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 7:50 am


As stated above one of the considerations raised by the Agency's capability to perform the operation is the question of what it thought the chances of success to be and if, as was the case, these were thought to be good, how reasonable this conclusion was in the light of the known facts. An examination of the adequacy of the military plan is essential to a resolution of this latter point.

Whatever conclusions or inferences may be drawn from the defeat of the Brigade, no one can deny that, in the absence of the planned D-Day dawn air strikes, the operational plan was never tested. Perhaps these air strikes would have had no significant effect but in view of the essentiality of eliminating Castro's air force, it can be asserted that without these air strikes the plan never had a chance. No issue has received more thorough analysis since the failure of the operation than the decision to cancel. Although the Survey fails to tell the full story, it is felt that nothing can be gained from further review. There is no doubt, however, that the informed military view without exception and at all times was that complete control of the air was absolutely vital.

(N.B. The Survey's statement indicating that "two of the President's military advisors, both members of the Joint Chiefs" did not understand this principle is considered inaccurate.)

To the extent that there was a failure to communicate this to the appropriate political levels, blame should be attached. Quite candidly, it is unknown where this failure occurred, if, in fact, it did.

Before analyzing the reasonableness of the view that the D-Day air strikes could have changed the result it is important to examine the basic theory of the operation and what was accomplished, what failed and what was not tested. As to the last the only possible judgments are whether the theory based on existing evidence was sensible. The operational theory in outline was:

a. To destroy the enemy air force. Not tested though partially accomplished.

b. To land the Brigade on the Zapata beachhead achieving surprise. Accomplished successfully.

c. To maintain the Brigade on the beachhead perhaps for several weeks. Not tested.

d. To persuade the Cuban populace (both private individuals and governmental, including military) actively to oppose the regime. It was never expected that this would happen until the populace was convinced that an opposition force supporting democratic leadership receiving outside support was able to maintain itself on Cuban soil. How long this would take was unknown Not tested.

The failure to knock out Castro's airpower (particularly his T-33 jets) was fatal. How reasonable was the assumption that the D-Day strikes would have eliminated this airpower or at least made it non-operational for a period of time?

The best estimates based on all sources, including photography, (later confirmed as substantially accurate) were that prior to D-2 Cuban combat aircraft strength was 36 aircraft, i.e.:

17 B-26's
13 Sea Furies
5 T-33's
1 F-51

All of these were at three airfields -- San Antonio, Libertad, and Antonio Maceo. The in-commission rate was assumed to be 50% (believed to be slightly high) so that presumably 18 combat aircraft were operational at the time of the initial D-2 strikes.

Based on all source reports, including COMINT and photography, the Cubans subsequent to the D-2 strikes were able to launch only 7 aircraft against the beachhead, namely:

2 B-26's
2 Sea Furies
3 T-33's

Photography, of course, cannot determine serviceability but photography of aircraft movements post D-2 were consistent with, and, it is fair to say, confirm the above figures.

In addition, these operational aircraft were concentrated by the Cubans at San Antonio with the possible exception of 1 B-26 at Libertad. With the potent fire power carried by the B-26's flown by the Brigade, and based on the results of the D-2 strikes, the elimination of these seven aircraft could reasonably have been anticipated assuming surprise. Since the landing achieved surprise and since the Cubans had no effective anti-air warning system, surprise would almost certainly have been achieved.

With regard to the ability of the Brigade to maintain itself once ashore (assuming the elimination of hostile aircraft), the theory was that the Zapata area was so difficult of access via only three exposed roads across swamps that a small force could easily defend it against vastly superior forces for "several weeks" as stated by the JCS. Hostile concentrations and artillery would have been almost impossible to conceal from the air due to the terrain and the B-26 fire power would have been devastating against these. This is confirmed by the one actual encounter of B-26's against Cuban tanks. The Brigade's fire power was also heavy and could have prevented passage of any Cuban troops or equipment down to the narrow access roads. As long as the ammunition lasted the Brigade actually succeeded in doing this. Supplies, absent hostile air, could have been landed in large quantities since ships could have been brought in to the beachhead.

The accuracy of this conclusion depends, of course, on technical considerations and must be based on experienced military judgments assessing such matters as the terrain involved; the size and capacity of friendly and opposing weapons involved; and the capacity particularly of the attacking force to maintain logistic support. Such an analysis could again be made but it would seem sufficient to support the reasonableness of the judgment reached in April by reference to the judgments reached by the Agency military planners and supported by the JCS and its staff.

Although it was believed that the Brigade under the assumed conditions could maintain itself on the beachhead almost indefinitely, still for ultimate success internal support was obviously needed. The concept of the plan was as indicated that at some point (not immediately) the existence of the Brigade would be recognized and Castro's quiescent opposition would become active.

As far as internal opposition was concerned, there was essentially general agreement regarding the situation. Such disagreement as has existed has been with respect to the accuracy of the prognosis regarding internal support the Brigade might expect after landing.

The December 1960 U.S. estimate regarding the internal situation was that Castro was firmly in control; that his regime had consolidated its hold; that Cuban internal security was being rapidly built up; that Bloc assistance in the form of military technicians and instructors was about 200; that Cuban pilots and other specialists had been taken overseas by the Bloc for training; that the Cuban Communist Party controlled key positions; and that no one group or combination of the regime's enemies seemed well enough organized or sufficiently strong to offer a serious threat without outside help to Castro's authority (SNIE 85.3-60; Prospects for the Castro Regime).

Essentially the same facts were presented in the pamphlet released in early April by the State Department on Cuba, the facts in which were worked on jointly by all interested departments and agencies, (Department of State publication 7171, Inter-American Series 66, entitled "Cuba", pages 19-25).

Again the same conclusions were stated by the Agency in its presentations. An example is the memorandum, dated 17 February 1961, Annex B of the Survey which sets forth the view on these points consistently presented by the Agency throughout this period and up to 17 April 1961.

What then was the Agency prognosis? The Zapata plan took the view that there was evidence to justify the conclusion that once it could be shown to the Cubans that a Cuban force in opposition to Castro, having Cuban political leaders of political stature and democratic views, was capable of maintaining itself on Cuban soil, there would be substantial defections from the Castro regime in all walks of life, private and governmental.

In December the USIB had estimated that, despite the hold established by Castro and his regime, "Internal resistance to the Castro regime has risen sharply in the last six months."

"The Catholic Church, the only major institution not brought to its knees by the regime, has taken an increasingly firm stand against Castro"

"The middle and professional classes are now for the most part disaffected. Some campesinos are disgruntled, notably over the regime's failure to redistribute large landholdings as it had promised; thus far only token allotments have been made."

