Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and Associ

Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:28 am


17 February 1961



About a year ago the Agency was directed to set in motion the organization of a broadly based opposition to the Castro regime and the development of propaganda channels, clandestine agent nets within Cuba, and trained paramilitary ground and air forces wherewith that opposition could overthrow the Cuban regime. The concept was that this should be so far as possible a Cuban operation, though it was well understood that support in many forms would have to come from the United States. Great progress has been made in this undertaking. A Government-in-Exile will soon be formed embracing most reputable opposition elements. It will have a left-of-center political orientation and should command the support of liberals both within Cuba and throughout the hemisphere. It will sponsor and increasingly control trained and combat-ready military forces based in Central America. A decision must soon be made as to the support (if any) the United States will render the opposition henceforth.

In the mid-1950s the Montecristi group had been active against Batista, who exiled Carrillo. He returned after the revolution to take an important banking post but found Castro's Communist tendencies intolerable and went into opposition again. His group is described as liberal and progressive but rejecting any accommodation with Communism.

Carrillo was one of several Cuban figures whom the Agency induced to defect in late 1959 or the early months of 1960. Others were Manuel Francisco Artime Buesa, Jose Ignacio Rasco Bermudez, and Manuel Antonio Varona Loredo. It was these four who, after long negotiations, formed the organizing committee of the FRD in May 1960.

Artime, who is still under 30, joined Castro's movement as an anti-Batista student. Under instructions from the Catholic Church he organized a group of 4,000 Catholic Action students to gain the farmers' help against Batista. The view has been expressed that he was the Jesuits' penetration of the 26 July Movement. Castro gave him a high post in National Agrarian Reform Institute (INRA) from which he resigned after ten months to form the Movement to Recover the Revolution (MRR), composed in part of his former Catholic Action followers. This exile opposition group provided a large proportion of the recruits for the strike force.

Rasco, a college and university classmate of Castro's, is a lawyer and history professor, described as a nice young intellectual without much talent for action. In the fall of 1959 he became the first president of the Christian Democratic Movement (MDC), an anti-Communist Catholic group which Castro drove underground in April 1960 at which time Rasco fled the country.

Varona's career in government and in opposition politics goes back to the 1920s. During the regime of President Prio Socarras he held several important posts, including that of prime minister, and was responsible for anti-Communist politics and measures. He collaborated with Castro until the Communist pattern of the new regime became evident, coming to the U.S. in April 1960. Before leaving Havana he had presented a plan for Castro's overthrow, including a unified opposition and U.S. aid for developing propaganda and military capabilities.

Varona was representative of the older opposition parties (Autentico and Ortodoxo) which had survived both Batista and Castro and which were roughly in the middle of the political spectrum. Artime's group also occupied a centrist position, but its membership was drawn from the younger generation of Cubans. Carrillo and Rasco appeared to be a little left and a little right of center, respectively.

Thus the original group of organizers represented a fairly broad range of political views.

-- Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and Associated Documents, by Lyman B. Kirkpatrick


The Castro regime is steadily consolidating its control over Cuba. Assuming that the United States applies political and economic pressures at roughly present levels of severity, it will continue to do so regardless of declining popular support. There is no significant likelihood that the Castro regime will fall of its own weight.

a. The regime is proceeding methodically to solidify its control over all the major institutions of the society and to employ them on the Communist pattern as instruments of repression. The Government now directly controls all radio, television, and the press. It has placed politically dependable leadership in labor unions, student groups, and professional organizations. It has nationalized most productive and financial enterprises and is using a program of so-called land reform to exercise effective control over the peasantry. It has destroyed all political parties except the Communist party. Politically reliable and increasingly effective internal security and military forces are being built up.

b. Cuba is in economic difficulties but the Communist Bloc will almost certainly take whatever steps are necessary to forestall any decisive intensification of these troubles. Economic dislocations will occur but will not lead to the collapse or the significant weakening of the Castro regime.

c. At the present time the regular Cuban military establishment, especially the Navy and Air Force, are of extremely low effectiveness. Within the next few months, however, it is expected that Cuba will begin to take delivery of jet aircraft and will begin to have available trained Cuban pilots of known political reliability. During the same period the effectiveness of ground forces will be increasing and their knowledge of newly acquired Soviet weapons will improve. Therefore, after some date probably no more than six months away it will become militarily infeasible to overthrow the Castro regime except through the commitment to combat of a sizeable organized military force.
The option of action by the Cuban opposition will no longer be open.


Cuba will, of course, never present a direct military threat to the United States and it is unlikely that Cuba would attempt open invasion of any other Latin American country since the U.S. could and almost certainly would enter the conflict on the side of the invaded country. Nevertheless, as Castro further stabilizes his regime, obtains more sophisticated weapons, and further trains the militia, Cuba will provide an effective and solidly defended base for Soviet operations and expansion of influence in the Western Hemisphere. Arms, money, organizational and other support can be provided from Cuba to dissident leaders and groups throughout Latin America in order to create political instability, encourage Communism, weaken the prestige of the U.S., and foster the inevitable popular support that Castro's continuance of power will engender. A National Estimate states: "For the Communist powers, Cuba represents an opportunity of incalculable value. More importantly, the advent of Castro has provided the Communists with a friendly base for propaganda and agitation throughout the rest of Latin America and with a highly exploitable example of revolutionary achievement and successful defiance of the United States."


For reasons which require no elaboration the overt use of U.S. military forces to mount an invasion of Cuba has been excluded as a practical alternative. Broadly defined the following three possible alternative courses of action remain for consideration:

a. Intensification of economic and political pressures coupled with continued covert support of sabotage and minor guerrilla actions but excluding substantial commitment of the Cuban opposition's paramilitary force.

b. Employment of the paramilitary force but in a manner which would not have the appearance of an invasion of Cuba from the outside.

c. Commitment of the paramilitary force in a surprise landing, the installation under its protection on Cuban soil of the opposition government and either the rapid spread of the revolt or the continuation of large scale guerrilla action in terrain suited for that purpose.

These alternatives are discussed in the following paragraphs.


There is little that can be done to impose real political and economic pressure on the Castro regime and no such course of action now under serious consideration seems likely to bring about its overthrow.

a. A true blockade of Cuba enforced by the United States would involve technical acts of war and has now been dismissed as infeasible.

b. Action to halt arms shipments from Cuba into any other part of the hemisphere would be cumbersome and easily evaded if air transport were employed. While undoubtedly of some value it is difficult to see that the institution of such measures would either impose severe pressure on the Castro regime or effectively insulate the rest of the hemisphere from it. Castro's principal tools of subversion are people, ideology, the force of example and money. The flow of these items cannot be dammed up.

c. Further economic sanctions are theoretically possible but can quite readily be offset by an increase of trade with the Bloc.

d. In any event, it is estimated that the prospects for effective international action are poor.


Careful study has been given to the possibility of infiltrating the paramilitary force gradually to an assembly point in suitable terrain, hopefully avoiding major encounters in the process and committing it to extensive guerrilla action. This course of action would have the advantage of rendering unnecessary a single major landing which could be described as an invasion. The infiltration phase would take on the coloration of efforts by small groups of Cubans to join an already existing resistance movement. Unfortunately, it has been found to be infeasible on military grounds. Basically the reasons (explained more fully in the attachment) are:

a. It is considered militarily infeasible to infiltrate in small units a force of this size to a single area where it could assemble, receive supplies, and engage in coordinated military action. Such an operation would have to be done over a period of time and the loss of the element of surprise after initial infiltrations would permit the government forces to frustrate further reinforcements to the same area.

b. Military units significantly smaller than the battalion presently undergoing unit training would fall short of the "minimum critical mass" required to given any significant likelihood of success. Smaller scale infiltrations would not produce a psychological effect sufficient to precipitate general uprisings of wide-spread revolt among disaffected elements of Castro's armed forces.

c. Actually, the least costly and most efficient way to infiltrate the force into a terrain suitable for protracted and powerful guerrilla operations would be by a single landing of the whole force as currently planned and its retirement from the landing point into the chosen redoubt.


The Joint Chiefs of Staff have evaluated the military aspects of the plan for a landing by the Cuban opposition. They have concluded that "this plan has a fair chance of ultimate success" (That is of detonating a major and ultimately successful revolt against Castro) and that, if ultimate success is not achieved there is every likelihood that the landing can be the means of establishing in favorable terrain a powerful guerrilla force which could be sustained almost indefinitely. The latter outcome would not be (and need not appear as) a serious defeat. It would be the means of exerting continuing pressure on the regime and would be a continuing demonstration of inability of the regime to establish order. It could create an opportunity for an OAS intervention to impose a cease-fire and hold elections.

a. Any evaluation of the chances of success of the assault force should be realistic about the fighting qualities of the militia. No definitive conclusions can be advanced but it must be remembered that the majority of the militia are not fighters by instinct or background and are not militiamen by their own choice. Their training has been slight and they have never been exposed to actual fire (particularly any heavy fire power) nor to air attack. Moreover, the instabilities within Cuba are such that if the tide shifts against the regime, the chances are strong that substantial numbers will desert or change sides.

b. There is no doubt that the paramilitary force would be widely assumed to be U.S. supported. Nevertheless, this conclusion would be difficult to prove and the scale of its activity would not be inconsistent with the potentialities for support by private Cuban and American groups rather than by the U.S. Government. It must be emphasized, moreover, that this enterprise would have nothing in common (as would the use of U.S. military forces) with the Russian suppression of Hungary or the Chinese suppression of the Tibetans. This would be a force of dissident Cubans with Cuban political and military leadership.

c. There would be adverse political repercussions to a landing in force but it is not clear how serious these would be. Most Latin American Governments would at least privately approve of unobtrusive U.S. support for such an opposition move, especially if the political coloration of the opposition were left-of-center. The reaction of the rest of the free world, it is estimated, would be minimal in the case of unobtrusive U.S. support for such an attempt. It might produce a good deal of cynicism throughout the world about the U.S. role but if quickly successful little lasting reaction. Generally speaking it is believed that the political cost would be low in the event of a fairly quick success. The political dangers flowing from long continued large scale guerrilla warfare would be greater but there are diplomatic preparations that could be made to forestall extreme adverse reactions in this contingency.


A decision not to use the paramilitary force must consider the problem of dissolution, since its dissolution will surely be the only alternative if it is not used within the next four to six weeks. It is hoped that at least one hundred volunteers could be retained for infiltration in small teams but it is doubtful whether more than this number would be available or useful for this type of activity.

a. There is no doubt that dissolution in and of itself will be a blow to U.S. prestige as it will be interpreted in many Latin American countries and elsewhere as evidence of the U.S. inability to take decisive action with regard to Castro. David will again have defeated Goliath.

Cuban people are so warm. They make you feel at home and it feels good to be here. The atmosphere is a very family atmosphere. There is music and spirit… So, I was happy to come back. Cuba represents something very important in this world of wars and power plays and imperial expansion. I mean, here is this little island, which is not expanding anywhere, is not trying to take over the United States. It is, in fact, holding out in a very courageous way with meager resources against the most formidable military power in the world. This is an amazing David and Goliath story; an amazing story of heroism. So, you have to admire Cuba for being undaunted by this colossus of the North and holding fast to its ideals and to Socialism. And even though there are many problems, it’s an interesting Socialism with many possibilities… Cuba is one of those places in the world where we can see hope for the future. With its very meager resources Cuba gives free health care and free education to everybody. Cuba supports culture, supports dance and music and theatre. The United States does not do that.

