MAJOR CONSEQUENCES OF CERTAIN US COURSES OF ACTION ON CUBA

Created: 10/20/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2

SUBJECT! MAJOR CONSEQUENCES OF CERTAIN US* COURSES OF

ACTION OH CUBA

THE "

. . .'

To estimate tho major consequences of certain US courses ofrespect to

the BSTIKATfi

STATUSOVIET MI LIT AHYUBA

1. Firm evidence indicates the presence in Cuba ofRBM esd tvo IKEH launch sites in various stages of construction and

Into at loast"three regiments. Of these, two regliscnts of eight

launchers each are mobile and designed to launch IHBMsange of

, while cse regiment of eightesigned for IRBMsange of aboutn.m.

or Release

fi. Tboaunchers, KBBKs rust be considered opera-

tlonal now. Four of tbo fixed launchers for thep.m. IRBMa$ ^probably bacomooperationalhe other four

vould becocce operationaloeeks*

conotruetlon of

at least one probcble nuclear storage facilitytrongthe Soviet intent to provide nuclear varheadc In any case, itto assutoc that vhen the missiles are otherwisewarheads will bo available. Thoae could he brought in byor surface

3. Wo cstlmato that operational MRttM tolssllcs can be fired in

eight hours or lossecision toon thoof rosdlness. After the IRBN sites are completed and missiles ore ontate of readiness of five hours may be caintalned* Both systems are believed to be provided vith two misslleo per launcher,efire capability froa esch launcher after about four to six additional hours forX5 and six to eight hours for the JJUK-ij.

h. It Id possible that further exigence will uncover additional launch sites vhich are presently undetected, but the extent of our covcroge leads us to believe that such evidence would not drastically

increase tho total nov deployed. On the othor hand, pew deploymentsstarted at any

. The inventory of other major Soviet weapons now identified.

ir.-g8 Jot light, boaibcra, of which one le assembledothers have been uncratedj

et fighters, of whichre assembled andstill crates, andther Jet fighters of less advanced types;

ites, of whichre believed to bowithissilesauncher;

Ee missile sites for coastal defense, ofre no/ operational;

fl KQgar crulcsoats, all probablyor nearly so.

6. Cuban-bsscd KtBMs and IRBMs with nuclear warheads would augment the present limited Soviet ICBM cai ability by virtue of their ability to strike at similar types of targets with warheads of generally similar yields, lu tho near future, thoreforo, Soviet gross oapabilJtleo for Initial attack on US military and civilian targets can be increar.cdby Cutan-bssed missiles. However, the deployrajnt of these missiles in Cuba will probably not, in the Soviet JodgGOBtj insureof the US second strike capabilityegree which would

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eliminate an unocceptobly heavy retaliatory attack on tha USSR* If tbe missile buildup In Cuba continues, the Soviet capobiUty to blunt aattack vlll bo progressively enhanced.

niRPOSK Of SOVIKT BUILDUP .

ajor Soviet objective in their Military buildup in Cuba la

.

their favor that the US can no longor prevent the advance of Sovietpower even into its own hemisphere. In this connection they assume, of course, that these deployments sooner or later will become publicly known. At the same tiao, they expect their missile forces in

Cuba to moke on important contribution toclrotegio_capa-bllityis the US.

onsequently, it is unlikely that tho USSR is Installing these missiles primarily In order to use then in bargaining for UB cor-ccrsicr elsewhere. Moreover, the public withdrawal of Soviet nlr.bllce frow Cub would create serious problems in the USSR's relatione with Castro; It would cast doubt on tho firmness of tho Soviet intention to protect tbo Castro regime end perhaps on their corrxoltmenta oleewhere.

to demonstrate that the world bolanco of forces has shifted eo far In

O :, ,

TO ACQUJESCEHCK IB THE

If the US acquiesces to the preaeuca of strategic missiles In Cuba, ve believe that the Sovlots vill continue the buildup. Ve hove no basis for estimating the force level which they vould wish to reach, but It ceoms entirely clear now that thoy are going veiloken* capability.

This course of US action would provide strong encouragement to Cootpunlsts, pro-Communists, and the more antt-AnKrlcan eectors of opinion In latin America. We believe that, especially over the lorg run, there vould bo loss of confidence in US po-rer and dcterminationerlou3 decline of US influence, particularly in Latin America. Should anylatin American government fall to the Cowounists the Soviets vould feel free to establish bases in the country in question if they chose.

A major irxediste consequence vould be that the Soviets vould probably estimate lower risks In pressing the US hard In other confrontations, such as Berlin.

EFFECT OF WAItKIRO

the US corfronts Khrushchev vith its knowledge of theand pressesithdrawal, vo do not believe thehalt the deployment. Instead, they would propose negotiationsgeneral question of foreign bases, claioing equal right tobases ond assuring the US of tight coutrol over the missiles.