"A number of anti-Castro guerrilla groups are operating in the Sierra Escambray area and in Oriente Province, but the regime has demonstrated its ability to contain these bands."

"Within the Army, Navy, and Air Force, there probably remains a measure of dissidence and probably considerable resentment at the regime's decided preference for the civilian militia, but this may decline as more Bloc equipment is made available to them."

(The above quotations are all from SNIE 85-3-60, page 5).

The militia numbering at least 200,000 was estimated to have been drawn largely from the lower income peasants and urban workers.

"Thus far, the militia's overall combat efficiency is low; many units are still on a part time training basis. However, a basic cadre of well organized well equipped, and trained units is emerging and on a number of occasions the militia has been used effectively to control mobs and to perform other security duties."

"The regular forces are still disrupted as a result of successive purges, and rehabilitation has been delayed by the employment of substantial army and navy detachments in construction and other public works. At present, the combat effectiveness of the air force is virtually nil, that of the navy poor, and that of the army at best fair, although it probably now exceeds that of all but the best militia units."

(Above quotes from SNIE 85-3-60, pages 304. For similar conclusions approved by the USIB on 7 February 1961, see "A report prepared by an Ad Hoc Committee of the USIB." OCI No. 0592/61-C, Part I, para. 6, page 3, and Part I, para. 8, page 4.)

Further evidence of the instability of the Castro regime was apparent in the constantly growing list of individuals once close to Castro who were defecting from him. Many of these were referred to in the State Department pamphlet referred to above. Some significant examples (and only examples) are:

Dr. Jose Miro Cardona, once Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government.

Dr. Manuel Urrutia y Lleo, hero of the Revolution. Provisional President of the Revolutionary Government. Under house arrest after being forced to resign.

Manuel Ray Rivero, organized anti-Batista underground in Havana. Castro's Minister of Public Works.

Humberto Sori Marin, Castro's first Minister of Agriculture.

Major Huber Matos Benitez, hero of Sierra Maestra, revolutionary commandante of Camaguey Province, then thrown in jail.

Manuel Artime, Sierra Maestra hero.

Nino Diaz, Sierra Maestra hero.

Justo Carrillo, Sierra Maestra hero.

Raul Chibas, fund raiser for the Revolution and fought with Castro in the hills.

Felippe Pazos, represented the 26th of July on the Junta of Liberation. and was appointed by Castro as President of the National Bank of Cuba.

Pedro Diaz Lanz, chief of the Cuban air force and Castro's personal pilot.

David Salvador, labor leader, "anti-Yanqui" pro-Castro secretary general of the Cuban trade union federation. Castro intervened on the Communist side against Salvador's free labor movement and jailed Salvador.

Miguel Angel Quevedo, editor of Bohemia.

Luis Conte Aguero, radio and television commentator.

Jose Pardo Llada, radio official famous for attacks against U. S. on Castro's behalf.

Further available evidence supporting the conclusion that internal support would be forthcoming if an effective internal opposition force could be established was:

a. Many requests for aid during the period 22 March to 17 April were received through Agency communications channels, some of which are noted in the Survey at pages 108-109. The issue discussed by the Survey as to why aid was not given is not here involved. The messages, however, do emphasize the number of groups anxious to engage in active opposition. For example, between 22 March and 17 April there were 15 unfulfilled drop requests in support of a claimed total of 5,000 men. Even after the landing between 17 and 22 April seven groups totaling about 3,350 men begged for support in order to fight. These groups were in Oriente (2,500 men); Camaguey (two groups totaling 400 men); Las Villas (three groups totaling 400 men); and Pinar del Rio (50 men).

b. Manuel Ray Rivero, the organizer of the anti-Batista underground and a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Council took the view that the internal resistance was so strong that Castro could be overthrown without an "invasion" from the outside. His view was not officially accepted but represented the informed view of an individual experienced in this field regarding the opposition potential. The disagreement with his conclusion had to do with what action was necessary to persuade the opposition to rebel. not as to its existence.

c. Sabotage from October 1960 to April 1961 was evidence of internal opposition activists even though aside from psychological benefits to the opposition, the sabotage caused insignificant damage in and of itself to the regime. Examples were:

1) Approximately 300, 000 tons of sugar cane destroyed in 800 different fires.

2) Approximately 150 other fires, including the burning of 42 tobacco warehouses, two paper plants, 1 sugar refinery, two dairies, four stores, twenty-one Communist homes.

3) Approximately 110 bombings, including Communist Party offices, Havana power station, two stores, railroad terminal, bus terminal, militia barracks, railroad train.

4) Approximately 200 nuisance bombs in Havana Province.

5) Derailment of six trains, destruction of microwave cable and station, and destruction of numerous power transformers.

d. The view of many of the Brigade who had been members of the militia which confirmed the official estimate mentioned above, i.e., that only a small percentage of the militia would fight against a resolute opposition with strong fire power. This hard core was considered to number 5,000 - 8,000 at the most. The Army was considered to have been too disrupted to fight.

e. Students and their professors were in revolt, e. g., two thirds of the faculty of the University of the Oriente in December 1960 openly condemned Castro in a public statement. Other students were actively engaged in acts of disruption and subversion working with groups supported by the Agency.

f. Labor was in opposition. Not only was David Salvador in jail as indicated above, but open acts of opposition occurred, e.g. the electrical workers in December 1960 marched from union headquarters in Havana to the Presidential Palace to protest reductions, while on 18 January 1961 workers I wives were attacked by Castro's strong arm squads for demonstrating against the execution of workers (as "traitors") alleged to have sabotaged the Havana power plant.

Since the issue of what the internal reaction would have been under the conditions assumed necessary for effective internal support never arose. it is impossible to evaluate the accuracy of the prognosis. It can be said that no one expected an immediate uprising; no advance warning was given to the internal resistance. as a security precaution. to avoid any disclosure of D-Day; ample supplies existed to support uprising had groups showed themselves; communications existed that could have identified areas of resistance (though no communicator was able to join the resistance in the Escambray); no one expected the resistance to join the Brigade on the beach in anything but very small numbers; and it was estimated that the psychological impact of unopposed heavily armed B-26 aircraft flying up and down the island would be significant - an assumption based. of course, on control of the air.

Whatever the correct conclusion, in fact, might have been, the situation was such as to render the judgment (mentioned above) regarding internal support a reasonable one. Surely it was one painfully reached by many informed observers.