-- An Amazing David and Goliath Story: Cuba Now -- Interview of Howard Zinn, by Catherine Murphy

Anti-U.S. regimes like that of Trujillo would gain strength while pro-U.S. Betancourt would undoubtedly suffer. Surely Ydigoras, who has been an exceedingly strong ally, would also be placed in a very difficult position for his support of a disbanded effort. It must be remembered in this connection that there are sectors of Latin American opinion which criticize the U.S. for not dealing sufficiently forcefully with the Castro regime. In fact, one reason why many Latin American governments are holding back in opposing Castro is because they feel that sooner or later the U.S. will be compelled to take strong measures.

b. The resettlement of the military force will unavoidably cause practical problems. Its members will be angry, disillusioned and aggressive with the inevitable result that they will provide honey for the press bees and the U.S. will have to face the resulting indignities and embarrassments. Perhaps more important, however, will be the loss of good relations with the opposition Cuban leaders. To date almost all non-Batista, non-Communist political leaders have been encouraged or offered help in fighting Castro. An abandonment of the military force will be considered by them as a withdrawal of all practical support. In view of the breadth of the political spectrum involved, this will cause some difficulties for the future since it is hard to imagine any acceptable post-Castro leadership that will not include some of the exiles dealt with during the past year.


a. Castro's position is daily getting stronger and will soon be consolidated to the point that his overthrow will only be possible by drastic, politically undesirable actions such as an all-out embargo or an overt use of military force.

b. A failure to remove Castro by external action will lead in the near future to the elimination of all internal and external Cuban opposition of any effective nature. Moreover, the continuance of the Castro regime will be a substantial victory for the Sino-Soviet Bloc which will use Cuba as a base for increased activity throughout the Western Hemisphere, thereby accentuating political instability and weakening U.S. prestige and influence.

c. The Cuban paramilitary force, if used, has a good chance of overthrowing Castro or at the very least causing a damaging civil war without requiring the U.S. to commit itself to overt action against Cuba. Whatever embarrassment the alleged (though deniable) U.S. support may cause, it may well be considerably less than that resulting from the continuation of the Castro regime or from the more drastic and more attributable actions necessary to accomplish the result at a later date.

d. Even though the best estimate of likely Soviet reaction to a successful movement against Castro indicates problems to the U.S. arising from the removal or substantial weakening of the Castro regime, Soviet propaganda and political moves will still be much less prejudicial to the long-range interests of the U.S. than would the results of a failure to remove Castro.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:32 am



1. The only areas of Cuba with mountainous terrain of sufficient extent and ruggedness for guerrilla operations are the Sierra Escambray of La Villas Province in Central Cuba and the Sierra Maestra of Oriente Province at the eastern extremity of the island. The Sierra de les Organos of Western Cuba do not encompass sufficient area and are not rugged enough to sustain guerrilla operations against strong opposition. Of the two areas with adequate terrain, only the Sierra Escambray is truly suitable for our purposes, since the mountains in Eastern Cuba are too distant from air bases in Latin America available to CIA for air logistical support operations. Primary reliance would have to be placed on this method of supply for guerrilla forces.

2. The Government of Cuba (GOC) has concentrated large forces of army and militia in both Las Villas and Oriente Provinces. Estimates of troop strength in Las Villas have varied recently from 17,000 to as high as 60,000 men, while up to 12,000 men are believed to be stationed in Oriente.

3. While of dubious efficiency and morale, the militia, by sheer weight of numbers has been able to surround and eliminate small groups of insurgents. A landing by 27 men of the Masferrer Group in Oriente, for example, was pursued and eliminated by 2,000 militia. A similar group of insurgents in Western Cuba, was attacked and destroyed by six battalions of army and militia (about 3,000 men).

4. A build-up of force in a given area by infiltration of small groups would require a series of night landings in the same general vicinity. Discovery of the initial landing by GOC forces would be almost a certainty, since security posts are located at all possible landing areas. Even if the initial landing were successful, the GOC could be expected to move troops and naval patrol craft to the area making further landings difficult if not impossible. Any small force landed, experience has shown, will be rapidly engaged by forces vastly superior in numbers. Therefore, it is considered unlikely that small groups landing on successive occasions would succeed in joining forces later. A series of surrounded pockets of resistance would be the result.

5. Repeated approaches to the Cuban coast by vessels large enough to land up to 50 men would probably provoke attack by the Cuban Navy and/or Air Force, either of which is capable of destroying any vessels which could be used by CIA for these purposes.

6. In the Sierra Escambray, which is the only area of Cuba in which true guerrilla operations are now being conducted, ill-equipped and untrained groups of up to 200 to 300 men have been hard pressed to survive and have been unable to conduct effective operations. The only worthwhile accomplishment of these bands has been to serve as a symbol of resistance. Smaller groups, even though better trained and equipped, could not be expected to be effective.

7. There are very few sites on the south coast of the Sierra Escambray where small boats can be landed. These are found principally at the mouths of rivers and are all guarded by militia posts armed with machine guns. A small group landing at such a point by shuttling from a larger vessel in small boats would probably receive heavy casualties.

8. Small-scale infiltrations would not produce a psychological effect sufficient to precipitate general uprisings and widespread revolt among disaffected elements of Castro's armed forces. These conditions must be produced before the Castro Government can be overthrown by any means short of overt intervention by United States armed forces.. As long as the armed forces respond to Castro's orders, he can maintain himself in power indefinitely. The history of all police-type states bears out this conclusion.

9. The CIA Cuban Assault Force, composed entirely of volunteers, has been trained for action as a compact, heavily armed, hard-hitting military unit, and the troops are aware of the combat power which they possess as a unit. They have been indoctrinated in the military principle of mass and instructed that dispersion of force lends to defeat in detail. They will be quick to recognize the disadvantages of the infiltration concept, and it is unlikely that all would volunteer for piecemeal commitment to military action in Cuba. The troops can be used in combat only on a voluntary basis. The Government of the United States exercises no legal command or disciplinary authority over them.


1. This course of action would result in large scale loss of life, both through military action against forces vastly superior in numbers and as a result of drum-head justice and firing squad execution of those captured.

2. This alternative could achieve no effective military or psychological results.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:33 am


11 March 61


1. Status of Preparatory Action:

About a year ago the Agency was directed to set in motion: the organization of a broadly-based opposition to the Castro regime; a major propaganda campaign; support for both peaceful and violent resistance activities in Cuba; and the development of trained paramilitary ground and air forces of Cuban volunteers.

A decision should shortly be made as to the future of these activities and the employment or disposition of assets that have been created. The status of the more important activities is as follows:

a. Political:

Over a period of nearly a year, the FRD (Frente Revolucionario Democratico), which was created in the hope that it would become the organizational embodiment of a unified opposition to Castro, has proved to be highly useful as a cover and administrative mechanism but important political elements refused to join it.

Accordingly, a major effort was undertaken three weeks ago to form a more broadly-based revolutionary council which would include the FRD, and which could lead to the setting up of a provisional government. Considerable progress has been made in negotiations with the principal Cuban leaders in which great efforts have been made to permit the Cubans to chart their own course. It is expected that the desired result will be accomplished shortly. What is emerging from these negotiations is a provisional government with a center to left-of-center political orientation, and a political platform embodying most of the originally stated goals of the 26 July movement. It is believed that this will command the support of a very large majority of anti-Castro Cubans although it will not be altogether acceptable to the more conservative groups.

b. Military:

The following paramilitary forces have been recruited and trained and will shortly be in an advanced state of readiness.

(1) A reinforced battalion with a present strength of 850 which will be brought up to a strength of approximately 1,000 through the addition of one more infantry company to be used primarily for logistic purposes and as a reserve.

(2) A briefly trained paramilitary force of approximately 160 intended to be used for a diversionary night landing to be undertaken in advance of commitment of the battalion.

(3) An airforce of 16 B-26 light bombers, 10 C-54s and 5 C-46s.

(4) Shipping including 2 100-ton ships, 5 1500-ton ships, 2 LCIs, 3 LCOs and 4 LCVPs.

A JCS team recently inspected the battalion and the air force at their bases in Guatemala. Their findings led them to conclude that these forces could be combat-ready by 1 April. Certain deficiencies were indicated that are in progress of correction partly by further training and partly by the recruitment of the additional infantry company referred to above.

c. Timing:

It will be infeasible to hold all these forces together beyond early April. They are in large part volunteers, some of whom have been in hard training, quartered in austere facilities for as much as six months. Their motivation for action is high but their morale cannot be maintained if their commitment to action is long delayed. The onset of the rainy season in Guatemala in April would greatly accentuate this problem and the Guatemalan Government is in any event unwilling to have them remain in the country beyond early April. The rainy season in Cuba would also make their landing on the island more difficult.

2. The Situation in Cuba:

We estimate that time is against us. The Castro regime is steadily consolidating its control over Cuba. In the absence of greatly increased external pressure or action, it will continue to do so regardless of declining popular support as the machinery of authoritarian control becomes increasingly effective.

a. The regime is proceeding methodically to solidify its control over all the major institutions of the society and to employ them on the Communist pattern as instruments of repression. The Government now directly controls all radio, television, and the press. It has placed politically dependable leadership in labor unions, student groups, and professional organizations. It has nationalized most productive and financial enterprises and is using a program of so-called land reform to exercise effective control over the peasantry. It has destroyed all political parties except the Communist party. Politically reliable and increasingly effective internal security and military forces are being built up.

b. There is still much active opposition in Cuba. It is estimated that there are some 1200 active guerrillas and another thousand individuals engaging in various acts of conspiracy and sabotage, the tempo of which has been rising in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the government has shown considerable skill in espionage and counter-espionage. It is making good use of the militia against guerrilla activities and the infiltration of people and hardware. The militia is relatively untrained and there is evidence that its morale is low but the government is able to use very large numbers against small groups of guerrillas and is able to exercise surveillance of suspicious activities throughout the island. Short of some shock that will disorganize or bring about the defection of significant parts of the militia, it must be anticipated that violent opposition of all kinds will gradually be suppressed.

c. At the present time the regular Cuban military establishment, especially the Navy and Air Force, are of extremely low effectiveness. Within the next few months, however, it is expected that Cuba will begin to take delivery of jet aircraft and will begin to have available trained and well indoctrinated Cuban pilots. During the same period the effectiveness of ground forces will be increasing and their knowledge of newly acquired Soviet weapons will improve. Therefore, after some date, probably no more than six months away it will probably become militarily infeasible to overthrow the Castro regime except through the commitment to combat of a more sizeable organized military force than can be recruited from among the Cuban exiles.

3. Possible Courses of Action:

Four alternative courses of action involving the commitment of the paramilitary force described above are discussed in succeeding paragraphs. They are:

a. Employment of the paramilitary force in a manner which would minimize the appearance of an invasion of Cuba from the outside.

b. Commitment of the paramilitary force in a surprise landing with tactical air support, the installation under its protection on Cuban soil of the opposition government and either the rapid spread of the revolt or the continuation of large scale guerrilla action in terrain suited for that purpose.

c. Commitment of the paramilitary force in two successive operations: First, the landing of one company without air support in a remote area in which it could sustain itself for some days (hopefully indefinitely), and second, the landing of the main force forty-eight hours later in a widely different location in the same manner as in paragraph 3.b. above.

d. Commitment of the whole force in an inaccessible region where it would be expected to keep control of a beachhead for a long period of time to permit installation and recognition of a provisional government and a gradual build-up of military strength.

4. Covert Landing of the Paramilitary Forces:

Careful study has been given to the possibility of infiltrating the paramilitary forces in a night amphibious landing, using man-portable equipment and weapons and taking ashore only such supplies as can be carried by the troops. The force would move immediately in-land to the mountains and commence operations as a powerful guerrilla force relying entirely upon continuing air logistical support. Shipping would retire from the coast before dawn and no tactical air operations would be conducted. Unfortunately, it is believed that such an operation would involve unacceptable military risks.

a. The paramilitary force would run the risk of becoming completely disorganized and scattered in a night landing. (Such an operation is very difficult for even highly trained forces experienced in amphibious operations.)

b. The force would not have motor transport, heavy mortar, 75 mm recoiling rifles, heavy machine guns, nor tanks. Initial ammunition and food supplies would be limited and it would be wholly dependent on air logistical support. If the rainy season commences in April, overcast conditions could prevent effective support. Casualties could not be evacuated.

c. Since tactical aircraft would not participate, the objective area could not be isolated; enemy forces could move against the beachhead unimpeded. The Castro Air Force would be left intact.

5. A Landing in Full Force:

This operation would involve an amphibious/airborne assault with concurrent (but no prior) tactical air support, to seize a beachhead contiguous to terrain suitable for guerrilla operations. The provisional government would land as soon as the beachhead had been secured. If initial military operations were successful and especially if there were evidence of spreading disaffection against the Castro regime, the provisional government could be recognized and a legal basis provided for at least non-governmental logistic support.

a. The military plan contemplates the holding of a perimeter around the beachhead area. It is believed that initial attacks by the Castro militia, even if conducted in considerable force, could be be repulsed with substantial loss to the attacking forces. The scale of the operation and the display of professional competence and of determination on the part of the assault force would, it is hoped, demoralize the militia and induce defections therefrom, impair the morale of the Castro regime, and induce widespread rebellion. If the initial actions proved to be unsuccessful in thus detonating a major revolt, the assault force would retreat to the contiguous mountain area and continue operations as a powerful guerrilla force.

b. This course of action has a better chance than any other of leading to the prompt overthrow of the Castro regime because it holds the possibility of administering a demoralizing shock.

c. If this operation were not successful in setting off widespread revolt, freedom of action of the U.S. would be preserved because there is an alternative outcome which would neither require U.S. intervention nor constitute a serious defeat; i.e., guerrilla action could be continued on a sizeable scale in favorable terrain. This would be a means of exerting continuing pressure on the regime.

