What are President Kennedy’s options to this new threat so close to America? Action must be taken and it must be quick. There is no room for mistakes like the “Bay of Pigs” debacle. This threat could destroy our nation and be the root cause of WWIII that will also affect the rest of the world. Will diplomatic action be enough to solve this problem or does the president risk military action? Kennedy will need a course of action that will maintain the balance of power. The response will have to show America and the world that America is a strong and dominant world power that needs to be reckoned with. Should the president resort to nuclear warfare or maintain a conventional approach when it comes to the rules of engagement? What proposed diplomatic solutions could be implemented to end this situation peacefully?
Memorandum for the President
Subject: Recommendations for action against Cuba and the Soviet equipment introduced
into Cuba 1. The situation is an alarming discovery made by an American U-2 spy planes reconnaissance flight over Cuba. It had photographed the assembly of a Soviet SS-4 medium-range ballistic missile that was intended for installation. This has become an urgent situation that needs an immediate solution. Having a nuclear-armed Cuba so close to our shores cannot be allowed. Being only 90 miles south of Florida, the SS-4’s can quickly reach multiple targets up and down the Eastern Seaboard. If these missile sites are allowed to become operational, it will alter the nuclear balance between the U.S. and the USSR. The strategic positioning of these missile installations will give the USSR a dominating nuclear advantage that is currently held by America. The reason for the Soviets to support Castro and install the Missile sites was that they have felt uneasy from the start of America putting nuclear missile sites in Western Europe and Turkey and having them pointed at the USSR. They want to even the playing field by shortening their deployment time to hit the U.S. Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev has taken advantage of the U.S.’s hostile relationship with the current Cuban regime. He is using this act as way to deter future aggression from the U.S. towards Cuba. 2. We have come up with four options to respond with against this threat. They are a tactical airstrike, Ground invasion, Blockade and quarantine, and finally negotiations. We will explain the plans and options of each course of action. 3. Tactical air strike option: An air attack could have a primary landing force follow within seven days of its start. No reserve units will need to be activated until the initiation of the air strike. Reserve transport planes could be operational within 24-48 hours of being activated. Based on current intelligence there is equipment for approximately 40 (MRBM) Medium Range Ballistic Missiles or (IRBM) Intermediate Range ballistic Missiles. There are 36 known launcher sites and 32 have enough equipment to be considered a direct threat so these have to be a part of the targeting plan. Of the 40 launchers they typically would be equipped with 2 missiles each giving a total capability of 80 missiles. Our estimations of missiles present on the Island are at 48 from the amount of Soviets ships coming and going recently. Our intelligence has only been able to locate 30 of these missiles. We must make sure we destroy Cuba’s known missile capability. There are 5 known surface-to-air missile sites defending the known launcher sites along with 3 MIG airfields. We suggest an attack plan of 12 U.S. aircraft per MIG airfield and 8 U.S. aircraft attack the surface-to-air sites. This will require approximately 100 sorties. The 8 or 9 known launcher sites should be attacked by 6 U.S. aircraft each with a total of about 250 sorties to flown to accomplish complete destruction of launcher sites. We feel confident that and airstrike will be successful but even with optimum conditions it is not likely that all known missiles...
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