, Operation ANADYR: U.S. and Soviet Generals Recount the Cuban Missile Crisis (Chicago: Edition Q, 1994); and Dino A. Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball: The Inside Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, updated ed. (New York: Random House, 1990, 1991, (1992?)). The volume of Foreign Relations of the United States covering the crisis, previously scheduled for publication in 1993, had still not appeared as of the end of 1996, but should include additional declassified U.S. documentation when it appears; mention should be made, however, of a FRUS volume that appeared in 1996 compiling Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence and communications during the Kennedy Administration: U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. VI: Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). The National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institute and declassified documents repository located at the Gelman Library at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., published a microfiche collection of declassified documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1992 and maintains files of additional documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that are available for scholarly research. 2
In Cold War International History Project Bulletin 1 (Spring 1992), see Raymond L. Garthoff, “The Havana Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 2-4; in Cold War International History Project Bulletin 3 (Fall 1993), see Mark Kramer, “Tactical Nuclear Weapons, Soviet Command Authority, and the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 40, 42-46; and James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn, and David A. Welch, “KRAMER VS. KRAMER: Or, How Can You Have Revisionism in the Absence of Orthodoxy?" pp. 41, 47-50; in Cold War International History Project Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), see Philip Brenner and James G. Blight, “Cuba, 1962: The Crisis and Cuban-Soviet Relations: Fidel Castro's Secret 1968 Speech," pp. 1,81-85; Alexander Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, “Using KGB Documents: The Scali-Feklisov Channel in the Cuban Missile Crisis,” pp. 58, 60-62; Raymond L. Garthoff, intro., “Russian Foreign Ministry Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 58, 63-77; Vladislav M. Zubok, “Dismayed by the Actions of the Soviet Union': Mikoyan's talks with Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership, November 1962," pp. 59, 89-92, 93-109, 159; Mark Kramer, “The Lessons' of the Cuban Missile Crisis for Warsaw Pact Nuclear Operations,” pp. 59, 110, 112-115, 160 (see corrected version in this issue); Jim Hershberg, “Anatomy of a Controversy: Anatoly F. Dobrynin's Meeting With Robert F. Kennedy, Saturday, 27 October 1962," pp. 75, 77-80; and Georgy Shakhnazarov, “Fidel Castro, Glasnost, and the Caribbean Crisis,” pp. 83, 87-89. 3
Although it appears that verbatim records of meetings of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) Politburo may not exist for this period, the declassification of notes of Kremlin discussions concerning the 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises, taken by V.M. Malin, prompts hope that similar materials may soon become available in Moscow. A full report on the Malin notes on the 1956 crises, translated, introduced, and annotated by Mark Kramer, appears elsewhere in this Bulletin. 4 For Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence, see FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. VI: Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges, cited above, which includes many exchanges during the missile crisis declassified by the U.S. government in 1991 in response to a Freedom of Information Act filed by the National Security Archive; these were first published in a special Spring 1992 issue of Problems of Communism. Correspondence between Castro and Khrushchev during the crisis was published in November 1990 in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma; an English translation can be found in an appendix of Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba On the Brink, 474-491. 5
On the Soviet military during the crisis, see Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, cited above; Soviet military evidence on the crisis was also presented in a conference in Moscow in September 1994 organized by the then-head of the Russian Archival Service, R. Pikhoia. 6
See Alekseev to Foreign Ministry, 7 September 1962, in CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 63. 7
Telegram from Gromyko to Foreign Ministry, 19 October 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 66-67. 8
James G. Hershberg, “Before ‘The Missiles of October’: Did Kennedy Plan a Military Strike Against Cuba?" in Nathan, ed., The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited, 237-280, a slightly revised version of an article that appeared in Diplomatic History 14 (Spring 1990), 163-198. 9
“Notes Taken from Transcripts of Meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, October-November 1962, dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis (handwritten notes were made in 1976 and typed in 1993),” released under the Freedom of Information Act, copy made available by National Security Archive. 10 Historical Division, Joint Secretariat, Joint Chiefs of Staff, April 1981, “Joint Chiefs of Staff Special Historical Study: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and US Military Responses to the Threat of Castro's Cuba," pp. 11-12; the report, formerly Top Secret, was declassified on 7 May 1996 and released under the Freedom of Information Act; a copy was made available courtesy of the National Security Archive. 11 In correspondence between the JCS and the National Archives in 1993, subsequently obtained and made available to CWIHP by William Burr of the National Security Archive, the JCS acknowledged that in August 1974, the Secretary, JCS had decided to destroy systematically all transcripts of JCS meetings between 1947 and 1974, as well as subsequent meetings after a six-month waiting period. (August 1974 was, coincidentally or not, the month that Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency in part, many said, due to his failure to destroy the Watergate tapes.) This reason given for this action was that the transcripts did not constitute official minutes of the meetings but were merely working papers reflecting the reporter's version of events.” In 1978, the JCS communication to the National Archives noted, “The practice of recording the meetings terminated in August of 1978 and all materials were subsequently destroyed.”