6. A Diversionary Landing:

As a variant of the above plan, it would be feasible to conduct a diversionary landing with a force of about 160 men in an inaccessible area as a prelude to a landing of the main assault force. The initial operation would be conducted at night without tactical air support. At least a part of the provisional government would go in with the diversionary landing and presumably the establishment of the provisional government on Cuban soil would thereupon be announced. The subsequent landing of the main assault force would be carried out as outlined in paragraph 5 preceding.

a. This course of action might have certain political advantages in that the initial action in the campaign would be of a character that could plausibly have been carried out by the Cubans with little outside help.

b. There would be a military advantage in that the diversionary landing would distract attention and possibly divide some enemy forces from the objective area for the main assault. If reports had reached the Castro government that troops trained in Guatemala were on the move, the diversionary landing might well be taken to be the main attack thus enhancing the element of surprise for the main assault force. These advantages would be counterbalanced by the diversion of troops otherwise supporting the main unit.

7. Landing and Slow Build-up:

Under this fourth alternative the whole paramilitary force could carry out a landing and seize a beachhead in the most remote and inaccessible terrain on the island with intent to hold indefinitely an area thus protected by geography against prompt or well-supported attacks from the land. This would permit the installation there of the provisional government, its recognition by the U.S. after a decent interval, and (if needed) a long period of build-up during which additional volunteers and military supplies would be moved into the beachhead.

a. A major political advantage of this course of action would be that the initial assault might be conducted in such a way as to involve less display of relatively advanced weaponry and of professional military organization than the landing in force discussed above, especially so as there is every likelihood that the initial landing would be virtually unopposed by land forces. Recognition could provide a suitable political and legal basis for a protracted build-up after the initial assault.

b. Such an operation would, however, require tactical air support sufficient to destroy or neutralize the Castro Air Force. If this were not provided concurrently with the landing, it would be needed soon thereafter in order to permit ships to operate into the beachhead and the planned build-up to go forward. If the initial landing could include seizure of an air strip, the necessary air support could fairly soon be provided from within the territory controlled by friendly forces. There is, however, no location which both contains a useable airstrip and is so difficult of access by land as to permit protection of a slow build-up.

c. This type of operation by the very fact of being clandestine in nature and remote geographically would have far less initial impact politically and militarily than courses two or three.

8. Conclusions:

a. The Castro regime will not fall of its own weight. In the absence of external action against it, the gradual weakening of internal Cuban opposition must be expected.

b. Within a matter of months the capabilities of Castro's military forces will probably increase to such a degree that the overthrow of his regime, from within or without the country, by the Cuban opposition will be most unlikely.

c. The Cuban paramilitary force if effectively used has a good chance of overthrowing Castro, or of causing a damaging civil war, without the necessity for the United States to commit itself to overt action against Cuba.

d. Among the alternative course of action here reviewed, an assault in force preceded by a diversionary landing offers the best chance of achieving the desired result.

1-President & returned - DD/P Chrono
2-Sec. State & returned - Destroyed
3-V. Pres. & returned - Destroyed
4-Adolph Berle & returned - Destroyed
5-Thomas Mann State & returned - Destroyed
6-Sec. Defense & returned - Destroyed
7-Lemnitzer - retained
8-McGeorge Bundy - retained
9-DD/P-RMP retained
10-Wm. Bundy - retained
11-Gen. Gray - retained
12-Mr. Barnes - retained
13-DD/P Subj. file - Cuba

(17 of 17)
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:33 am


15 March 1961


1. Political Requirements:

The plan for a Cuban operation and the variants thereof presented on 11 March were considered to be politically objectionable on the ground that the contemplated operation would not have the appearance of an infiltration of guerrillas in support of an internal revolution but rather that of a small-scale World War II type of amphibious assault. In undertaking to develop alternative plans and to judge their political acceptability, it has been necessary to infer from the comments made on the earlier plan the characteristics which a new plan should possess in order to be politically acceptable. They would appear to be the following:

a. An Unspectacular Landing:

The initial landing should be as unspectacular as possible and should have neither immediately prior nor concurrent tactical air support. It should conform as closely as possible to the typical pattern of the landings of small groups intended to establish themselves or to join others in terrain suited for guerrilla operations. In the absence of air support and in order to fit the pattern, it should probably be at night.

b. A Base for Tactical Air Operations:

It was emphasized that ultimate success of the operation will require tactical air operations leading to the establishment of the control of the air over Cuba. In order to fit the pattern of revolution, these operations should be conducted from an air base within territory held by opposition forces. Since it is impracticable to undertake construction of an air base in the rainy season and before any air support is available, the territory seized in the original landing must include an air strip that can support tactical operations.

c. Slower Tempo:

The operation should be so designed that there could be an appreciable period of build up after the initial landing before major offensive action was undertaken. This would allow for a minimum decent interval between the establishment and the recognition by the U.S. of a provisional government and would fit more closely the pattern of a typical revolution.

d. Guerrilla Warfare Alternative:

Ideally, the terrain should not only be protected by geography against prompt or well-supported attack from land but also suitable for guerrilla warfare in the event that an organized perimeter could not be held.

2. Alternative Areas:

Five different areas, three of them on the mainland of Cuba and two on islands off the coast, were studied carefully to determine whether they would permit an operation fitting the above conditions. One of the areas appears to be eminently suited for the operation. All the others had to be rejected either because of unfavorable geography (notably the absence of a suitable air strip) or heavy concentrations of enemy forces, or both. The area selected is located at the head of a well protected deep water estuary on the south coast of Cuba. It is almost surrounded by swamps impenetrable to infantry in any numbers and entirely impenetrable to vehicles, except along two narrow and easily defended approaches. Although strategically isolated by these terrain features, the area is near the center of the island and the presence of an opposition force there will soon become known to the entire population of Cuba and constitute a serious threat to the regime. The beachhead area contains one and possibly two air strips adequate to handle B-26's. There are several good landing beaches. It is of interest that this area has been the scene of resistance activities and of outright guerrilla warfare for over a hundred years.

3. Phases of the Operation:

a. The operation will begin with a night landing. There are no known enemy forces (even police) in the objective area and it is anticipated that the landing can be carried out with few if any casualties and with no serious combat. As many supplies as possible will be unloaded over the beaches but the ships will put to sea in time to be well offshore by dawn. The whole beachhead area including the air strips will be immediately occupied and approach routes defended. No tanks will be brought ashore in the initial landing. It is believed that this operation can be accomplished quite unobtrusively and that the Castro regime will have little idea of the size of the force involved.

b. The second phase, preferably commencing at dawn following the landing, will involve the movement into the beachhead of tactical aircraft and their prompt commitment for strikes against the Castro Air Force. Concurrently C-46's will move in with gas in drums, minimal maintenance equipment, and maintenance personnel. As rapidly as possible, the whole tactical air operation will be based in the beachhead but initially only enough aircraft will be based there plausibly to account for all observable activity over the island.

c. In the third phase, as soon as there is adequate protection for shipping from enemy air attack, ships will move back into the beach to discharge supplies and equipment (including tanks). It must be presumed that counterattacks against the beachhead will be undertaken within 24 to 48 hours of the landing but the perimeter can easily be held against attacks along the most direct approach routes. The terrain may well prevent any sizeable attacks (providing the enemy air force has been rendered ineffective) until the opposition force is ready to attempt to break out of the beachhead.

d. The timing and direction of such offensive action will depend upon the course of events in the island. At least three directions of break out are possible. Because of the canalization of the approaches to the beachhead from the interior, a break out will require close support by tactical air to be successful unless enemy forces are thoroughly disorganized. The opposition force will have the option, however, of undertaking an amphibious assault with tactical air support against a different objective area if it should seem desirable.

4. Political Action:

The beachhead area proposed to be occupied is both large enough and safe enough so that it should be entirely feasible to install the provisional government there as soon as aircraft can land safely. Once installed, the tempo of the operation will permit the U.S. Government to extend recognition after a decent interval and thus to prepare the way for more open and more extensive logistical support if this should be necessary.

5. Military Advantages:

a. This is a safer military operation than the daylight landing in force originally proposed. The landing itself is more likely to be unopposed or very lightly opposed and the beachhead perimeter could be more easily held.

b. There are no known communications facilities in the immediate target area. This circumstance, coupled with the plan for a night landing, increases the chance of achieving surprise.

c. By comparison with any of the known inaccessible parts of the Oriente Province the objective area is closer to rear bases for air and sea logistical support.

d. The plan has the disadvantage that the build up of force can be only gradual since there is virtually no local population from which to recruit additional troops and volunteers from other parts of Cuba will be able to infiltrate into the area only gradually.

6. Political Acceptability:

The proposal here outlined fits the three conditions stated in paragraph 1 above for the political acceptability of a paramilitary operation. The landing is unspectacular; no tactical air support will be provided until an air base of sorts is active within the beachhead area; the tempo of the operation is as desired; and the terrain is such as to minimize the risk of defeat and maximize the options open to the opposition force.

a. It may be objected that the undertaking of tactical air operations so promptly after the landing is inconsistent with the pattern of a revolution. But most Latin American revolutions in recent years have used aircraft and it is only natural that they would be used in this case as soon as the opposition had secured control of an air strip. Wherever in the island a paramilitary operation is attempted and whatever its tempo, command of the air will sooner or later have to be established, and aircraft will have to be flown into a beachhead to enable this to be done. Sooner or later, then, it is bound to be revealed that the opposition in Cuba has friends outside who are able and willing to supply it with obsolescent combat aircraft. This revelation will be neither surprising nor out of keeping with traditional practice.

b. An alternative way to handle this problem would be to make a few strafing runs against the Castro Air Force some days before the landing and apparently as an opposition act unrelated to any other military moves.

7. Conclusion:

The operation here outlined, despite the revision of concept to meet the political requirements stated above, will still have a political cost. The study over the past several months of many possible paramilitary operations makes perfectly clear, however, that it is impossible to introduce into Cuba and commit to action military resources that will have a good chance of setting in motion the overthrow of the regime without paying some price in terms of accusations by the Communists and possible criticism by others. It is believed that the plan here outlined goes as far as possible in the direction of minimizing the political cost without impairing its soundness and chance of success as a military operation. The alternative would appear to be the demobilization of the paramilitary force and the return of its members to the United States. It is, of course, well understood that this course of action too involves certain risks.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:41 am


12 April 1961


1. Orientation and Concept:

The present concept of the operation being mounted to overthrow Castro is that it should have the appearance of a growing and increasingly effective internal resistance, helped by the activities of defected Cuban aircraft and by the infiltration (over a period of time and at several places) of weapons and small groups of men. External support should appear to be organized and controlled by the Revolutionary Council under Miro Cardona as the successor to a number of separate groups. To support this picture and to minimize emphasis on invasion, the following steps have been taken:

a. The public statements of Cardona have emphasized that the overthrow of Castro was the responsibility of the Cubans, that it must be performed mainly by the Cubans in Cuba rather than from outside, and that he and his colleagues are organizing this external support free of control by or official help from the U.S. Government.

b. The plans for air operations have been modified to provide for operations on a limited scale on D-2 and again on D-Day itself instead of placing reliance on a larger strike coordinated with the landings on D-Day.

c. Shortly after the first air strike on D-2 & B-26 with Cuban pilot will land at Miami airport seeking asylum. He will state that he defected with two other B-26 pilots and aircraft and that they strafed aircraft on the ground before departing.

d. A preliminary diversionary landing of true guerrilla type will be made in Oriente Province on D-2. The main D-Day landings will be made by three groups at locations spaced some distance apart on the coast. These will be followed about one week later by a further guerrilla type landing in Pinar del Rio (at the western end of the island).

c. Ships carrying the main forces leave the staging base at staggered times. (The first one sailed on Tuesday morning.) They will follow independent courses to a rendezvous for the final run-in. Until nearly dusk on D-1 they would appear to air observation to be pursuing unrelated courses so there will be no appearance of a convoy.

f. All the landings will be at night. At least in the first 24 hours, supply activity over the beaches will be at night. There will be no obtrusive "beachhead" to be seen by aircraft. Most troops will be deployed promptly to positions inland.

