CENTRAL ISTELUOEHGE AOBHCY
SUBJECT: SOVIET REACTIONS TO CEXTAIN US CCVrtSES
OF ACTICii CN CUBA
To estlcote prchablo Soviet reactions to certain US courses
of oc'.Ica vlth. CVco.
1. ojor Soviot objective In their cllitiry bull'u? in Cuba is to dotccstrate that tha vcrli talenco of forcos bos ehlftcd co for In their favor that tho US con no leocer prevent the edvcxcQ cf Soviet offensive power even into its own berispherc. Xn thio connection they ce&uce, of courses it/it these deploy=exts Boocer or liter will TDMCS9SSwat
Approved for RolOMf
Itossible that tho USSR Is installing these Diss lies prionrlly in order to use thea in bargaining for IB concessions oloevbero. Vo tbin"j. this unlikoly, bovover. Tho public vitMrovnl Of Soviet min&llca from Cuba vould create serious problems in the USSR'o rotations with Caotroj it would coot doubt on the firmness of tho Soviet Intention to protect the Caetro regie* end perhaps on their cccmitrxenta eleevhera.
If the US acceptc the atratcgle clssile buildup in Cuba, the Soviets vould continue the buildup of strategic weapons in Cuba. Vo hove no basic for ecticAtlng tha force level vhlcb they would wish to reach, but it teems clear already that thoy ictccd to goefcen capability, They would probebly expect their Bleallo forces in Cuba to coxo sew contribution to their total ttro'.ccic capabilityls tho US, We consider inbo possible effectsleslla buildup in Cuba upon the overallof strategic oilitory pever.
U. US acceptance of the atrotagic cissile buildup wouldstroLSto Ceramists, pro-Ccrj-uniste, end the tore er.tl-Acer lean eoctore of opinion lo Latin Acerica ord elsewhere. Conversely, ontl-Cou'ioUto and those vbo relate their cvn interests
to those of tho U3 vould bo strongly diecouroged. It seemsespecially over the long run, there vouldoss ofIn US pover and deterolnotionorloua decline of . "-
EFFECT Cf HARKING
5- If the US confronts Khrushchev vlth Its knowledge of the KRBH deploytiect end pressesithdrawal, ve do not believe the Soviets vould bolt tha deployoent. Instead, they vould propose DCgotistione on tbo general question of foreign bases, elololng equal right to establioh Soviet bases and occurios th3 US of tight control over the missilce, They vould probably link Cuba vlth the Berlin situation end emphasize their patlcnco end preference for negotiations, ioplyirg that Berlin vas held hOGtoge to US actlona In Cuba.
There Is coco slight chancearning to Castro eightifference, since the Soviets could regard thishance to stand nolde, but it also vculd give time for offers to negotiate, continued buildup, ord countcrprcseures, ond ve tb*rJc the result in the end vculd be tha eoce.
7* Any warning would of course dcgrodc tbe decent of
prlseubscqUent TJS attack.
EFFECT CF TiLCCKADF.
8* While the effectiveness of Cactro'a military machine might bo Impairedotal US blockade, Castro vould bo certain to tighten Internal security ocd would take ruthless action against any attcapts at revolt, There le no reason to believelockade of itself vould bring down the Castro regiae. ?he Soviets vould almost certainly exertirect pressures elsevhoro to end the blockade. 3b* attitudes of other stateslockodee not considered iu tbis papar. It is cbvlcusoviets vould heavily cx?lslt all adverse reactions.
f tha US takes direct military action ogaJnet Cuba, the Soviets would ba placed autoritlcally under great pressure toord in vays which. If they could not snve Cuba, vculd infliot
1/ urther current on differencea between reactionlccknde and to US rsasurco of force against Cuba, sej
an offsetting Injury to US Interests- This vculd be true vbotber tho action vas litdted to an effort to neutralize the strategic missiles, or tbeeo dIssIIcs plus airfields, oorface-to-oir missile Bites, or cruise missile sites, or lo fact en outright Invasion designed to destroy tho Castro r- .
10. Jn reaction to any of tho various foroe of US eetlon, tho Soviets vculd bo elarcod and agitated, slaco they hove to date eotlc/vtcd that the US vould not toke military action in the face of Soviot vorningsdanger of nuclear var. They vould recognize that US cllitary actionAtJoV challenge to the prestige of tho USSR. We cust of course recognise the possibility that the Soviets, urdcr prcosure to respond, vould again rdscalculate and responday vhich,eries of actions and reactions, could escalate to general var*
13. On tho other head, tho Soviets have no public treaty vlth Cuba and have not acknowledged that Soviot bases ore on the Island This situation provides tbeoretext for treaties US military action against Cuba as an affair vbich does net directly luvolvo theo, ord thereby avoiding the riskstrong response* Ve do not believe that the USSR vould attack the US, cither frca *
Soviot bases or with its missiles in Cuba, even if tho latter vero operational and not put out of action before they could be readied for firing*
12* Since the USSR would not dare to resort to general var and could not hope to pre vail locally, the Soviets vculd alraost certainly consider retaliatory actions outside Cuba. The timing and selection of such covss vould depend heavily upon the iaccdiote context of events arid tbo USSR's appreciation of US attitudes. The nost likely location for broad retaliation outside Cuba copers to he Berlin. They eight react hero vlth cojor horoesttente,of access to the city orlockade, with or without the signingeparate peace treaty.