Post-invasion planning did exist contrary to the Survey's contention. Some of it has been discussed above. In addition plans for a breakout from the beachhead had been generally worked out recognizing that precise details had to await knowledge of the exact situation. As indicated, the Brigade, it was considered, could maintain itself on the beachhead for a substantial period assuming no hostile air. Consequently, large reserve s of supplies and materiel could have been landed; air attacks against enemy concentrations could have been flown; and an attack following heavy air strikes could have been executed when the time was considered most propitious. Such attack could also have been supported by concurrent air strikes, plus. if desired, the dropping of a small airborne force back of the enemy lines to cause disruption. Similarly, air drops of individuals or teams plus supplies could have been made to any active resistance throughout the island.

A further possibility was overt U.S. support in the form of supplies on the basis that the opposition government (the Cuban Revolutionary Council) would have landed on the beachhead, declared itself as the rightful government of Cuba, and requested and received recognition from the U. S. Such recognition could have been accorded on the theory that Castro ' s regime was a Soviet- dominated dictatorship and, therefore, not representative of or the choice of the Cuban people while the opposition government was democratic, as representative as possible, and offered a program for choice by the Cuban people, if it attained power. Conversely, the Castro regime by its dictatorial actions had removed from the people all methods of effecting a change except forceful overthrow. Such U.S. recognition. it was believed. would justify U.S. materiel support. if not active support to an offensive. It should be emphasize d that U.S. recognition was not considered an essential part of the plan {useful as it would have been} since materiel support could have been provided anyhow.

The planning for failure was, it is believed, all that was possible. If, as happened, the failure occurred before the consolidation of the beachhead, there was little that could be done except an effort to salvage what little was possible. Had the beachhead been established, a number of possibilities were planned, none too satisfactory because a failure of the beachhead was at any time a serious blow. If the Brigade or parts thereof could move together, they were to attempt to reach the Escambray. Assuming some help from the country people. this might well have been feasible. Another possibility was the removal of individuals. conceivably units. by air and sea while teams and materiel could have been airdropped in other parts of Cuba, -if resistance had become apparent.

As to the Agency's capability and the adequacy of the plan, the best answer -- since the military aspects are the sole consideration -- is to refer to the supporting military judgments which were based on full knowledge of the facts. Some evidence of attitudes just prior to D-Day is the message sent by Colonel Hawkins from Puerto Cabezas regarding the desirability of despatching the Brigade. (Attached as Annex A). This message is significant as it received wide circulation at the time in Washington, including the White House, and was accepted as essentially accurate.

The allegation of failure to appraise the chances of success realistically may be accurate but it is submitted that the available facts at least made the judgments reasonable. Moreover, what actually occurred supports these judgments. The Brigade landed with the benefit of surprise; it held its own while ammunition lasted (even though it failed to land some of its firepower); the B-261s when they got a shot at the Cuban tanks demolished them; and the attitude of many of the militia during the early state s of the fight was favorable to the Brigade, including defections by militia men to the Brigade even at this early indecisive moment of the engagement. All serious damage was inflicted by the Cuban 1 s air, essentially the three T-33 jets.

The supporting memoranda to General Taylor's oral report are relevant on these points. Memorandum No.1, in discussing the operation expresses the view in paragraph 75 on page 26 that lithe beachhead could not have survived long without substantial help from the Cuban population or without overt U.S. assistance." Two of the Cuban Study Group (Admiral Burke and Mr. Dulles), however, differed with this statement on the grounds that there was "insufficient evidence to support the conjectures Of this paragraph."

A footnote on their views at the foot of page 75 went on to say:

"The well motivated, aggressive CEF fought extremely well without air cover and with a shortage of ammunition. They inflicted very severe losses on the less well trained Cuban Militia. Consequently, it is reasonable to believe that if the CEF had had ammunition and air cover, they could have held the beachhead for a much longer time, destroyed much of the enemy artillery and tanks on the roads before they reached the beachhead, prevented observation of the fire of the artillery that might have been placed in position and destroyed many more of the local. Militia en route to the area. A local success by the landing party, coupled with CEF aircraft overflying Cuba with visible control of the air, could well have caused a chain reaction of success throughout Cuba with resultant defection of some of the Militia, increasing support from the populace and eventual success of the operation."

Therefore, even in retrospect the Brigade's inability to hold the beachhead for some time was not clear to well- informed individuals who had soaked themselves in all the available evidence. A prospective judgment in favor of success prior to the event would, therefore, seem understandable.

Finally, regarding the question of intelligence failures, the supporting memoranda to General Taylor's oral report state that the effectiveness of the Castro military forces, as well as that of his police measures, was not entirely anticipated or foreseen. Memorandum No. 3, however, setting forth conclusions says:

"Although the intelligence was not perfect, particularly as to the evaluation of the effectiveness of the T-33's, we do not feel that any failure of intelligence contributed significantly to the defeat." (Memorandum No. 3., para. 1.1., page 3).
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:52 am

Section V, Annex A - Cable from C/WH/4/Paramilitary dated 13 April 1961 to CIA Headquarters.

V - Annex A

TIDE 519
(IN 3197)

13 April 1961








*Requested if experiences the last few days had in any way changed Colonel Hawkins's evaluation of the brigade.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:52 am


The Survey reaches the flat conclusion that the project was "badly organized." The reasons given are:

"Command lines and management controls were ineffective and unclear. Senior Staffs of the Agency were not utilized; air support stayed independent of the project; the role of the large forward basis was not clear. II (Para. 6, page 144).

The Survey directs these criticisms exclusively at the Agency structure making essentially no effort to relate Agency organization and managerial problems to the participation in the project by other elements of the Government. Before responding, therefore, it should be stated that we share the views set forth in one of General Taylor' s supporting memoranda and quoted in another section of this paper that lithe Executive Branch of the Government was not organizationally prepared to cope with this kind of a paramilitary operation" and that "there was no single authority short of the President capable of coordinating the actions of CIA, State, Defense, and USIA." In other words, it was a U S. rather than a CIA project.

The real organizational problem. is one of the basic dilemmas of the U. S. Government, namely, how to manage military or quasi-military operations in peacetime -- a dilemma accentuated in those instances involving an effort to maintain clandestinity. Since most of the operational acts involved in paramilitary projects of this nature raise or could, under certain circumstances, raise significant political issues, they normally require high level political clearance prior to being undertaken. Such clearance involves at least the State Department, often the White House, and, due to military implications, the Defense Department plus one or more of the military services. The description in another section of this paper of the extensive participation by and with other elements of the Government indicates that the Cuban project was clearly of this troublesome type.

The Survey's failure to examine or consider these relationships means that most of its criticisms limited as they are to Agency consideration alone, are too localized or provincial to be realistic or fully understandable An analysis will, however. be attempted.