2. The Time Table of the plan is as follows:

D-7: Commence staging main force - staging completed night of D-5.
D-6: First vessel sails from staging area - last vessel departs early morning D-4.
D-2: B-26 defection operation - limited air strikes.
D-2: Diversionary landing in Oriente (night D-3 to D-2).
D-Day: Main landings (night D-1 to D) - limited air strikes. Two B-26s and liaison plane land on seized air strip.
D to D+1: Vessels return night of D to D+1 to complete discharge of supplies.
D+7: Diversionary landing in Pinar del Rio.

3. Diversion or Cancellation:

It would now be infeasible to halt the staging and embarkation of the troops. In the event of a decision to modify the operational plan or to cancel the operation, ships will be diverted at sea, either to Vieques Island or to ports in the U.S. If cancellation is directed, the troops and ships' officers will be told that the reason for the diversion is that all details of the operation, including time and place of intended landings, had been blown to the Castro regime and that under these circumstances the landings would be suicidal. This explanation would be adhered to after the demobilization of the force in the U.S. The U.S. Government could take the position that this enterprise had been undertaken by the Cubans without U.S. Governmental support, that it had failed because of their poor security, and that the U.S. could not refuse to grant asylum to the Cuban volunteers. If by reason of either new intelligence or policy considerations it is necessary to effect a major change in the operational plan, it will be necessary to divert to Vieques Island so that officers of the brigade and ships' captains can be assembled and briefed on the new plan. (The advantages of this location are its security together with the opportunity for the troops to be ashore briefly after some days on board ship.)

4. Naval Protection:

The ships carrying the main force will receive unobtrusive Naval protection up to the time they enter Cuban territorial waters. If they are attacked they will be protected by U.S. Naval vessels but following such an intervention they would be escorted to a U.S. port and the force would be demobilized.

5. Defections:

Every effort is being made to induce the defection of individuals of military and political significance. At the present time contact has been established by and through Cuban agents and anti-Castro Cuban groups with some thirty-one specific military and police officers, including _____ and the _____ and the _____. An approach is being made to _____. There are, of course, in addition many others rumored to be disaffected but to whom no channel of approach is available. The objective of these efforts is not to induce immediate defections but to prepare the individuals for appropriate action in place after D-Day.

6. Internal Resistance Movements:

On the latest estimate there are nearly 7,000 insurgents responsive to some degree of control through agents with whom communications are currently active. About 3,000 of these are in Havana itself, over 2,000 in Oriente, about 700 in Las Villas in central Cuba. For the most part, the individual groups are small and very inadequately armed. Air drops are currently suspended because available aircraft are tied up in the movement of troops from their training area to the staging base. After D-Day when it is hoped that the effectiveness of the Castro air force will be greatly reduced, it is planned to supply these groups by daytime air drops. Every effort will be made to coordinate their operations with those of the landing parties. Efforts will be made also to sabotage or destroy by air attack the microwave links on which Castro's communication system depends. The objective is of course to create a revolutionary situation, initially perhaps in Oriente and Las Villas Provinces, and then spreading to all parts of the island.

7. Propaganda and Communications:

Currently medium and short wave broadcasting in opposition to Castro is being carried on from seven stations in addition to Radio Swan. Antennae modifications of the latter have increased its effective power in Cuba and it is believed that there is now good medium wave reception of Swan everywhere except in Havana itself where it can still be effectively jammed. The number of hours of broadcasting per day will be increased beginning immediately from about 25 to almost 75 soon after D-Day. The combination of multiple long and short wave stations which will then be in use, supplemented by three boats which carry broadcasting equipment (two short wave and one medium wave) will assure heavy coverage of all parts of the island virtually at all times. Radio programs will avoid any reference to an invasion but will call for up-rising and will of course announce defections and carry news of all revolutionary action. Soon after D-Day a small radio transmitter will be put in operation on Cuban soil.

8. The Political Leadership:

As of the present moment, the six members of Cardona's Revolutionary Council, notably including Ray, have reaffirmed their membership. Although no specific portfolios have been confirmed, the following possibilities are currently under discussion: Varona, Defense; Ray, Gobernacion (Interior); Carrillio, Finance; Hevia, State; Maceo, Public Health. The political leaders have not yet been briefed on the military plan but they will be informed at each phase of military operations. Advance consultation with the political leaders is considered unacceptably dangerous on security grounds and although last minute briefings will be resented, it is believed that the political leaders will want to take credit for and assume control as quickly as possible over these major operations against Castro. The present plan is that one of them (Artime) will go into Cuba with the main force, others will follow as soon as possible after D-Day and they will announce the establishment of a Provisional Government on Cuban soil.

9. Command:

Military command will be exercised in the name of the Revolutionary Council and later of the Provisional Government. In fact, however, the CIA staff constitutes the general staff of the operation and the Agency controls both logistics support and communications. Accordingly, in the early stages at least, the functions of a general headquarters will be exercised from the Agency with the Cuban brigade commander exercising field command over the units that land on D-Day.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:45 am



The purpose of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of the nature of and the reasons for the failure of the Cuban operation and in so doing to suggest what are the correct lessons to be learned therefrom. It is prompted by and is, for the most part, a commentary on the IG Survey.

That document gives a black picture of the Agency's role in this operation. It makes a number of different kinds of allegations.

First, there are numerous charges of bad organization and incomplete execution, including specifically criticisms of: command relationships; the quality of personnel; the internal operational planning process; the conduct of maritime and air operations; and the collection and evaluation of intelligence. These deficiencies are portrayed as responsible for the failure to build up and supply resistance organizations under rather favorable conditions.

Second, and more serious is the allegation of major errors of judgment, notably (a) the decision to convert the project into what rapidly became an overt military operation beyond the Agency's capability, (b) the treatment of the Cuban exiles as "puppets", (c) the inadequacy of the military plan for the invasion, and (d) the failure "to appraise the chances of success realistically."

Third, the Survey is critical of the Agency's failure to insure that the decision making process in the Executive Branch was orderly and effective. The Agency, it is alleged, "failed to keep the national policy makers adequately and realistically informed of the conditions considered essential for success, and it did not press sufficiently for prompt policy decisions in a fast moving situation". As a corollary of this judgment, the Survey attributes the blame for incompetence of execution and for errors of judgment essentially to this Agency alone.

It is almost self-evident that some of these allegations are true, at least in part. In any large and rapidly organized undertaking there are certain to be errors of organization and of execution. In all likelihood major errors in judgment were committed. Similarly, the decision making process in the Executive Branch of the Government operated in a manner that left something to be desired. Nevertheless, this paper argues: that a large majority of the conclusions reached in the Survey are misleading or wrong; that the Survey is especially weak in judging what are the implications of its own allegations and, therefore, that its utility is greatly impaired by its failure to point out fully or in all cases correctly the lessons to be learned from this experience. This generalized rejection can be made more meaningful by an elaboration at this point, which will at the same time serve the purpose of outlining the structure of this paper and summarizing certain of its main conclusions.

A. Organization and Execution

As to the first set of allegations, there is not too much that can be said short of detailed discussion which is contained in later sections, except to make the obvious point that perfection in organization and execution is never attained and that the real question is whether the mistakes that were made were worse than they reasonably should have been and justify blanket condemnation. Stated flatly, the conclusions reached here on the main substantive points are:

a. That Agency command and organizational relationships were what they should have been.

b. That any shortcomings in the internal planning process reflected, for the most part, the difficulty of securing clear policy guidance from outside the Agency and prompt, willing, support based on that guidance.

c. That the failure of most air operations in support of the resistance was the result of circumstances completely beyond the control of the air arm and probably not remediable by any action that the Agency could have taken.

d. That the intelligence on the Castro regime and on the internal opposition thereto was essentially accurate.

The greatest operational weaknesses were in the early phases of maritime operations and, possibly, in the failure to place trained paramilitary agents with resistance groups, although it must be recognized that major efforts were made to accomplish this result and even with hindsight it is not clear that any different operational procedures or any greater effort could have achieved greater results.

The ultimate test of any project such as this is, of course, its outcome but if a judgment of the effectiveness of organization and execution is to be made, the deficiencies need to be balanced by the accomplishments. As even the Survey remarks, "There were some good things in this project." After a slow start, a sizable number of small boat operations were run efficiently and a large number of persons and volume of cargo were infiltrated successfully into the island. In the last weeks before the invasion, a political organization was formed which covered a remarkably broad spectrum of political opinion and brought together what was described by a State Department officer at the time as the best group of exile leaders that could be assembled and that left outside no important politically acceptable element. In the military build-up, a force was created that was twice as large as original envisaged and larger than any paramilitary force ever developed by the Agency. It was brought to a high state of combat effectiveness with a remarkably low percentage of individuals who had to be eliminated for unsuitability and with high morale later proven in combat. This force was airlifted to a staging base, the location of which was never revealed until after the finish of the operation. It was loaded on ships which sailed on dispersed courses and achieved complete surprise five days later. The Brigade then successfully carried out what had been described as the most difficult type of military operation, a landing on a hostile shore, carried out largely at night. Finally, as the battle was joined, adequate supplies of all sorts were available within a few hours of the beaches, had conditions permitted their off-loading. These various results were accomplished in such a way that only a small number of Agency staff officers were ever exposes to the Cuban participants and the true identities of these Americans have never been revealed. Moreover, the entire build-up was accomplished under the limitation that it contemplate no use of Americans in combat and no commitment of American flag shipping. As the event proved (and the Survey remarks), "This was not enough." Nevertheless, a recital of affirmative accomplishments suggests that whatever shortcomings there were in organization, personnel, and execution were not the decisive reasons for failure. It will be necessary to return to this point later.

B. Errors of Judgment

The second set of criticisms, those described above as allegations of major errors of judgment and the third, relating to the Agency's relationships with the rest of the Executive Branch, are more complex. Their validity is discussed in separate sections below (Section III on Why a Military Type Invasion and IV on The Decision Making Process, Section VIII on The Relationships with the Cubans, and Section V on The Assessment of the Adequacy of the Plan and on the Appraisal of its Success.) Summarized in flat statements, the conclusions there reached are these:

a. The basic reason for placing increasing emphasis as the build-up progressed upon the planned military operation and decreasing emphasis on the internal resistance is that for a number of reasons the capacity of the resistance to achieve an overthrow without a significant assist from the outside appeared to be diminishing rather than growing despite the best efforts of which the Agency was capable to support it. Moreover, preparation for the military operation was not intended to reduce support of the resistance and the two efforts became truly competitive only in the last week before the invasion was mounted.

b. The decision to deny the Cuban political leadership control of or close contact with the Brigade and to withhold from them knowledge of the impending invasion was based on two considerations. First, it was believed at the time that if the Brigade was to achieve unity and esprit de corps, it must not be split by political rivalries and its officers must be chosen on professional grounds. This clearly precluded control of the Brigade, or even access to it, by the political leaders. Second, the insecurity of the Cubans was notorious. It was quite inconceivable that they could know the details of times and places without the gravest risk that the essential advantage of surprise would be lost. It was clear at the time that the Agency assumed a significant risk in denying responsibility to the Cubans and inevitably assuming this responsibility itself. No evidence that has come to light during or since the invasion suggests that military effectiveness and security could have been obtained without paying that price.

c. The conclusions of this paper on the adequacy of the military plan are really too complex to be summarized in a sentence or two. All that can be said here is that (1) there was solid reason to believe that it had a good chance of at least initial success; (2) the last minute cancellation of the D-Day air strike significantly reduced the prospects of success; (3) there was never a test of whether internal support for the invasion would materialize on the scale and in the manner anticipated; and (4) the main deficiencies in the plan and in the capabilities of the Cuban force which may have contributed to the defeat have not been touched on in the Survey.

d. The appraisal of the chances of success may well have been faulty. The intelligence was generally good but it may have underestimated the skill with which the Castro forces would be directed, the morale of the militia units he would deploy against the Brigade and the effectiveness of any T-33's that remained in operation. There was some exaggeration of the capabilities of both ground and air forces of the invasion. It is impossible to say how grave was the error of appraisal since the plan that was appraised was modified by elimination of the D-Day air strike. Had the Cuban air been eliminated, all of these estimates might well have been accurate instead of underestimated. Probably, therefore, the primary fault lay in having one factor (i.e., the elimination of Cuban air) achieve so vital a significance to the whole plan. Although the D-Day air strikes were essential to the destruction of the Cuban air, no guaranty of such destruction was possible even had there been authority for the strikes.