13. We believe that whatever course of retaliation tho USSR elected, the Soviet loaders vould not deliberately initiate general var or take cilitcry rzoesurcs, which In their calculation, vould run the gravest risks of general var.
DIFFERENCE BETWEHI SOVIET RESPONSESLOCKADE AKD US KEASIKES CF FORCE AGAINST CUBA
1* Under blockade the Soviets vould concentrate on political exploitation, especially In the DM. They might risk violentin attcapts to penetrate the blockade, but tbey vould not resort to nnjor force in the area of Cuba or forceful retaliation elsewhere, at least initially. If US enforcetccnt of tho blockade Involved use of force by tbe US, tbe Soviets night respond on an equivalent level, but vould seek to avoid escalation.
S. In tho case of US use of force against Cuban territory, the likelihoodoviet response by force, either locally or for retaliation elsewhere, vould be greater. (We ere unable to estimate tho precise degrto of likelihood, but ve do not wish to minimize the possibility of acne Soviet respescs cucslde Cuba,In areas such as Ecrlin vhero thes are capable of acting regardless of vhst happens in Cuba. We bslieve that the Soviets ere szzrS-'t less likely to retaliate vith military force in areas outside of Cuba in response-pesdy end effective cll-out invasion than to other foris of US cilltary cctica.)
3. Ia essence, tha blockade situation placao tho Sovlcta under nopressure toesponse vlth force. They can tba hopo to use political reaiw tothe US to6t, andeoert to force uutll the US haa actually use! force. Thoy would certainlyat the gonoroily adverse reactions, oven on tho port of US allies, to tho US blockade vould offer an excellent opportunity to bring cnoraous pressures co the US to desist. They could heighten these pressures by threatening retaliation In Ecrlin cr actually undertaking irojor haroaeaents there, ord vould probahly do so ot soco stage, Thua voo^Id occupation of Cuha vould bo core likely to ir/jke tha Sorteta pause la operin'- rev tlxators of conflict than United action or action vhich drags ont.
MIXrASY SIGNIFICANCE CF BALLISTIC KTSSILKS IN CUBA
1. Cuban-baced IftEHattts equipped with nuclear warhcedG would augrcent ths present United Soviet ICBM capability against the US by virtue of tholr ability to strike at similar typos of targets with warheads of generally dollar yields. :
| The accuracies of the IfiBMs and ISBXs
arc believed to tc ooxevtat Letter than those of ICBMfi at present. System reliabilities, while varying with the several systems, are generally coDparable*
2. The Soviets could increase their grossto fiellvci nucleer warheads against the US mora "rapidly by iostalllcs oiiitlesij missiles in Cuba than by building up their ICBM force. ore available to IVa UTS3 luityubstantial force could beUp ia Cuba without slfisirictrtly reducing the weight of bczber and missile attack t'jat tie could direct ogainsi Europe, '-'i'--units in Cubs could probably be brought to operational readiness wit;
a Better of days, and fixed altog would probably be ready in aof weeks, ',
3. Considering these factors and the evidence now available, wo bolieveorce cf oooovhelrfwii launchers could be operational in Cubaov veeka, and that it vould he entirely feooiblc for the USSR tocrce two or three Muraa thla size in Cubaew rflorriha, TMo can bo compared with our estimate thatfcunchera ore operational in tho USSR at present, and thatill bo operational ind terns of salvo capability* considering average esticatedfactors,orceba vould tteo-retically be able to deliveruclear warheads on targets lo the USirstiO-lsurxher force could*lavncher fcrce trl-lS*
h* re-ccptlve or first strike, Cuban-basedould possess on advantage over Soviet-based ICSKs in that they would approach the UShorter ticc-of-flight, and froo a
issentirg estimatesoviet ZCFM force levcl3 eve recordedin, "Soviet CafjbiUtieo foruly
direction not now covered by US BKrMS capabilities. Foror eccond-etrike purposed, Soviet KRBjVlRBM systems In Cuba vould diminished utility because of their soft configurations,tinea, and the probability that virtually.all could beand targeted. ingle overseas base area such as Cubaprovide the Soviets vith strategic dispersal comparable toby the worldwide deployment of US forceo. Koreover,could bo eliminated by short-range US vcapons, without anyin the nuclear delivery forces programed against the
5. In the near future, therefore, Soviet gross capabilities for initial attack on US military and civilian targets can bereased considerably by Cuban-based missiles. However, theof these missiles In Cuba will probably not, in the Soviet Judgaent, Insure destruction of the US second strike capabilitye3ree which would eliminate on ucacceptably heavyttack on the USSR. If the missile buildupta centimes, tte. Soviet capability toetaliatory attack will be progressively erhanced.Original document.