The criticism of command lines is, if properly understood, directed essentially at two major defects, one that the project lacked a single, high-level full time commander possessing stated broad powers and abilities sufficient for carrying out the mission; the other that there was a fragmentation of authority between the project chief, the military chief of the project's Paramilitary Staff and several high level officials, whose wide responsibilities elsewhere in the Agency prevented them from giving the project the attention it required. (Para. 5, page 37).

The DCI allegedly" delegated his responsibility for major project decisions to a considerable extent. II (Para. 4, page 37). The Survey appears to support this statement on two grounds, first that the DCI relied on the DDCI "for policy matters involving air operations" and for "military advice he relied on the military officers detailed to the project." The consequence of this "reliance" according to the Survey was that the DCI was deprived "of completely objective counsel."

"Reliance on", according to normal usage, does not mean the same thing as "delegation of responsibility". Whatever the Survey intends to say in this connection, it is a fact that the DCI never delegated any portion of this responsibility at any moment during the project. Naturally he relied on others for many things (he could hardly run the entire project himself) and he even delegated authority (not responsibility) in some limited respects.

He did, for example, authorize within clearly understood limits the DDCI to approve certain aspects of Cuban overflights for him. It should be noted in this connection that the clearance of overflights resided in the first instance with the Special Group or the White House and was requested through briefings by the DCI or the DCI plus one of his people, normally the DDCI, the DD/P or both. Thereafter, whether or not an overflight was within the terms of the top level approval and was operationally sound was cleared by the DDCI on behalf of and at the direction of the DCI.

The DCI never released the authority regarding over-all air planning recommendations. The word "recommendations" is used because final air plans decisions lay at a higher level outside of the Agency. Before presentation to such outside authority (the Special Group or the White House) these recommendations were first passed on within the Agency by the DCI.

As far as reliance on military officers is concerned, the DCI obviously received briefings which were mainly given by the DD/P but often the DD/P presentation was expanded by statements from C/WH/4 (the Task Force Commander) his Paramilitary Chief or other individuals connected with the project as appropriate.

Both with regard to air and ground, the DCI also insisted upon and received the advice and judgment of air and ground military officers assigned by the Pentagon to study project plans and activities; of the JCS as a body, and of individual members of the JCS. This entire process has been explained elsewhere in this paper and is developed in considerable detail in the supporting memoranda to General Taylor's oral report.

Moreover, the DCI, almost without exception, held three staff meetings a week attended by his senior officials including the DD/P, COPS, and A/DDP/A. When any significant matter relating to Cuba needed approval or clarification, the DCI was briefed after one of these meetings. These briefings and meetings plus continuous telephone communications, plus cable traffic, kept the DCI current on all but the smallest details.

The DD/P is criticized by the Survey for "in fact directing the project, although this was only one of his many responsibilities. It (Para. 1, page 36). Presumably the Survey did not mean to suggest that the DD/P should have given up his other duties to be full time Task Force Commander. Consequently, his alleged fault must have been a failure to make a broad enough delegation of authority.

The Survey defines the limitations on the DD/P delegated authority by stating that C/WH/4 had "to apply constantly for the decision of policy questions and important operational problems" to the DD/P. It is suggested that, except in very unusual or certain "hot war" situations, such reservation of authority is the normal one between any unit commander and his next higher echelon. Moreover, until 17 April 1961 (the landing date) urgencies, although great, were never such as to make this sort of review impossible. Undoubtedly it was irksome to C/WH/4 in the same way that any higher authority is considered a problem to a commander who is anxious to push ahead without hurdles or outside restraint.

Quite apart from these considerations, however, the DD/P, because of the requirement to clear outside of the Agency many issues (including details) as policy questions, had to maintain a close control over the project in order to guard against omissions of such outside clearances and to be in a position to request them through the DCl.

To avoid delays in communications between WH and the DD/P, the A/DDP/A spent substantially full time on the project. His position was thoroughly understood by all involved though a purist chart-maker might have felt some concern as to the proper designation of the job On a chart. A/DDP/A was, in fact, an extension of the DD/P arm. He was .physically located next to the DD/P; saw him constantly; had immediate access to him whenever he was available, and, therefore, knew instinctively what the DD/P reaction to most problems was and would be. Consequently, he could act for him in many instances while at the same time being fully aware of those situations which should be brought to the DD/P for decision. If chart terms are necessary, he was a senior special assistant with a perfectly clear and understood delegation of authority on matters which he could decide for the DD/P. This individual's availability plus the amount of time accorded the project by the DD/P personally meant that the Task Force was able to obtain decisions from the DD/P level rapidly provided that they were in the DD/P's jurisdictional competence. The many decisions already mentioned which required outside clearance had to be obtained either in accordance with regular procedures as in the case of the Special Group or by special arrangement if some other tribunal such as the White House was involved. The DD/P and the A/DDP/A were both positioned effectively with respect to the senior Agency or non-Agency officers involved to be able to arrange on the most expeditious basis possible whatever high level consideration might be required in given situations.

All existing decision-making procedures were, it is believed, well understood or if a new clearance procedure was needed for recurring activities, a special procedure was created. An example is the procedure for clearance of Cuban overflights, dated 24 October 1960, which is attached as Annex A.

The Survey criticized C/WH because he was "in the chain of command" but "only in a partial sense". (Para. 2, page 36). He signed many outgoing cables, supervised staffing activities and attended some of the meetings of the Special Group. "But the DD/P and his deputy dealt directly with the project chief, and gradually the Ghief of WH Division began to play only a diminished role." (Para. 2, page 36). All of this is essentially true (C/WH, however, was not in the chain of command except on certain specified well-understood matters) although the Survey fails to state that C/WH also sat in on substantially all of the DD/P and DCI meetings on the project attended by any WH personnel, and handled many of the policy negotiations with the State Department as well as some of the more difficult special problems with the Cuban political leaders and some other special negotiations, i.e. those involving possible economic sanctions (with the Treasury and some leading U. S. businessmen and lawyers) and those with particular individuals such as William D. Pawley. Also, of course, interrelationships with the many Agency stations throughout the Hemisphere and their activities were supervised by C/WH.

Even in retrospect, this arrangement with C/WH is believed to have been organizationally sound and would again be adopted under similar circumstances. Black and white organizational answers often do not meet the complex interplay of problems in a project involving as many facets as the Cuban one. Granted, each echelon, starting with the DCI, should have one individual in the next lower echelon to hold responsible for all decisions of that echelon but such individual responsibility was quite clearly identifiable in the project.