The conclusions summarized above bear on the correctness of the Survey's allegations of deficiencies of execution and major errors of judgment but for the purposes either of understanding what happened or of learning how to avoid such a failure in the future, it is far from sufficient to know that certain activities were (or were not) incompetently performed and certain mistakes were (or were not) made. With many of the deficiencies it is essential to understand why they existed. And with all of them it is important to know what part they played in causing the outcome to be what it was. The central weakness of the Survey is that it is often misleading in its implications as to why certain things were done and it is grossly incomplete in its analysis of the consequences of mistakes alleged to have been made. Accordingly, before proceeding to the detailed discussion beginning in Section II of this paper which supports the conclusions summarized here, it has been felt necessary to make good in some degree these errors of omission by commenting on the nature and causes of the failure in a manner which will be in part alternative and in part supplementary to the Survey.

C. The Decisions That Led to Failure

It has been suggested not only in the Survey but elsewhere that the operation against the Castro regime should never have been allowed to take the form that it did of a military invasion. It ultimately did take this form, however, and it was in this form that it failed. The military failure has been analyzed far more exhaustively and with greater authority by General Taylor and others than this paper can pretend to do. Nevertheless, certain conclusions as to the nature of the military failure must be restated here if its causes are to be understood.

There is unanimous agreement that the proximate cause was a shortage of ammunition on the beachhead and that this shortage was directly traceable, in turn, to the effective interdiction of shipping and air resupply by the Castro Air Force. It has been less emphasized that Castro's command of the air deprived the Brigade of its capability for battlefield reconnaissance, of the equivalent of field artillery, and of close air support against enemy ground forces. It deprived it, too, of the possibility of "strategic" strikes against enemy lines of supply and communications. Finally, reliance had been placed on daytime and virtually unopposed air and sea resupply as a necessary condition for the activation of resistance groups throughout the Island. It is incontrovertible that, without control of the air, and the air crews and aircraft to exploit that control of the air, the whole military operation was doomed. Even with control of the air it might have failed but without it there could not have been any chance of success. If, then, one wishes to learn what actually caused the military operation to fail, rather than what might have done so, the starting point must be an inquiry into why control of the air was lost and never regained. Of equal significance for an understanding of the whole operation is an awareness of the circumstances that did not contribute to the failure in the air.

Fortunately, it is possible to list without much possibility of controversy the circumstances that led to the outcome in the air. First, the nearest real estate that could be used was Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua a distance of over 800 miles from the target area. The only way to avoid this severe limitation on the capability of any but the most modern aircraft would have been to use a base on U.S. territory. Second, in choosing types of aircraft, no sort of plausible denial could be maintained unless the project limited itself to the kinds of obsolete aircraft that might plausibly be found in the hands of a privately financed Cuban force. There was the further argument that it was desirable to use types of aircraft that could have defected from the Castro Air Force. The choice was thus rapidly narrowed down to B-26's. Third, policy guidance throughout the project was to the effect that no U.S. air crews could be committed to combat or placed where they might be involved in combat. This restriction was not relaxed until the second day of the invasion and then only in desperation. This had implications not only for the quality of the air crews but also for the number that could be assembled, screened for security, and trained within the time period available.

Given these limitations, the only way in which there was the slightest possibility of achieving control and maintaining control of the air was by destruction of the Castro Air Force on the ground before the dawn of D-Day when vulnerable shipping would be exposed to air strikes. The one air strike on D-2 was not expected to be, and in fact was not, sufficient to accomplish this purpose. Only one other strike was planned for this purpose and that was cancelled. Moreover, in the interests of making the air strikes appear to have been done by the Castro Air Force, a restriction was placed on the number of aircraft that could be committed to these strikes by the invasion force.

Even after the very considerable damage done on D-Day itself by enemy air, it is possible that a determined and major strike on the night of D/D+1 would have crippled the Castro Air Force, the final destruction of which might have been completed the following night. By the evening of D-Day, however, the Cuban air crews were exhausted and dispirited and the opportunity could not be fully exploited.

Even if things had gone better on D-Day, it is questionable whether the 17 Cuban air crews that constituted the air arm of the strike force would have been adequate to accomplish all of the tasks for which reliance was placed on the air arm. The chance of success would have been greater (with or without the D-Day strike) if it had been possible to assemble and commit to action more trained Cuban or U.S. air crews.

D. Washington Decision Making

These, then, were the circumstances which together led to defeat in the air and made inevitable a defeat on the ground. Several things are notable about them. In the first place, it should be emphasized that these all trace back to Washington decisions. The defeat in the air cannot be blamed on bad maintenance of Puerto Cabezas, or on a shortage of spare parts or fuel. It cannot be blamed on a shortage of B-26's, inasmuch as it proved possible rapidly to replace losses from the U.S. It cannot be blamed on the cowardice or lack of skill of the Cuban air crews, who by and large gave a good account of themselves. Nor can it be attributed to bad tactical decisions made either at Puerto Cabezas or in the Washington command post. The crucial defeat in the air was to no significant degree the result of bad execution. It was directly and unambiguously attributable to a long series of Washington policy decisions.

Before exploring the touchy question of whose decisions these were and how they were made, the implications of this conclusion deserve emphasis and elaboration. It suggests that the bad organization, improperly drawn lines of command, low quality personnel and operational inadequacies alleged by the Survey were not in the actual event responsible for the military failure. If organization and execution had approached perfection, the invasion would still have failed in the absence of more and larger pre-D-Day air strikes or the use of more modern aircraft from U.S. bases.

To be sure, this conclusion derives from an analysis only of the failure to gain control of the air. It is arguable that even if control of the air had been achieved, maintained, and exploited, the beachhead would not have been consolidated nor the Regime ultimately overthrown. Without arguing that point here, however, the evidence strongly suggests that if the Brigade had been defeated by ground action under these more favorable circumstances, it would have been because of errors of planning and conception rather than by errors of execution. The Brigade fought long enough to prove its determination and tactical skill. It appears to have been well handled by its officers. There were ample supplies at hand to support continued ground action. And Castro himself has admitted that the terrain was well chosen. Given control of the air, the Brigade might ultimately have been defeated by a complete failure of any resistance to materialize under conditions which would have encouraged it and permitted air support coupled with continued effectiveness in the face of heavy casualties of the Castro militia. Either of these possible developments would have confirmed the errors of intelligence and assessment that are alleged but would have given no support to the view that errors of organization and execution in the build-up phase were responsible for the military defeat. Despite whatever mistakes of this character there were, the Agency did after all (with the invaluable help of the Department of Defense) build up, train, equip, and deploy a force that proved itself in combat to be of high quality.

E. Agency vs. Government Responsibility

Another notable feature of the decisions that together were responsible for failure to achieve control of the air (in addition to the fact that they were all Washington policy decisions) is that they were all interdepartmental decisions. Other elements of the Executive Branch were involved along with the Agency in making them. This is not to imply that in all cases they were imposed on the Agency. Regardless, however, of how blame should be assessed between the Agency for accepting restrictions and the policy makers outside the agency for imposing them, it is necessary to have clearly in mind the nature of the decision making process in a project of this sort in order to understand how the ultimate failure came about.

Inherent in this situation was a clear conflict between two goals, a conflict of the sort familiar in recent American history. One objective was that, mainly through the various activities comprised in this project, the Castro regime should be overthrown. The other was that the political and moral posture of the United States before the world at large should not be impaired. The basic method of resolving this conflict of objectives that was resorted to was that of attempting to carry out actions against Castro in such a manner that the official responsibility of the U.S. Government could be disclaimed.

If complete deniability had been consistent with maximum effectiveness, there would theoretically have remained no conflict of goals but in fact this could not be (and never is) the case. The most effective way to have organized operations against the Castro regime, even if they would have been carried out exclusively by Cubans, would have been to do so perfectly openly, on the largest scale and with the best equipment feasible. Practically every departure from this pattern of behavior imposed operational difficulties and reduced effectiveness. Inherent in the concept of deniability was that many of these restrictions would be accepted but at every stage over a period of many months questions had to be answered in which operational difficulties was weighed against the political requirement of deniability.

As these decisions presented themselves week after week, the Agency as the executive agent for the conduct of the operation was usually and naturally the advocate of effectiveness. The State Department and, with respect to certain matters, the Department of Defense were the guardians of the correctness of the country's political posture and thus the advocates of deniability. There was obviously no way in which a generalized policy could have been laid down which would have furnished guidance as to the way the many successive decisions ought to be made. There was no quantitative measure of either the improvement in the chances of success that would have resulted from say, permission to use American air crews in overflights or of the decrease in deniability that would have resulted therefrom. Each of many such decisions had to be discussed and made on its own merits, and in almost all of them several agencies had to take part.

One of the consequences of this state of affairs was that prompt decisions were hard to obtain. Another was that, like so many inter-departmental decisions, these were subject to differing interpretations by different participants in the process. Delays and differences of interpretation were compounded by the constantly changing situation both of Cuba and the Castro regime on the one side and of the opposition on the other, which would have rendered rigid and entirely orderly planning difficult under the best of circumstances.

The nature of the decision making process had other consequences as well. It explains in large measure the failure to write tidy and comprehensive plans and have them properly approved in writing by competent authority well in advance. It explains why there was a long succession of alternate plans and of modification to plans under consideration. Above all, the constant weighing of costs and benefits in the effort to satisfy the military requirements for success without excessive impairment of the political requirement of deniability explains why the final plan (and most of the variants considered in the last six weeks) was a compromise.

F. Why An "Overt" Operation

Against the background of these remarks on the way decisions were made and on the nature of policy issues involved, it is worth commenting briefly on one of the major errors of judgment alleged by the Survey: the decision to "convey the project into what rapidly became an overt military operation beyond the Agency's capability." In part this "decision" was compelled by the failure of the internal resistance the reasons of which are discussed in later sections and are not germane to the current context. As for the Agency's capability, enough has already been said to suggest that the operation was not so much beyond the Agency's capability as it was beyond the scope of activities judged to be acceptably deniable. The question that is highly relevant to the policy making process is how and why the project was allowed to become overt and, when this had happened, why it remained the responsibility of the Agency.

That it did become "overt" in the sense that there was extensive public discussion of the preparations for invasion and that the military action was widely attributed to the United States Government, both before and after it took place, there can be no doubt. Nor is there any mystery as to why this happened. It was quite out of the question to infiltrate men and arms by sea and air for months, recruit, train and arm a strike force of some 1800 Cubans, to organize the political fronts, first the FRD then the CRC and run a major propaganda campaign, without at least reports and rumors of these activities becoming widespread. Nor were there any illusions either in the Agency or elsewhere in the Executive Branch as to the degree to which the facts were surmised and accepted as true by journalists and other informed persons. Why, then, would anyone continue to regard the involvement of the United States as plausibly deniable and why was the undertaking not converted into an overt operation, which presumably would have become the responsibility of the Department of Defense?

The answer to the first part of this question is that up to and through the invasion itself the operation remained to an extraordinary degree technically deniable. Funds were disbursed in such a way that their U.S. Government origin could not be proved. No Agency case officer who played an active role was publicly revealed as such by true name. No Americans were captured (although the bodies of an American B-26 crew were probably recovered after its loss on the second day of the invasion). In short, even the best informed correspondents in Miami who published what purported to be detailed, factual reports could substantiate them only by quoting Cubans who themselves were often not well informed. This limited and purely technical maintenance of deniability was less important to the decisions of the Executive Branch, however, than the fact that no one in the Executive Branch was ready at any point until after the defeat officially to avow U.S. support. Indeed, this alternative was never seriously considered. Even the most inadequate fig leaf was considered more respectably than the absence of any cover whatsoever. Indeed, the final changes in the operational plan made in March, the official announcement in April that the United States would not give support to the rebels, and the cancellation of the D-Day strike were all last minute efforts to shore up the plausible deniability of an enterprise for which Governmental support was bound to be conclusively surmised even if it could not be proved. These decisions were made by the senior policy makers of the Government who were reading the newspapers every day and knew well to what degree the project had in fact become "overt". These men simply were not willing to state officially either that the United States itself was about to make war on Cuba or that the U.S. Government was openly supporting a group of Cubans, not even recognized as a Government in exile, in a military invasion. In the aftermath of failure this decision may have seemed a wrong one. Had the operation succeeded reasonably quickly and without too much bloodshed, the decision would probably have seemed a correct one. Be that as it may, it was not the Agency's decision and, as the above cited actions suggest, the pressure to strengthen deniability in the last few weeks came from outside the Agency and led to decisions which were unwelcome to the Agency. To suggest, as the Survey seems to do, that the Agency was responsible for this clinging to deniability is demonstrably false.