The only exception to this destruction of records, it was reported, was that the JCS History Office took “notes (approximately 30 typed pages) from selected transcripts relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis and various other crises through the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war"—hence the notation on the top of the Cuban Missile Crisis notes in which the McNamara quotation appears that they were “handwritten notes were made in 1976 and typed in 1993."
The letter from the JCS to the National Archives reads as follows:
The Joint Staff
January 25, 1993
Dear Mr. Hastings:
This responds to your letter seeking information concerning the destruction of recorded minutes of the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff referred to in an article by the Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff History Office which you forwarded me as an enclosure.
The minutes of the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were recorded in various forms from 1947 to 1978. In August of 1974 the Secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff determined that the transcripts generated did not constitute official minutes of the meetings but were merely working papers reflecting the reporter's version of events. Accordingly, the Secretary ordered the destruction of virtually all transcripts over six months old after screening for historical significance. He also directed that all future minutes/transcripts, with minor exceptions, would be destroyed at the six month point. The practice of recording the meetings terminated in August of 1978 and all materials were subsequently destroyed. However, it should be noted all of these actions were taken prior to approval of the first Joint Chiefs of Staff records disposition schedule by the Archivists of the United States on 11 December 1980.
The Joint Staff History Office did take notes (approximately 30 typed pages) from selected transcripts relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis and various other crises through the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war. The Joint Staff concurs with your determination that these notes are records under File Number 00-1 of JAI 5760.2F and will accession them into the National Archives at the appropriate time.
Any further questions you have regarding this matter may be directed to Mr. Sterling Smith on (703) 697-6906.
/s/ EDMUND F. McBRIDE Chief, Documents Division
Joint Secretariat 12
Telegram from Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign Ministry, 23 October 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 70-71. 13
Interview with Georgy Kornienko, cited in Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), 260, 266. 14
Khrushchev Remembers, intro., commentary, and notes by Edward Crankshaw, trans. and ed. by Strobe Talbott (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970; citation from New York: Bantam Books paperback ed., 1971), 555. 15
Mikoyan-Castro conversation, 4 November 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 96; see also the Cuban version printed in this Bulletin. 16 See excerpts from Gromyko-Kennedy conversation printed below; the document released by the Russian Foreign Ministry archives omits the section of the record dealing specifically with the Berlin question, but the American record appears in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. XV: Berlin Crisis 1962-1963 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1994), 370-376. On the Berlin-Cuba connection, see Thomas A. Schwartz, “The Berlin Crisis and the Cold War," Diplomatic History 21:1 (Winter 1997), 143-144. 17 Khrushchev to Kennedy, 28 September 1962, FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. VI: Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges, 152-161. 18
Dobrynin to Foreign Ministry, 19 October 1962, published in this issue. 19
Telegram from Gromyko to CC CPSU, 19 October 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 66-67. 20
Mikoyan-Castro conversation, 4 November 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 97. 21
For Dobrynin's own recollections of the crisis, see Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow's Ambassador to America's Six Cold War Presidents (1962-1986) (New York: Times Books, 1995), 71-95. 22 Much of this documentation was declassified as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the National Security Archive and is available for research there. Many of the most important documents on the negotiations should appear in forthcoming FRUS volumes dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis and U.S.-Soviet relations during the Kennedy Administration 23 Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes, trans. and ed. by Jerrold L. Schecter with Vyacheslav V. Luchkov (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1990), esp. 161-183. 24 See fn. 4, above. 25
See Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba On the Brink, passim. 26
See Zubok, “Dismayed by the Actions of the Soviet Union': Mikoyan's talks with Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership, November 1962," CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995). 59, 89-92, 93-109, 159, for records of Mikoyan-Cuban talks on 3-5 November 1962, and Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 189-190, 191-199, for Mikoyan's conversation with Castro on 12 November 1962. 27
Khrushchev to Castro, 30 October 1962, English translation in Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba On the Brink, 485-488.
(Source: Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVP RF), Moscow; copy obtained by NHK (Japanese Television), provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University.)