They vould probably link Cuba with tho Berlin situation andpatience and preference formplying that Borllnhostage to US actions In Cuba. '

There Is some slight chancearning to Castro mightifference, since the Soviets could regard thishanco to stand aside, but it also vould give time for offers to negotiate, continued, buildup, and counterpressures, and ve think the result in the end vould be the aaae.

Any warning vould of course degrade the eleicent of surpriseubsequent US attack.

A US BLOCKADE

lU. Two basic modes of blockade could be considered: tot-al and selective. Vo bolicve that conotal blockade individual air-croft and submarines might get through to deliver vitaluclear vorJieads. Even the most severe blockade would not deprive the Soviets of the use of missiles already in Cubauclear otrikc on the US.

15. Under any form of blockade, the Soviets vould concentrate on political exploitation, especially In the UN. They might risk violent-encounters in attempts to penetrate the blockade, but they vould notto major force In the area of Cuba or forceful retaliation elcewhers,

at least Initially. If US enforcement of the blockade Involved use of force by the US, tho Soviets might respond on au equivalent level, but

vould seek to avoid escalation. .

Thus any blockade situation would place the Coviots under no iaacdlate pressure toesponse with force. They could rely on political means to compel the U3 to desiet, ondesort to forco until the US had actually used force. They vould estimate that ttedifficulties of enforcing the blockedo and the generally adverse reactions, Including those of US allies to it, vould result in enormous pressuros on tho US to desiet. They could heighten theco pressures by threatening retaliation in Berlin or actually undertaking malar harass-cents on the access routes, vhlch could becooe tantamountlockade, and vould probably do so attsge.

Ve do not believe thatevere blockade, of itself, vould bring down the Cuban regime. Castro vould tighten internal security ard, unless action against the regioo subsequently developed osll, tbe Cuban population vould be increasingly reluctant tob5 regime. Direct action would Btlll be required to briug down the Castro regime.

SOVIET REACTION TO USEHITASf FORCE

tho case of US use of force scainst Cibartoviet response by force, either locally or forelsewhere, would be greater than in the care of blockt.Co.Toe

Soviets vould be placed automatically under great pressure to respond In vaya vhich. If they could not save Cuba, would Inflict an offsetting In-Jury to US Interests. This would be true whether the action vaa Jlcdted to on effort to neutralize the strategic missiles, or these missiles plus airfields, surface-to-air missile sites, or cruise Dlesile sites, or In fact an outright Invasion designed to dostroy ths Caotro regime,

19. In reaction to any of the various forms of US action, the Soviets would bo surprised and probebly elareed, since they appear to havethat the US would probably not take military action in tho face or Soviet warnings of the danger of nuclear war. Tlicy vould reco^nira that US military actionajor challenge to the prestige of the USSR. Ve must of course recognize the possibility that tho Soviets, underto respond, vould again mlscelculot end responday which,erios of actions and reactions, could escalate to general var.

Co tho ether hand, the Soviots havo no public treaty vlth Cuba and have not acknowledged that Soviet bases are on tho island. This situation provides themretext for treating US military ceviun against Cuba oa an affair which does not directly involve then, end thereby avoiding the riskstrong response. Ve do not believe that the USSR vould attack the US, either frco Soviet bases or vith itsin Cuba, even if the letter vcre operational end not put out of action before they could be readied for firing.

PI. Since the USSR would altaost certainly not resort to general var and could not hope to prevail locally, we believe that the 8oviot3 would consider retaliatory actions outside Cuba. The timing end selection of such moves would depend heavily upon the irawdiatc context of events and the USSR'a appreciation of US attitudes. The moat likely location lor broad retaliation outside Cuba appears to be Berlin. They would probably

. react here with major harassments, interruptions of access to the city orlockade, vith or without the signingeparate peace treaty.

.Retaliation against scoe US installation overeeaa is possible but In''"

22. Ve believe that there would probablyifference between Soviet reaction to all-out invasion and Soviet reaction to more Melted US use of force against selected objectives in Cuba. Vc bolicve that the 6ovicts would be socevhat less likely to retaliate with niMtary forct in areas outsido Cuba in rosponse to speedy, effective invasion than in response to more United forms of military action against Cuba. Ve recognize that such en estirato cannot bo made with very great assurance and do not rulo out the possibility of Soviet retaliation outside Cuba in case of invasion. But vo believeapid occupation of Cu'oa would be more likely to make the Soviets pause In ojenlog ptv theaters of conflict than United action or action which drags out.

&3. Finally, we believe that, whatever course ofSSR elected, the Soviet leaders vould not deliberately initiate goDeral

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