G. Government vs. Agency Decision

The same comment applies in some degree to the three other alleged major errors of judgment. (These have to do respectively with the treatment of the Cuban exiles, the adequacy of the military planning, and the appraisal of the chances of success. They have been touched upon above and are discussed at some length in Section V below.) In the context of the decision making process, the most important conclusion that emerges is that, whether they were wise or unwise, they were Governmental decisions in a very real sense. As to the handling of the Cubans, this was a matter of the most intimate consultation with the State Department, especially in the two months preceding the invasion when the CRC was in process of formation. As to military planning, the record clearly shows that there was detailed consultation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the JCS considered the successive plans both formally and informally, and that these were the subject of review and discussion at the highest levels of Government. The chances of success were assessed favorably by the Joint Chiefs (minus, of course, the last minute cancellation of the D-Day strike) as well as by the Agency. The Agency must accept a sizable share of the blame for whatever mistakes were made in these three areas but no one who studies the record with care can assert (and no one who has done so has asserted) that the responsibility was narrowly focused on any one of the participants in the decision making process.

H. Conclusions

This introductory and summary section began with a re-statement of the main allegations of error made in the Survey and it followed with a summary of the conclusions reached in this paper (partly in the foregoing discussion but principally in the later more detailed sections) with respect to these allegations. For the most part the allegations are rejected. In concluding this section it may be useful first to list, for comparison and contrast with the Survey, what in the judgment of this paper do appear to have been the strengths and weaknesses of this undertaking and second to suggest some of the lessons to be drawn therefrom. The list is as follows:

1) Small boat infiltration operations were slow to start (but by and large were effective and well run in the last three months). Moreover, due to the existence of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, defectors and legal travel, the need for illegal infiltration was comparatively slight until January 1961.

2) Partly for this reason, the effort to place trained communicators, paramilitary types, and other agents with resistance groups inside the Island, and thereby to create a reception capability for air and maritime resupply, never caught up with Castro's improving security measures. This impaired the build-up not only of guerrilla groups but of intelligence nets. It is doubtful, however, whether significantly more could have been accomplished in building up an effective internal resistance particularly in view of the timing of the whole operation and the lead time involved in recruiting and training.

3) Aside from these weaknesses, alleged defects of organization and execution had little to do with the unsuccessful outcome. In particular, the limiting factor on air operations in support of the resistance was not bad management but the limitations of the reception parties and competence of Cuban air crews.

4) The air arm should have been stronger by the time of the invasion in numbers of air crews, type of equipment, availability of U.S. bases, or some combination of all these. If relief could not have been obtained from any of the politically motivated restrictions, and if a larger number of competent Cuban air crews could not have been recruited, the Agency should on its own responsibility have assembled more U.S. nationality air crews in the hope that their commitment would be permitted in an emergency.
5) There should have been more pre-D-Day air strikes and they should have employed the full strength of the air arm. The D-Day strike should not have been cancelled.

6) The military plan was a good one (except for the restrictions on, and possible inadequacy of, the air arm). It was properly worked out as between the Agency and the Joint Staff and was a product of highly competent, professional military planning.

7) The appraisal of the chances of success was probably faulty for reasons summarized above (para. d, page 8).

8) The important decisions were Governmental not those of one Agency. It was frustrating but of little practical consequence that the decision making process was at times cumbersome and did not promote tidiness. It was inevitable that the whole shape of the operation was determined as a compromise between the conflicting goals of deniability and effectiveness.

I. Lessons For The Future

What are the lessons for the future to be drawn from this unhappy experience? Perhaps the main one is that the U.S. should not support an operation such as this involving the use of force without having also made the decision to use whatever force is needed to achieve success. If the political decisions necessary to facilitate the effective use of force on an adequate scale, up to and possibly including the overt commitment of U.S. military forces, are too difficult to make, then the operation should be called off unless the odds in favor of success within the politically imposed restrictions are very great.

It is a fact of life that the use of force by the U.S. (or any major Western nation -- the Communists seem to be judged by a different standard) in an effort to influence the course of events in another country is deeply unpopular with an important body of opinion. Most of the damage to the political posture of the U.S. that is done by such action occurs when the action is identified, whether on the basis of evidence or of pure surmise, with the U.S. Once this point of identification has been passed, it will almost invariably be true that ultimate failure not only means loss of the original objective but further exaggeration of the political damage. Ultimate success, on the other hand, is the only way partially to retrieve and offset the political damage. It is, therefore, only the part of the wisdom to reassess an undertaking of this sort when identification of the U.S. Government with it has begun to occur or appears imminent and to determine at that time either to insure success or to abandon it.

The feeling has been widespread that another major lesson to be learned has to do with respect to the decision making process in the Executive Branch. In any major operation involving the actual exercise of power by the U.S. Government (as distinguished from the threat to exercise power), some branch of the Government will be responsible for execution, preoccupied with the achievement of success, and therefore generally the advocate of a massive and effective exercise of power. At the same time, the U.S. will always be in pursuit of a variety of essentially political objectives which will impose a requirement to maintain a certain public posture (notably in the UN). This requirement, in turn, will imply limitations on the manner in which and the scale on which power can be exercised. The guardian of the public posture whose primary responsibility it will be to devise and support restrictions on action will typically be the Department of State, or policy makers outside the action organization. In such a situation there is almost bound to be a succession of operational decisions that present (or appear to the participants to present) major issues of policy and, since there is an inevitable, and in a sense legitimate, conflict of interests between departments reflecting the conflict of objectives, there will typically have to be an arbiter who is himself neither the activist operator nor the statesman-like guardian of the country's political posture. Such issues are continuously brought to top levels for resolution. The result is a very human tendency on the part of the decision makers to decide not only the policy matters which only they can handle but also operational matters in which they have little of the expertise necessary for judgment and can rarely acquire through briefings enough depth of factual detail for a full understanding. Admittedly, expert advisors can be used but under pressure of time compounded by the unavoidable ambiguity of committee considerations, decisions are often made by the policy makers without full concurrence of the experts based on an inadequate understanding of the issues or their implications.

These are of course external problems of high level decision making and minor changes in governmental structure will not cause them to disappear. Nor are they in any sense unique to clandestine operations conducted by this Agency. Whenever something like the Cuban situation arises, what seem to the operators to be operational decisions will in fact raise policy issues. The issues will be real because they arise out of a real conflict of objectives. The decision making process could be tidier than it usually is and a meticulous written record would minimize recriminations after the fact, but tidiness and a good written record will have little bearing on the substantive wisdom of the decisions themselves. Whether in important matters of this sort any one other than the President himself can resolve the conflict between the requirements for effectiveness of action and acceptability of the political consequences remains to be seen. Perhaps the most useful lesson about Government decision making to be learned from the Cuban case is that one must be prepared for and philosophical about this process.

A third lesson of lesser generality has to do with the covertness or deniability of paramilitary and other large scale operations. An operation can be said to be covert only so long as the knowledge that it is being performed can be restricted to authorized individuals. This is possible if an activity can really be concealed (e.g., photography of a document without the knowledge that the document has been reproduced) or if that part of the activity which is observable by unwitting people can be made to appear to them to be perfectly normal (the black movement of bodies or cargo from place to place through the use of false documentation). Unfortunately, a good many large projects including notably most paramilitary operations cannot be covert in this sense. Journalists and other unwitting people are almost certain to learn that something untoward is afoot. The only aspect in which such operations can be kept clandestine is by successfully concealing the part played by the U.S. Government.

It is a necessary condition for the preservation of such deniability that no unwitting individual acquire hard evidence of Governmental participation but this is by no means a sufficient condition. If it comes to be widely believed even in the absence of hard evidence that the U.S. Government is assisting or participating in an illegal activity, then a considerable part of the benefit that accrued from deniability has already been lost. After all, the effect on public opinion depends on what is believed by that part of the public with which the policy makers are for the moment concerned. There may still remain, however, a benefit to be derived from deniability after the public has decided that the denials are false because the Government can still maintain a formally "correct" posture. The Soviets frequently derive advantage from this limited official deniability. As a rule, however, the advantages that accrue to a Western Government, with a lively and at least partly hostile press and with statesmen who shrink from the utterances of flat untruths, are limited.

The lesson suggested by these remarks is that in future clandestine operations of any size, it behooves all concerned to assess realistically the degree to which the operation is, and is likely to remain, clandestine. If the very scale of the activities makes it impossible to conceal them, can they be made to appear to suspicious journalists and others to be perfectly normal? If it is becoming apparent that something newsworthy is going on, can suspicion of Government involvement be kept to an acceptably low key? Or is the only option that remains open that of firm, repeated, public official disclaimer of a responsibility which will generally be attributed to the Government anyway? A corollary is that the advantages of whatever degree of deniability that remains feasible should not be overestimated. With hindsight, the U.S. did not buy very much political advantage with all the restraints imposed on air activity in the Cuban operation. Had it been decided even ten days before the invasion that responsibility for the operation would be unanimously attributed to the U.S. and that only official deniability could be preserved, consideration might have been given to recognizing the Cuban Revolutionary Council as a government in exile and allowing it to make as many and as powerful air strikes as it could. Another possibility might have been to use U.S. aircraft for a night strike. No one proposed either course of action at the time. They are mentioned here as theoretical possibilities only to illustrate the kind of conclusion that might have flowed from a more realistic assessment of the achievable degree of covertness and of the benefits to be obtained by maintaining only that limited degree of covertness.

There may be a fourth lesson to be drawn with respect to the assessment of the chances of success of any inherently risky operation. As stated above, a conclusion of this paper is that the assessment may have been faulty. Generally, this has been attributed, both in the Survey and elsewhere, to the circumstance that those responsible for conducting the operation were doing the appraising and exhibited a predictable bias. But this diagnosis ignores the role of the JCS who were directed by the President to review the prospects for the operation: principally so that there would be an independent and professionally competent judgment. It is also true that in judging the temper of the Cuban people, principal reliance was placed on a National Estimate. Nevertheless, it is probably true that the views of men deeply involved in the operation received too much weight in the assessment of the probably outcome, though it is far from clear where and how additional skeptics could have been introduced into the process of judgment without simply adding to the confusion. The only clear lesson is that policy makers should not make mistakes, which is scarcely helpful.

Finally, there are various lessons to be drawn with respect to Agency organization, procedures, and resources. No attempt will be made here to elaborate them, partly because to do so would require rather detailed exposition and partly because these are not among the really important lessons. It must be repeated still again that errors of execution did not have much to do with the failure and it must be emphasized that ways were found of bringing to bear on the conduct of the operation professional talent of a high order, especially in the military field. The mistakes were mainly those of judgment which a different organization would not have forestalled.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:45 am


The Survey quite accurately refers to changes in the "military" plan which occurred on a number of occasions prior to the adoption of the final plan (i.e., the Zapata plan). The final plan, however, is the only one here considered except that earlier plans will be discussed to the extent that they are relevant to it.

As described by the Survey, the attack involved about 1500 "combat-trained and heavily armed soldiers" in an "overt assault-type amphibious landing" (page 46, para. 4) on certain beaches on the Zapata Peninsula on the south coast of Cuba. The troops have been moved by air on three successive nights from a Guatemalan training camp to the staging area in Nicaragua where they embarked on ships which had been pre-loaded at New Orleans.

"The ships had moved on separate courses from Nicaragua, under unobtrusive Navy escort, to the rendezvous 40 miles offshore in order to avoid the appearance of a convoy. From there they had moved in column under cover of darkness to a point 5000 yards from the landing area, where they met the Navy LSD. These complicated movements were apparently accomplished in a secure manner and without alerting the enemy." (Page 29, para. 87).

The intention was to seize a "coastal strip about 40 miles long, separated from the interior by an impassable swamp penetrated only by three roads from the north and flanked by a coastal road from the east." (Page 30, para. 89).

The landing which occurred during the night of April 16-17 was substantially unopposed. In addition, shortly after daylight an "airborne infantry company was successfully parachuted from C-46 aircraft to four of the five scheduled drop zones where its elements were given the mission of sealing off approach roads." (Page 30, para. 91).

Air support prior to the landing was given by raids by eight B-26's on three Cuban airfields on 15 April and "destruction of half of Castro's air force was estimated on the basis of good post-strike photography." (Page 27, para. 81). Air strikes planned for dawn on 17 April in order to knock out the rest of the Cuban air force were "called off ... late on 16 April." (Page 28, para. 83).