Cable from USSR Ambassador to the
Ministry, 19 October 1962
RUSSIAN DOCUMENTS and submarines belonging to the USA and
to the Cuban counterrevolutionaries. CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
S. P. Ivanov I. BEFORE THE CRISIS:
14 September 1962 14 SEPTEMBER-21 OCTOBER 1962
(Source: Central Archive of the Ministry of M. Zakharov and S. P. Ivanov to Defense (TSAMO), Moscow; copy provided N.S. Khrushchev, 14 September 1962 to CWIHP by R. Pikhoia at September 1994
Moscow Conference, and on file at National Personal memorandum to N. S. Khrushchev Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; trans
lation by John Hendriksen, Harvard UniThe USA is conducting intensive air versity.) and naval patrols around Cuba, giving special attention to the reconnaissance of So- Cable from USSR Ambassador to the viet vessels.
USA A.F. Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign The head of the Cuban counterrevolu
Ministry, 15 October 1962 tionaries, Juan Manuel Salvat, announced in a press conference on September 7 that According to separate confidential reany vessel sailing under a Communist flag ports, the piratic raids by the so-called “Alin Cuban territorial waters, regardless of its pha 66" group on the Cuban coast and on nationality, will be considered a military tar- several vessels near Cuba are being carried get and subject to attack without warning. out not from a base on the American main
At present, Soviet vessels approaching land, but rather directly from the sea, from the island of Cuba are systematically sub- American landing ships carrying the correjected to air-patrols by USA planes. In Sep- sponding cutters. The crews of these cuttember of this year as many as 50 cases were ters are dispatched directly onto these ships recorded of Soviet vessels being air-pa- by helicopters in the possession of the Cutrolled. The patrols were carried out at criti- ban members of the group “Alpha 66," who cally dangerous altitudes (50-100 meters). are based in Miami, Puerto Rico, and the
With the aim of ensuring the safety of Yucatan. our vessels from acts of piracy on the part The American ships carrying these cutof Americans and Cuban counterrevolution- ters maintain a constant readiness for miliaries, we ask to authorize the following: tary action, and meticulously care for the
1. On every transport vessel bound for technical condition of the cutters, performCuba with personnel and arms for one unit ing repairs in the case of damage. During (of a formation), to place for self-defense, this time, the American instructors on these above and beyond each ship's own arma- ships direct the training, both tactical and ments, two 23 mm. anti-aircraft combina- otherwise, of the Cuban crews who carry tion gun-mounts with a reserve supply of 2 out operations directly on the cutters. complements (2,400 missiles) for each gun- This sort of tactic allows the Amerimount. These gun-mounts are found on the can forces to assert that the cutters belongarms of the airborne-landing forces, and they ing to the “Alpha 66” group are not acting are a powerful strategic tool both for air tar- from a base within USA territory, but from gets at distances of up to 2,500 meters at some "unknown bases." As far as the Ameriheights of up to 1,500 meters, as well as for can vessels carrying the cutters are conlight-armoured naval targets at distances of cerned, the Central Intelligence Agency of up to 2,000 meters. On practice shootings the USA, which to judge from all available the gun-mount has penetrated armour-plat- information is directing all these operations, ing 25 mm. thick. The gun-mount requires is counting on the fact that detecting and a three-man crew. All in all it is necessary identifying this sort of vessel will not be to arm 34 vessels.
easy, since there is a lively traffic of Ameri2. To confirm instructions given to the can vessels between Florida and the Americaptain of the vessel and the head of the can base Guantanamo in Cuba. military echelon regarding the defense of transport vessels crossing the sea against
15.X.62 A. DOBRYNIN acts of piracy committed by airplanes, ships,
At a closed conference taking place on 16 October for the editors and leading correspondents of the American press, radio, and television, to provide information on the evaluation of the current international situation and the USA's official position in it, President Kennedy spoke. This speech was given exclusively for the personal edification of those present, and it was denied all publication rights.
The content of the President's speech came down to the following.
The government's duty is to seek out global solutions to the global problems facing the USA. There was once a time when war could be seen as an acceptable extension of politics, but nuclear war in its extreme form cannot be seen as such, since it would lead to huge destruction and the loss of millions of lives in the countries taking part in it. The USA must learn to accept and live in the current conditions of direct confrontation between the USA and the USSR, and between Communism's strivings for expansion and the USA's strivings to support the sort of alignment of forces that allows the free nations to thrive, and that allows the USA in particular to safeguard its own interests. In similar situations earlier, the result of such confrontation has always been war—but now the question is how we can get through this period without war and, especially importantly, without nuclear war.
Some sort of crisis relating to Berlin is clearly brewing now, and we will have to see whether we can surmount it without recourse to military action. There are no signs that the Russians are preparing to soften their demands with regard to Berlin; they want us either to get out of there, or to share with them our rights in West Berlin. They would like to start a chain reaction that would ultimately lead to the elimination of American positions in West Berlin and many other