C/WH could have been the Task Force Commander but the DCI, having discussed the matter with C/WH, decided that, since C/WH could not be the Commander and also run the rest of WH Division, it was preferable for him to do the latter. Nevertheless. C/WH had long and wide experience in the WH area; connections with many Latin Americans as well as Americans with WH associations; intimacy with the WH Division, its personnel and activities, and had been for many years at a policy level in the Agency. Consequently, his advice and reactions were wanted in the Cuban project and he was asked to stay as close to project activities as he could while performing his other duties. The matters listed above were, therefore, covered by C/WH pursuant to this concept. Actually, C/WH had substantially the same relationship to this project as he had to the Guatemalan anti-Arbenz project which worked well. Nothing new, therefore, was involved.

The Chief of the Task Force (i.e. C/WH/4) is not criticized but his superiors are criticized for selecting for this post only a GS-15 at the fourth echelon in the organization of the Agency. With regard to grade, the C/WH/4 was a senior GS-15 or, in other words, the equivalent of a senior full colonel in the Army. More grade could hardly be required for the top operational command job. As to competence and experience for the post. it is felt that he will compare favorably with any officer in the CS.

Perhaps the echelon was too low but this is a matter of judgment. Actually the C/WH/4 was at the third not the fourth echelon. the first being the DCI and the DDCI and the second the DD/P. If the Agency alone is considered, it is believed that the echelon was not too low. If all of the Executive Department elements involved are considered. numerous other factors are introduced which involve so different an organizational concept as to make any relative analysis impossible. This overall organizational problem has been mentioned and is now under Governmental study so that it would seem preferable here to discuss only the internal Agency relationships.

At any rate, C/WH/4 for reasons already discussed was obviously not free to make all decisions on his own whatever the Survey may advocate in this respect. He was, however, very much the Task Force Commander. All elements of WH/4 in and out of Washington responded to his command. The extent to which he had to clear decisions with higher authority has been indicated. It is a matter of judgment whether or not the delegation of authority was adequate but it must be re-emphasized that the judgment of most non-delegated items lay outside of the Agency (i.e., as General Taylor's memorandum said. "there was no single authority short of the President capable of coordinating ..."), and within the Agency (once the problem of non-Agency clearances is recognized and accepted) the powers reserved by the DD/P and the DCI were in keeping with normal relationships between command echelons. Moreover, the DD/P, supplemented by the A/DDP/A, was able to expedite decisions so delay was held down as much as possible. Admittedly, the U.S. organizational structure as a whole was not satisfactory for this type of operation. The Government, as indicated, fully appreciates this and is attempting to find a solution.

The Survey makes another point regarding too many echelons, namely, that lithe top level had to be briefed by briefers who themselves were not doing the day-to-day work." (Para. 5, page 37). This conclusion is another statement of a troublesome problem of senior governmental management in the complex modern world. How can the individuals informed On details communicate to the top policy decision-makers the relevant parts of their knowledge in a timely and fully informative way? In the Cuban project, it can only be said that the top level saw more of the detail people than is usual. The DCI and the DD/P brought C/WH/4 or the project's Paramilitary Chief with them to substantially all the Presidential meetings on Cuba. Moreover, the Chairman of the JCS brought General Gray (and often another member of his team) with him. Detail knowledge was, therefore, represented.

Moreover, of course, briefings at high levels within each interested element were numerous. General Lemnitzer and the Secretary of Defense received daily briefings in the period immediately prior to 17 April. The Assistant Secretary of State (ARA) and the Secretary of State were constantly briefed throughout the project. McGeorge Bundy, Rostow and Schlesinger had almost daily contact with the DD/P or the A/DDP/A. The DCI and the DDCI, of course, also were kept current on details. In view of this and the extensive interdepartmental coordination involved in this project and described in another section, the amount of top level detailed information was unusually complete. Admittedly, however, this does not mean that it was satisfactorily complete on all issues and this is one of the problems involved in the above-mentioned Governmental study on organization for projects of this nature.

Three other Washington Headquarters factors are described as "extraordinary" by the Survey, namely, that:

1) COPS played "only a very minor part in the project". COPS also allegedly "declined to involve himself with the project" although on at leas t two occasions he was given "express warning that the project was being perilously mismanaged";

2) The DD/P Senior Staffs, the Agency's top level technical advisors, "were not consulted fully" but "they allowed themselves to be more or less ignored"; and

3) The Project Review Committee did not review the project. (Para. 6, page 38).

These allegations are so "extraordinary" (to borrow the Survey's word) that it is difficult to accept a serious intent on the part of the Survey's authors. Quite naturally COPS spent little time on the project. The DD/P office was a three-man office, one of whom (A/DDP/A) was spending essentially full-time on the project and another of whom (DD/P) was spending a very substantial part of his time. Consequently, it was only logical, if not essential, that COPS devote his time to the rest of the world as well as to the numerous remaining issues of internal management.

As to the statement about express warnings of perilous mismanagement, it is indeed strange that such a charge should not be identified at least sufficiently to permit some assessment of how responsible the warnings were and of what they consisted. COPS remembers receiving no such warning. Of course, COPS, as well as many other people were told on numerous occasions that some mismanagement as well as other mistakes were occurring in the project. In what project does this not occur, particularly if it is urgent, complex, and disruptive of normal procedures? These "warnings" were given such attention and recognition as the facts in each instance warranted. Actually, the Survey is unclear as to what it believes COPS should have done though the inference is that he should have used the alleged "warnings" as a basis for taking the project away from the DD/P.

The criticism regarding consultation with the Senior Staffs obviously is directed at a failure to obtain available competent advice. Undoubtedly, the Senior Staffs had good officers who could have been helpful. The judgment involved, however, was at what point do you draw the line when you have operational activities to be accomplished. Each of the Senior Staffs assigned officers to work with the project staffs. No Senior Staff officer not so assigned could have been kept sufficiently well-informed without full and constant briefings. In view of the briefing obligations .already in existence, it was decided that additional briefing burdens were unacceptable. Moreover as indicated above, a line had to be drawn and it was felt that sufficient senior personnel were fully involved. The Survey's criticism in this connection is based on a concept of a normal DD/P project rather than an extraordinary one like Cuba. In this connection, it should again be emphasized that participation by other elements of the Government is wholly omitted by the Survey.

The Project Review Committee's (PRC) clearance at the most under PRC procedures would have involved a review of the proposed project in its early stages with a view to determining whether or not it should proceed. The peculiar nature of the Cuban project resulted, as already indicated, in clearances throughout the Government at levels which make it hard to comprehend how the PRC would have affected the process. Moreover, even internally in the Agency, the PRC is only advisory to the DCI and it is doubtful if its normal procedures were intended to apply to this type of project.