Early morning enemy air attacks on 17 April resulted in sinking a supply ship and beaching a transport as well as damage to an LCI. (Page 30, para. 92). Ground attacks by Cuban militia occurred during the day of 17 April. "While ammunition lasted, these attacks were beaten off with heavy enemy casualties, and several of Castro's tanks were halted or destroyed by ground or friendly air action. On the morning of 18 April, the Red Beach Force, nearly out of ammunition, retired in good order to Blue Beach without being pressed by the evening." (Page 31, para. 94).

Adequate resupply (whether by sea or air) became increasingly difficult and finally impossible due to enemy air action (page 31, para. 96) with the inevitable collapse resulting. The Survey, referring to air support attempted for the Brigade on 16 and 19 April:

"In spite of this air action, however, and in spite of a reported 1800 casualties suffered by the Castro forces, the Brigade's ability to resist depended in the last resort on resupply of ammunition, which had no become impossible." (Page 32, para. 98).

/NB: No mention has been made of a separate landing planned for D-2 at a point 30 miles east of Guantanamo. Nino Diaz, who had a following in Oriente Province, was to land with 170 men with the idea of starting a fairly large scale diversion by drawing to him his followers and the resistance known to exist in Oriente. Although the Diaz group put to sea and reached its Cuban landing area on schedule, it never in fact landed due to a number of factors beyond U.S. control. Since the group played no role, no further discussion seems warranted.

/NB: By letter, dated 22 April 1961, the President charged General Maxwell D. Taylor with the responsibility of investigating among other things the Cuban operation and of reporting the lessons to be learned therefrom. General Taylor, in association with Attorney General Kennedy, Admiral Burke and Mr. Allen Dulles (known as the Cuban Study Group) immediately held continuous hearings receiving testimony from all possible informed witnesses including a number of individuals who had been on the Zapata beachhead. General Taylor filed no written report but gave the President an interim oral report on 16 May 1961 and wrote the President on 13 June 1961 that he was ready to make his final report orally, which he did thereafter. The oral reports were supported by four memoranda which are here referred to as they provide a far more complete review of all aspects of the military portion of the operation than given above or in the Survey. Brief references to certain of these memoranda are made hereafter.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:46 am


The answer is based on a number of factors. First, it became clear through the summer of 1960 that Castro was more firmly settled as Chief of State than had originally been hoped. Moreover, it became apparent that he was receiving and would continue to receive significant support from the Soviet Bloc (including the Chinese) economically, in military materiel, and in much needed advisers, e.g., military, internal security, positive intelligence, and communications (to name the main fields). Thus it was recognized that it was becoming more and more difficult to organize and maintain internal opposition, and, moreover, it was daily becoming more apparent that forceful evidence of outside support was needed to cause the internal opposition to show its hand.

During the summer and fall of 1960, some guerrilla resistance continued in the Escambray Mountains and in some of the provinces. Although poorly fed and equipped, this resistance was respected by the militia which despite vast superiorities in number would not engage the resistance in direct combat. Rather, the militia surrounded resistance pockets, staying on the main roads away from the hills; kept food and supplies out of resistance areas, and captured the guerrillas when they came out of the hills singly or in small numbers seeking food or other aid. Nevertheless, until the morale of the militia could be shaken, it seemed clear that, due to its vast superiority in numbers, it could continue at least to contain the resistance. Moreover, it became evident through the fall and early winter that the outside force to be successful needed to be self-sustaining since small bands or elements would, due to numerical inferiority in all likelihood, be cut off, surrounded and overwhelmed or rendered harmless by the militia.

In addition, difficulties of supplying the opposition soon became apparent. Air drops were rarely successful which is not an unusual operational experience. Under much simpler conditions approximately the first 12 or 13 drops in support of Castillo Armas were wholly unsuccessful in Guatemala. Thereafter, slight improvement occurred but mainly due to the fact that the drops were made in daylight and directed to terrain held by the invaders who were in open conflict and not in hiding. Even in France during WWII at a time when experienced pilots were dropping to experienced reception committees in vastly more favorable terrain than available in most of the attempted Cuban drops the rule of thumb was that only 50% success should be expected. At any rate the lack of success by air and the difficulty of distributing within Cuba the substantial amount of materiel landed by boat (plus, of course, the restrictions imposed by the constantly increasing and improving, internal security) made it clear that no internal resistance buildup could achieve adequate size to eliminate the regime without substantial outside support.

As early as November, therefore, the Government decided to continue to aid the internal resistance as much as possible but to begin to plan for the introduction into Cuba of a trained force from the outside. Unquestionably, Castillo Armas in Guatemala was an analogy and precedent. Over the period from November until April the possibility -- indeed the probability -- of a military type invasion was continuously a generally approved part of the concept. In addition, by common consent of all involved, the size of the Brigade was increased bit by bit until the final 1500 total was reached. (Page 65, para. 54). There was no magic in any particular number. Nevertheless, factors such as features and size of terrain to be attacked desired fire power and logistics were carefully weighed by officers experienced in guerrilla and special force actions with the result that a minimum basic force of 750 was decided in December 1960 to be the proper size for the requirements. Thereafter, the increase was undertaken to provide extra strength on the simple theory that as long as flexibility was retained more men and guns would inevitably be useful.

Although the decisions involving size and use of the Brigade were in general based on its employment as a single force, the possibility of piecemeal use through infiltrations in small groups was seriously studied. Obvious political advantages would have been gained with such use rather than the larger "invasion" type landing. Nevertheless, the considered military judgment (i.e., of both Agency and JCS staff and military officers) was that small groups would not be able to prevent the large numbers of militia from either isolating or gradually eliminating them. Moreover, it was felt that the state of the internal opposition was such that they would not respond aggressively to the undramatic and, at best, slow impact of small bands of this sort. Consequently, such a plan could only result in a wasting of assets and a failure to use effectively the trained manpower of the Brigade. The military-type concept of introducing the entire Brigade into Cuba as a single force, therefore, emerged as the most feasible possibility.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:46 am


In order to place the Agency's role in the proper perspective and to indicate the general participation of the Executive Department, it is essential to examine the planning process that was involved. The Survey is highly critical of this aspect but it should be noted that the Survey is particularly incomplete in the discussions of decision-making and planning.

Regarding the planning process, for example, the Survey comments that in January 1961 "the Agency was driving forward without knowing precisely where it was going." (Page 30, para. 13). What is meant is unclear, particularly as in the next paragraph the Survey states:

"At this meeting (28 January 1961) there was a presentation, largely oral, of the status of the operation, and President Kennedy approved their continuation." (Page 50, para. 14).

In the same connection, the Survey states that at the end of November 1960, the Agency presented a revised plan to President Eisenhower and his advisors and "President Eisenhower orally directed the Agency to go ahead with its preparations with all speed." (Page 48, para. 8).

Some direction, therefore, was visible to two Presidents even though no definitive decisions were made until the very last minute. The fact, however, that the Survey could make such a statement and at the same time include only the barest facts suggests a lack of understanding of the decision-making process.

The Special Group prior to 20 January 1961 (Messrs. Dulles; Gray; Herter until appointed Secretary, then Merchant; Douglas, with Irwin sitting for him on occasion) reviewed the entire situation on numerous occasions and considered special issue on others. Cuban discussion in the Special Gruop started in 1959 when concerns about the political situation and the undesirability of Castro were aired. Covert actions (e.g., radio broadcasting, economic actions, possible sabotage) were discussed at several meetings in January, February and March 1960 including the examination of a detailed "General Covert Action Plan for Cuba" on 14 March 1960. This plan was approved by the Special Group, then partially rewritten and finally approved by President Eisenhower on 17 March 1960. (Page 46, para. 3., and the Survey's Annex A).

Between mid-March and 20 January 1961, the Special Group had discussions of Cuba at 37 meetings, of which at least 8 to 10 in the period during and following November 1960 were detailed discussions. Gordon Gray, as the President's representative on the Special Group, reported to the President regularly on such Special Group activities. Moreover, at a general briefing on the project at the Special Group meeting of 8 December 1960, Assistant Secretary Mann and Mr. Joseph Scott of State also attended as did General Lansdale from Defense. In addition, C/WH regularly held weekly meetings with the Assistant Secretary of State at which Cuba was often discussed; liaison with Mr. Scott's office in State by A/DDP/A and others was almost on a daily basis on Cuba alone; and members of WH/4 also had substantially daily contact (on Cuba) with General Erskine's office in Defense (General Lansdale, the Deputy) regarding Defense support and details of the preparation for the possible "invasion."

President Eisenhower, in addition to the 29 November 1960 meeting referred to in the Survey, held a further detailed meeting on 3 January 1961 so that with these plus the reports which he received from Mr. Gray and others he was personally familiar with the status of the project at the time he left office.

Also as the result of an understanding first worked out with General Bonesteel of the JCS and later adopted by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of defense and the DCI, a Task Force (or committee) was created chaired by Ambassador Willauer with representatives of State (Assistant Secretary Mann and his deputy, Mr. Coerr); JCS (General Gray and other military members of his staff); and CIA (A/DDP/A and C/WH/4 or when absent, his deputy). Later William Bundy of Assistant Secretary of Defense Nitze's office joined the Task Force. The Task Force was responsible for examining the project with a view to determining what action should be considered which were either no covered by existing plans or necessary to support existing plans. Ambassador Willauer reported to the Special Group at its meetings of 12 and 19 January 1961.

The work of this Task Force resulted in the creation of a special JCS team headed by General Gray (discussed below) to review military planning and a committee to keep track of non-military aspects of planning consisting of Defense (General Gray), State (Mr. Braddock, last Charge in Havana prior to the break in relations) and CIA (A/DDP/A). This latter committee met regularly from about mid-February and prepared a list of tasks to be discharged by the Agency and each Department. This paper was approved by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and the DCI and was used as a check list. A copy is attached as Annex A. As noted, it contained no reference to the military or Brigade action.

The new Administration was brought into the picture as soon as possible. President Kennedy was given a general briefing by the DCI and the DD/P on 18 November 1960 and Secretary of State Rusk was briefed by the DCI prior to inauguration on 17 January 1961. Rusk was again briefed on 22 January by the DCI and the DD/P in a group including the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General.

Thereafter, there were a number of meetings with the President at which the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the JCS, the Attorney General, the DCI were present. In addition, Messrs. McGeorge Bundy and Schlesinger from the White House Staff; Berle and Mann from State; Nitze and William Bundy from Defense; General Gray from the JCS; and the DD/P were present. Such meetings were held on:

28 January
17 February
14 March (smaller meeting)
15 March
4 April
12 April

(Special communications regarding action under the Plan were also held with the President on 14 and 16 April via McGeorge Bundy and the Secretary of State).

In addition to the foregoing, the President on 7 March met with the Ambassador from Guatemala to the U.S. and the Ambassador's brother, a special emissary from President Ydigoras, who presented President Ydigoras' views. Numerous meetings also were held with Messrs. McGeorge Bundy, Berle and Mann, and Mr. Berle met with Miro Cardona, President of the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Also in the second week in April due to attacks in the UN by Foreign Minister Roa of Cuba and stories in the press, mainly the New York Times, a substantial amount of time had to be spent with the State Department preparing material for use by the USUN delegation including a briefing of Ambassador Stevenson. It is fair to say, therefore, that the senior members of the Administration were personally and intimately familiar with the status of the project and the issues and problems involved.

On the military side, General Lemnitzer with the approval of the Secretary of Defense designated General Gray of the JCS on 4 January 1961 as the chief military liaison for the project. General Gray, thereafter, became closely associated with the military planning. From 31 January to 6 February a complete, detailed review of the operations plan was made by General Gray and a team of officers. This involved a thorough briefing by Esterline, Chief/WH/4 and Colonel Hawkins, Chief/WH/4/PM, and officers of their staffs plus several days of study by the JCS team. The Trinidad plan was the one reviewed on this occasion. During the review a memorandum was prepared by the team, approved by the JCS, and sent to the Secretary of Defense, Subject: Military Evaluation of the CIA Para-Military Plan, Cuba).

This memorandum reached a favorable assessment of the plan. It stated, however, that it was unable to evaluate the combat capabilities of the Cuban Brigade and Air Force except on the testimony of others since the Team had not seen these themselves. As a result, a team of 3 officers, a Special Forces Colonel, a Marine Colonel, and an Air Force Colonel, were selected by General Gray from among the officers briefed and sent to Guatemala from 25 through 27 February to examine the air and ground forces personally. A subsequent report to the Secretary of Defense confirmed their finding that the forces were capable (JCS Memo 146-61 of 10 March 1961, to Secretary of Defense; Subject: Evaluation of CIA Cuban Volunteer Task Force). This latter report recommended that an instructor "experienced in operational logistics" be assigned to the training unit "immediately for the final phase of training." A Marine Colonel with these qualifications was so assigned.

Thereafter, General Gray and his team were intimately connected with all plans and moves of Colonel Hawkins' PM Section. IN fact, it would not be inaccurate to say that General Gray and his team were the equivalent of a full partner of the Agency in this phase from mid-February 1961 until 17 April. (This did not, of course, affect the primary CIA responsibility). During this period General Gray briefed General Lemnitzer at frequent intervals and also briefed the JCS at formal JCS meetings.

When DD/P headquarters elements went on 24-hour duty on 13 April 1961, General Gray's staff did likewise and assigned a full time liaison officer to sit with Colonel Hawkins' section in order to be able to brief General Gray fully each day. General Gray, in turn, briefed General Lemnitzer.

The Trinidad Plan was always the plan preferred by the military, i.e., the JCS, General Gray and Colonel Hawkins and his staff. It was, however, considered unacceptable in certain aspects for political reasons so that on or about 11 March 1961. President Kennedy decided that it should not be executed. A further study of the entire Cuban shore line was then conducted by CIA, mainly WH/4, from 13 through 15 March. As indicated in the Survey, this study resulted in a shift from Trinidad to Zapata. Two alternate concepts were sketched out but the Zapata area concept was the only one which met the political requirements and provided a reasonable chance of success. This concept was fully described to General Gray and his team and passed on by the JCS as the best alternate to the Trinidad plan (JCS Memo 166-61 of 15 March 1961 to Secretary of Defense; Subject: Evaluation of Military Aspects of Alternate Concepts of CIA Para-Military Plan, Cuba.) The covering memorandum from General Lemnitzer as Chairman of the JCS states in part:

"3. The conclusions of the evaluation of the military aspects of the three alternative concepts are as follows:


"c. Alternative III" (substantially the final Zapata Plan) "has all the prerequisites necessary to successfully establish the Cuban Voluntary Task Force, including air elements, in the objective area and sustain itself with outside logistic support for several weeks; however, inaccessibility of the area may limit the support from the Cuban populace.

"4. It is recommended that:

"a. the Secretary of Defense support the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as expressed in the above conclusions."

After 15 March, the JCS reviewed the Zapata plan as a body four times. The final plan was reviewed by individual Chiefs since it was only presented to the JCS on 15 April which was too late for its review by the JCS as a body.

The only reference in the Survey to JCS participation states that "members of the JCS" have stated "in the course of another inquiry (1) that the final plan was presented to them only orally, which prevented normal staffing; (2) that they regarded the operation as being solely CIA's with the military called in to furnish various types of support and the chief interest of the JCS being to see to it that every kind of support requested was furnished; (3) that they went on the assumption that full air support would be furnished and control of the air secured and on the Agency's assurances that a great number of insurgents would immediately join forces with the invasion forces; and (4) that, in the event the battle went against them, the Brigade would at once 'go guerrilla' and take to the hills."

Neither the "members of the JCS" nor the other "inquiry" are identified nor is there any citation supporting the alleged testimony. Being unable, therefore, to locate the full text from which the quotation was taken, it is not possible to analyze or clarify the points made. Presumably the "inquiry" referred to was that conducted by General Taylor although no verbatim minutes were kept. At least no transcript or full report of these hearings is available to the writer. In response, therefore, it can only be repeated that the JCS, as indicated, did review the Zapata plan and continued to be closely associated through their representatives and briefings with all actions taken thereon.

It is quite clear from the four memoranda supporting General Taylor's oral report mentioned above that the Cuban Study Group considered the operation to be one by the United States, not by the Agency, even though the Agency was the Executive Agent. Memorandum No. 2., entitled "Immediate Causes of Failure of Operation Zapata", says on this point:

"The Executive Branch of the Government was not organizationally prepared to cope with this kind of paramilitary operation. There was no single authority short of the President capable of coordinating the action so CIA, State, Defense and USIA." (Memorandum No. 2., Para. II, page 4).

As far as the concurrence of the JCS is concerned, Memorandum No. 3, entitled "Conclusions of the Cuban Study Group," concluded:

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff had the important responsibility of examining into the history of the operation. By acquiescing in the Zapata plan, they gave the impression to others of approving it ..." (Memorandum No. 3, para. 1.h., page 3).
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:50 am


23 March 1961


MEMORANDUM FOR: Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
Director of Central Intelligence Agency

SUBJECT: Tasks, Para-Military Plan, Cuba

1. The Working Group assigned to work out the detailed tasks for the planning and conduct of the CIA Para-Military Plan, Cuba, and act as members of a Central Office for the operation, has agreed upon the tasks to be accomplished by the representatives of your respective departments and agency. The tasks are set forth for three phases: Pre-D-Day Phase; D-Day and Post-D-Day Phase until Recognition; and Post-Recognition Phase.

2. The tasks for the Pre-D-Day Phase are set forth in Enclosure A hereto.

3. The tasks for the D-Day and Post-D-Day Phase until Recognition are set forth in Enclosure B hereto.

4. The tasks for the Post-Recognition Phase are set forth in Enclosure C hereto.

5. The proposed time schedule for the Pre-D-Day Phase is attached as Enclosure D hereto.

Department of State Representative
Department of Defense Representative
CIA Representative

Atts: Encls. A-D as stated


1. Department of State representatives will:

a. Prepare White Paper for Presidential approval.

b. Provide assistance to Mr. Schlesinger in preparation of material for Presidential statements.

c. Provide Working Group with Policy Statement as to what "recognition" really means.

d. Determine action, if any, to be taken regarding disclosures to Latin American countries - e.g.,

(1) Guatemala

(2) Nicaragua

and other countries, e.g.,

(1) United Kingdom

(2) France

e. Provide policy guidance for all aspects of the development of the Free Cuba Government.

f. Prepare plans for overt moral and other possible nonmilitary support prior to recognition of the Free Cuba Government of the objectives of the Cuban Volunteer Force and of the Revolutionary Council, including possible action in the United Nations or in the Organization of American States.

g. Prepare plans for overt moral and other possible nonmilitary support of the objectives of the Free Cuba Government when established.

h. Provide policy guidance to USIA to support this plan.

i. Prepare plans for Post-D-Day actions.

2. Department of Defense representatives will:

a. Continue to provide training and logistic support to the Cuban Volunteer Force as requested by CIA.

b. Prepare logistics plans for arms, ammunition, and equipment support beyond the capabilities of the initial CIA logistics support.

c. Prepare plans for provision of support from operational forces as required.

d. Prepare letter of instruction to the Services, CINCLANT and CONAD for support of this operation.

e. Keep CINCLANT planners informed.

3. CIA representatives will:

a. Establish a Central Office from which Executive Department and Agency representatives will coordinate planning and conduct operations.

b. Continue to supply guerrilla forces in Cuba as feasible and required.

c. Assist in the organization of a Free Cuba Government.

d. Conduct an interrogation of two or three members of the Cuban Volunteer Force to determine full extent of their knowledge of actual facts and provide information to the President as soon as possible.

e. Finalize detailed plans for the employment of the Volunteer Force in Cuba and follow up plans. Execute these plans on order.

f. Continue to recruit, train and equip the Cuban Volunteer Force.

g. Prepare detailed plans for establishing contact with the internal opposition, establishing such control, coordination and support of this opposition as may be desirable and feasible.

h. Exert effort to arrange defection of key Cuban personnel. (N.B: The defection of the military commander of the Isle of Pines, or at least officers who could control the Isle, would be particularly desirable.)

i. Continue detailed intelligence collection on Castro activities throughout Latin America particularly his efforts to export revolution.

j. Support the preparation of a White paper to be issued by the Free Cuba Government.

k. Review cover plans.

l. Coordinate with DOD representatives logistic follow-up support requirements.

m. Review and implement a pre-D-Day psychological warfare plan.

n. Review Psychological Warfare Plan for D-Day and Post-D-Day Phase.

o. Intensify UW activities in Cuba.

p. Prepare contingency plan for the disposition, if necessary, of the Cuban Volunteer Force.

q. Prepare final briefing on entire operation.


1. Department of State representatives will:

a. Take such steps as may be feasible for the protection of U.S. citizens in Cuba.

b. Execute plans for support of the Revolutionary Council or Free Cuba Government in the United Nations or Organization of American States and to counter communist and/or Castro charges in the United Nations or Organization of American States, as appropriate.

c. Lend support to the objectives and actions of the Cuban Volunteer Force and the Free Cuba Government.

d. Revise plans as necessary for support of the Free Cuba Government.

e. Recognize Free Cuba Government as appropriate.

2. Department of Defense representatives will:

a. Provide follow-up logistic support as requested by CIA and/or in accordance with logistics plan.

b. Provide support from operational forces as directed.

c. Prepare detailed plans to support the U.S. aid plan for the Free Cuba Government for implementation when overt support is given.

d. Coordinate support by DOD agencies and commands.

3. CIA representatives will:

a. Execute and support over-all paramilitary plan.

b. Inform DOD representatives of logistics requirements.

c. Continue execution of psychological warfare plan.

d. Be responsible for the continuous operation of the Central Office and present briefings of the situation as required or directed.

e. Introduce representatives of the Revolutionary Council and of the Free Cuba Government into Cuba at an appropriate time.


The Departments and the Agency will prepare, coordinate and execute, as appropriate, such contingency plans as may be required and will, moreover, plan for the resumption of their regularly assigned functions in relation to the new Cuban government.


1. D-14

a. Department of State Representatives:

(1) Complete White Paper for Presidential approval.

(2) Provide policy guidance for all aspects of the Free Cuba Government (continuous).

b. Department of Defense Representatives:

(1) Continue to provide training and logistic support to the Cuban Volunteer Force as requested by CIA.

c. CIA Representatives:

(1) Establish a Central Office.

(2) Continue to supply guerrilla forces in Cuba as feasible and required (continuous).

(3) Assist in organization of Free Cuba Government.

(4) Continue to train and equip the Cuban Volunteer Force.

(5) Coordinate with DOD representatives logistic follow-up support requirements (continuous).

(6) Intensify UW activities in Cuba.

2. D-11

a. Department of State Representatives:

(1) Provide assistance to Mr. Schlesinger in preparation of material for Presidential statements (continuous).

(2) Complete plans for overt moral and other possible non-military support of the objectives of the Free Cuba Government when established.

3. D-10

a. DOD Representatives:

(1) Complete letter of instruction to the Services, CINCLANT and CONAD for support of this operation.

4. D-9

a. Department of State Representatives:

(1) Provide Working Group with Policy Statement as to what "recognition" really means.

(2) Have approved policy position regarding action, if any, to be taken regarding disclosures to foreign countries.

(3) Complete plans for overt moral and other possible nonmilitary support prior to recognition of the Free Cuba Government of the objectives of the Cuban Volunteer Force and of the Revolutionary Council, etc.

(4) Complete plans for Post-D-Day actions.

b. DOD Representatives:

(1) Complete logistics plans for DOD follow-up support.

c. CIA Representatives:

(1) Finalize detailed plans for the employment of the Cuban Volunteer Force.

(2) Complete detailed plans for establishing contact with the internal opposition and for establishing such control, coordination and support of this opposition as may be desirable and feasible.

(3) Initiate effort to arrange defection of key Cuban personnel.

(4) Complete review and implement a pre-D-Day psychological Warfare Plan for D-Day and post-D-Day phase.

(5) Complete review of Psychological Warfare Plan for D-Day and post-D-Day phase.

5. D-8

a. CIA Representatives:

(1) Complete support of a white paper to be issued by the Free Cuba Government and arrange to have that Government issue same.

6. D-7

a. CIA Representatives:

(1) Complete review of cover plans.

7. D-6

a. CIA Representatives:

(1) Conduct an interrogation of two or three members of the Cuban Volunteer Force to determine full extent of their knowledge of actual facts and provide information to the President as soon as possible.

8. D-5

a. DOD Representatives:

(1) Brief CINCLANT and CONAD planners.

b. CIA Representatives:

(1) Complete contingency plan for the disposition, if necessary, of the Cuban Volunteer Force.

(2) Complete preparation of final briefing on entire operation.

9. D-3

a. Department of State Representatives:

(1) Provide policy guidance to USIA to support this plan.

b. CIA Representatives:

(1) Complete detailed intelligence collection on Castro activities throughout Latin America.

10. D-2

a. DOD Representatives:

(1) Complete plans for provision of support from operational forces as required.

b. CIA Representatives:

(1) Present final briefing on entire operation (if not given prior to this date).
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