The Agency, particularly the DD/P, is criticized for failing to deprive the Development Projects Division (DPD), the Agency's air arm, of its independence by placing it within the organizational structure of the project. The proper organizational positioning of an air commander in relation to the ground commander has long been a matter of argument in the Armed Services. The same difference evidenced itself in the Cuban project with WH-4 favoring the Marine view of complete subordination of air conflicting with the DPD air view advocating a separate command with responsibility to support. This conflict was never fully settled and did cause friction (and probably in a broader sense never will be to the full satisfaction of all the services). It is not felt that it created any more serious difficulties. At any rate, the DD/P dealt with this difference in the only possible practical way in early October 1960. On 5 October the Paramilitary Chief sent a study through C/WH to DD/P expressing at length his views on the command relationships for air operations. On 12 October 1960, the DD/P wrote an answer which set forth the controlling decisions. A copy of this memorandum is attached as Annex B. Operational control of air forces and facilities required for the project was assigned to Chief of the Task Force. An air staff section for air operations was created in the Task Force. The Acting Chief of DPD was designated chief of the new air section which was to include all DPD personnel when actually employed on project business.

Since DPD had many air commitments to service outside of the Cuban project, AC/DPD was directed to report to the DD/P in the usual manner as to this non-Cuban business.

In view of the foregoing, the Survey is simply wrong when it says "The project chief had no command authority over air planning and air operations. The DPD unit established for this purpose was completely independent." (Para. 7, page 39).

The Survey is also wrong in stating that there was no day-to-day continuing staff relationship. Two DPD officers (one, an air operations officer) were assigned full-time from DPD to the project and were physically located with it. In addition, a senior air operations officer attended daily staff meetings. He also spent all of his time with and on the project. Consequently, the air unit was organized to be completely responsive to the requirements of the Task Force with the exception of air safety considerations. In addition, DPD facilities (e.g. weather, communications mapping and planning air operations, photographic intelligence and related interpretation services) were made available as needed. These were not physically moved as they were more effective in place and were able by remaining to service other Agency requirements as well. In fact the DPD relationship with WH was much closer than quite effective relationships which it had with other Area Divisions having similar requirements.

The Survey devotes several pages to criticism of the WH-4 intelligence collection (pages 75-80) covering a number of points. The most serious allegation is that the interpretation of intelligence was "entrusted to officers who were so deeply engaged in preparations for the invasion that their judgments could not have been expected to be altogether objective." (Para. 13, page 78). One of the essential items referred to is the estimate regarding the effect of the strike force landing in triggering "an uprising among the Cuban population". (Para. 13, page 78). The Survey's lack of understanding of the project's theory on this point and the evidence for the judgments reached has been discussed in detail elsewhere.

It might be noted again that one of the supporting memoranda to General Taylor's oral report concluded "we do not feel that any failure of intelligence contributed significantly to the defeat". Moreover, two members of General Taylor's four-man Cuban Study Group, even in retrospect, still felt after hearing all the evidence that the operation might have been successful had the Cuban air power been eliminated.

Probably if any similar effort were to be attempted in the future an even greater association between DD/P and DD/I should be worked out for evaluation purposes. In view of the above conclusions, however, it would seem fair to say that admitting failures (which indeed is done) they were not as obvious as the Survey suggests. In fact a case can still be made that the estimates were right.

The Survey's other criticism regarding WH/4 intelligence activities will be dealt with briefly. The creation of a G-2 in the paramilitary unit rather than with the Project FI Section is strongly criticized. (Pages 77-79 The alleged bad consequence of this error, i.e., improper estimates, has just been discussed. In other respects on this point the Survey is inaccurate. The Chief of the FI Section did attend WH/4 staff meetings (Para. 10, page 77 There was liaison between the G-2 and FI Sections (Para. 11. page 77). The both saw cables (Para. 10, page 77). They exchanged intelligence and generally supplemented each other (Para. 11, page 78).

The remaining criticism regarding intelligence is directed at a failure to support the Miami Base. Since the Base raises a number of other considerations, they will be discussed together.

The Survey, in effect. commends many of the operational results achieved by the Miami Base. The FI and CI activities are mentioned in paragraphs 10 and 11 on page 70 and, it is believed, that these accomplishments are commendable.

The PM side involves a more complicated picture. The Survey is critical of the fact that Headquarter s in Washington kept too tight a control on Miami. Consequently, too little authority was delegated to enable Miami to function effectively. There is no doubt that a number of Miami officers felt that they were being over-controlled. No good operations officer ever feels differently or if he does. he is not doing his job. Consequently, the normal, healthy operating effort to shake the bit and run free was part of the attitude held by Miami operators in relation to Washington.

Washington, on the other hand, was anxious to avoid moving Headquarters functions to Miami or treating Miami as a field station which it clearly was not. Miami was not Cuba. Communications from target areas could be received and handled just as fast in Washington as in Miami. Many aspects of operational planning could be handled just as well, if not better, in Washington than Miami. Coordination with other operating areas was better handled in Washington. There were, of course, exceptions. Some of the more obvious exceptions were that Miami was a center for Cubans and an active interchange by sea between Miami and Cuba was a fact of life. The project organizational concept, therefore, was to provide Miami with people and the authority needed to take advantage of these potentials. Mainly, of course. this meant FI and CI activities, some propaganda activities. Some special training. and the handling of the Cuban exile leaders. The Survey apparently does not find major fault (except as noted in the following paragraphs) with respect to Headquarters- Miami organizational relations in these fields. whatever the Survey may say about these activities in other respects.

The Survey does to some extent criticize the training run by Miami by saying that there was no full-time chief of training. no training objectives or plan and that much of it was merely a case officer doing the best he could. (Paras. 24-26, pages 133-134). The results allegedly were haphazard. For example, "one man was trained in a hotel room to make a parachute jump". (Para. 25, page 134). Obviously a full jump course would have been preferable but the Survey's comment indicates a lack of understanding of the problem. In WW II, many officers did successful operational jumps with only minimal ground training. Combat pilots and air crews, when forced to jump, did so without having even been trained in a hotel room. Anyhow, as the Survey says the hotel-trained jumper "made one (jump) successfully!" It might also have been stated by the Survey that the man in question was in his early thirties, in excellent physical condition and an expert tumbler. Moreover, his one successful jump was the only one he was asked to do. This case, unimportant in itself, is referred to because it brings out several relevant points, i.e., in projects of this kind operating necessities are handled in the best possible way. Agents are often used without adequate training in the hope of getting some benefits; training sites are often inadequate but are accepted as the only available ones in view of all applicable conditions; operational equipment is not selected as being the best for the job but the best for the job in the light of applicable limitations; drop zones, reception committees and internal organization are rarely what would be described as ideal in the training text book. Communications are difficult, zones hard to identify and agents are on the run and harassed. Since the Survey at no point suggests the existence of these problems, some' reference to their presence seems essential.

The hotel room as a training site for parachute jumping is only one of many examples of the Survey applying unrealistic criteria. We repeat what has been previously stated that the project surely had many faults but they should be tested against what was possible not against a theoretical and impossible ideal.

Moreover, the Survey provides some evidence inconsistent with the foregoing. In paragraph 5 on page 126 the care taken in selection and screening of Useppa Island trainees is described. Paragraph 12 on page 129 sets forth the training given to 178 trainees originally prepared for infiltration. "In all," the Survey states, "178 men (including 23 radio operators) had been trained in security, intelligence collection, and reporting, propaganda and agitation, subversive activities, resistance organization, reception operations, explosives and demolitions, guerrilla action, and similar matters." This would seem reasonably complete and organized. Granting a normal complement of faults and failures, it is still believed that the Miami PM operational and training record is a good one and that this will be supported by the results.

After November 1960 the PM focus was away from Miami. Under the "invasion" concept training, air operations, and planning were the major problems and these were primarily located outside of Miami. Nevertheless, Miami had much to do in connection with portions of these activities. Recruitment was largely done in Miami. Despatching of materiel and recruits took place from Opalocka; PM agents were infiltrated from and exfiltrated to Miami; communications and certain other limited training was handled in Miami, and the efforts to find and maintain maritime assets centered in Miami.

As between the two offices, Headquarters retained the final decisions on any operation activity directly involving Cuban soil or territorial waters. The concern of non-Agency elements of the Executive Department, already described, meant that it was inadvisable to permit operational decisions involving Cuba to be made outside of Washington. Moreover, with the speed of communication the extra time required was normally acceptable, since not operationally fatal, even though aggravating to those involved (i.e., mainly Miami officers). Of course, overflight decisions had to come to Washington as did landings of any substantial amounts of materiel. Small exfiltration and infiltration operations could have been decided in Miami but policy limitations, such as no entry into Cuban territorial waters of boats having Americans aboard, made close Washington supervision advisable. Moreover, delay in obtaining decisions on these latter type operations was especially minimal since in substantially all of these cases WH/4 was authorized to make the decision. Actually, as pointed out by the Survey, Headquarters seldom had any difference of view with Miami. (Para. 27, page 118).

As far as PM results were concerned, the statistics were that in mid-April 1961, 43 trained PM agents (these are in addition to the 31 FI agents mentioned in Para. 10, page 70 of the Survey) were on the ground in Cuba of which 13 were regularly functioning, non-doubled radio operators and four more were radio operators but in reserve since they had no sets of their own. The geographic distribution of both these agents and radio operators was pretty good, covering most of the island.

The maritime operations handled by Miami had by mid-April landed 88,000 pounds of materiel (which with the 27,800 lbs. actually delivered by air provided the resistance up to 17 April with a total of 115,800 lbs.), had infiltrated 79 bodies and exfiltrated 51 bodies. Admittedly, much of the material, though by no means all of it, was landed on the north shore in Havana Province since this was a resistance center. Consequently, those who wanted it and those who could handle it were concentrated there -- particularly in the early days. Of the 88,000 lbs. total, however, about 45,000 lbs. was in provinces other than Havana, i.e., about 19,000 lbs. in Matanzas and 26,000 lbs. in Pinar del Rio, Las Villas and Camaguey. In addition. some materiel was landed on the south coast at both the west and east ends, i.e., a small amount, perhaps 800 lbs. in Oriente and 20,000 lbs. in Pinar del Rio. In the early days after a ship with the range was available, a few efforts were made to land some materiel in the central part of the south coast but connections were never made with the reception parties. For a substantial period (at least two months) prior to the landing the central south coast was intentionally avoided since it was felt to be vital not to provide even the slightest suggestion of operational interest near possible landing areas.

Some of the specific criticisms of the Miami Base should be mentioned.

1.) Conflict and confusion between Headquarters and Miami was said to exist, resulting in duplication of effort (para. 5, page 68) and division of control as to both agents and in the maritime field as well as high phone bills and unnecessary cables. The duplication of effort undoubtedly existed to some extent, particularly in the summer and fall of 1960 as the organization was being set up, but the Survey does not give enough specifics to enable direct answer, and undue or serious duplication is not remembered. As to confusion of channels, there was surely some confusion in the early days on Washington-Miami calls, but in the fall of 1960, rules were established which, it is believed, adequately clarified this problem. The division of control on maritime assets was intended, namely, the small boats were considered tactical and were under Miami control, the big boats strategic and were, therefore, kept under Headquarters control in order to keep them available for and ready to support the main landing. As far as is known, this division of control, which is considered to have been sound, caused no real difficulty.

2.) Miami allegedly received almost no intelligence support (paras. 15-18, pages 79-80). The general nature of these allegations plus a failure to indicate what the alleged consequences of the errors were once more make it difficult to answer directly. Obviously, there was no intention to deprive Miami of needed support and no Miami operation is known to have failed because of lack of operational intelligence. Beach areas and the internal Cuban situation were as well known to Miami as to Washington. (See para. 17, page 80). U-2 photography did not go to Miami, but it was not needed for any of the Miami decisions. Also, it was available in Washington to Miami officers. As to Special Intelligence (para. 16, page 79), the Miami Base was supported by a whole Staff D unit at another location. Miami did not, it is true, have a Staff D officer in Base Headquarters. An FI officer, however, was given the responsibility of digesting all Special Intelligence material in order to pass it to operations officers if important. In addition, he briefed the operations officers on this material twice a week.

3.) Security is attacked (paras. 1 et seq., page 135). Obviously many aspects of the Cuban project were public knowledge. With the required relations with many Cubans. politicians, military, and otherwise; recruitment efforts; press, magazine. radio and other propaganda programs, a substantial amount of undesired publicity along with the desired was unavoidable. Otherwise, it is believed that the security record of the project was not too bad. For example, it is now known that any case officer was ever "blown" by true name. The Useppa Island operation was never disclosed. U.S. training sites were mentioned in the press but not located specifically and were not, it is believed, identified. The movement of the brigade from Guatemala to Nicaragua and from Nicaragua to Zapata was not discovered. In view of the efforts to find out everything by the Cubans and the U. S. press, these were significant accomplishments. Sending agents to Cuba who had known each other in training is criticized and blame is registered for one radio operator who knew "almost every paramilitary operation in Cuba from the beginning of the project". In reply, it can be said that every effort was made to send agents trained together to different parts of Cuba. Admittedly, there were cases where they may have moved together after arrival (e.g., working their way into the city of Havana). No case is known, however, where two agents trained together were despatched together to the same place. As to the knowledgeable radio operator, it is quite true that there was a man with exclusive knowledge of operations. He served under three resistance chiefs. the first two having been killed. Each of these chiefs chose him as their command communications channel. thereby evidencing the utmost confidence in him. He managed to escape and is now an instructor for the Agency. No reason is known as to why the belief in him was not justified. The disregard of security rules by trained agents (para. 4, page 136) was regrettable but Cuban, or indeed human, discipline is fallible. No instance is reported or known where such indiscipline was too serious or could have been avoided. As to American lack of discipline the Survey cites only one case, i.e., that of a case officer in a Miami motel (para. 6, page 136). The Survey might also have said that this case was thoroughly investigated immediately and reported on long before the project was completed. Had the Survey mentioned this, it might also have indicated that unfortunate as the incident was. the DCI on the recommendation of the DD/P, decided that in view of all the circumstances the officer had made a mistake but an understandable one and not one requiring action other than a warning to increase future safeguards. As to screening recruits, it was impossible to use the same precautions regarding recruits to the camps, particularly toward the end when the recruiting rate was high (para. 7, page 137). as was used with individual agents. In camp, however, they were members of a group making individual activity difficult and even if they had known something, they had no means of communication. The pre-landing movements and the landing, it must be remembered, remained unknown. Also, the brigade members discharged their duties well. Bad consequences. therefore, of the looser procedures were not too evident.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:53 am

Section VI, Annex A - Memorandum dated 24 Octobeer 1960 for A/DDP/A, et al., Procedures for Cuban Overflights.

VI - Annex A

24 October 1960


C/WH Division
AC/DP Division

The following procedures shall apply to all Cuban overflights undertaken under the Cuban Project, with the exception of any U-2 reconnaissance missions. Approval for the latter shall be obtained and instructions issued in accordance with standard U-2 procedures.

1. Prior to sending, any notification to the field, the DD/P and A/DDP/A (or one of them if either is unavailable) shall be briefed on the operational plan. If possible DDP/EBM shall be included in the briefing in order to be informed when the matter is presented to the Special Group.

2. WH/4 should be responsible for arranging this briefing. As a rule it should cover at least the following aspects of the proposed operation:

a. Status and means of communication with reception party.

b. Detailed flight plan.

c. Communications plan.

A representative of DPD should always be included to cover the second aspect.

3. The DD/P, or A/DDP/A on his behalf, shall make arrangements for an appropriate briefing of the D/DCI on each such flight. Normally such briefing will occur after a DD/P plan has been decided upon following the briefing referred to in paragraph 1 above. In case of urgency, however, the DD/P, or A/DDP/A on his behalf, may decide to combine these briefings into a single briefing in order to save time. [N.B.: All briefings of either the DCI or the D/DCl on Cuban Project matters including the above shall be arranged through the Office of the DD/P.]

4. Following the above briefings an appropriate message, or messages, will be sent to the field. Since an approval of the operation and of specific operational plans will have been obtained in the briefings, messages may be released by C/WH/4 (and AC/DPD as appropriate), provided they communicate plans reviewed at the briefings. If, however, any message includes important instructions the substance of which has not already been reviewed then it should be released by the DD/P or D/DCI as appropriate.

5. No flight shall be dispatched until the Special Group has been advised of the plan or the DCI has specifically waived this requirement.

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

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:53 am

Section VI, Annex B - Memorandum dated 12 October 1960 for Chief, WH/4, "Organization and Command Relationships - WH/4 and Development Projects Division."

VI - Annex B

12 October 1960


SUBJECT: Organization and Command Relationships -- WH-4 and Development Projects Division

REFERENCE: Memo for C/WH-4, dated 5 October 1960, from C/WH/4?PM, subject: Study on "Organization and Command Relationships of Cuban Task Force (CTF) for Air Operations"

1. Comment on Reference:

The referenced study I find penetrating and well expressed. The facts set forth in paragraph 2 are accurately presented and the considerations elaborated in paragraph 3 have great force. On the other hand, certain additional considerations bearing on the problem appear to have been ignored. When these are taken into account, the conclusions as stated in paragraph 4 require slight modification and the recommendations set forth in paragraph 5 must be substantially modified in order to be acceptable.

2. Additional Considerations Bearing on the Problem:

a. As stated in the reference, present command relationships do not give the Cuban Task Force Commander (C/WH/4) control over all the major assets committed or proposed to be committed to this operation. In particular, air capabilities are under the control of AC/DPD, a separate component subject to no common command below the level of the DD/P. Although the referenced paper does not specifically refer to other resources required for the CTF which are not under the command of C/WH-4, it is important to emphasize that this project will require extensive support from other organizational components and that no contemplated arrangements will give C/WH-4 command authority over all the resources and supporting activities upon which the success of the project depends. Accordingly, the issue raised by the paper is whether with respect to air assets the dividing line between assets under the command of the C/WH-4 and other assets remaining under separate command but used in support of the Cuban Project should be drawn as at present or should be redrawn in such a way as to place part of DPD under command of C/WH-4.

b. The reference argues that the proper place to draw the line is between the Air Support Section of DPD, which should be transferred to the control of C/WH-4, and the other elements of that component. It is believed that this judgment is erroneous. In actual fact, the Cuban Project will require at one time or another the performance of operational and supporting activities by most of the branches of DPD. The reason is that DPD has been developed as a largely self-sufficient, integrated organization which includes staff sections for not only operations, but logistics, personnel, finance, security, and administration -- all of which may have some part to play in the Cuban Project. Specifically, it will probably be desirable for logistic support of air operations to be managed by DPD. As for operational planning and Headquarters monitoring of operations, it may well be desirable to use the DPD control room, and communications facility. The DPD Cover Officer certainly has important contributions to make as does the Security Section. Even the Air Proprietaries Branch will be concerned with the Cuban Project because of the need for some of its resources. In order, therefore, to place under the command of C/WH-4 all of the air assets he may require it would be necessary to transfer a substantial part of DPD.

c. The foregoing suggests that the proper dividing line between the authority of C/WH-4 and that of AC/DPD should be redrawn in such a way that perhaps half of the latter component would be under the command of the Cuban Task Force Commander. In fact, however, it would be inefficient and probably wholly infeasible to draw a dividing line in this fashion. All of the Branches of DPD which have responsibilities for the Cuban Project, and most of the personnel who will discharge these responsibilities, also have concurrent duties which fall outside of the responsibility of C/WH-4. If DPD were a large Headquarters it would at least be feasible to split each Branch into two pieces but such is not the case. Moreover, the burden of the Cuban Project activities and of other business will vary from day to day and week to week. Efficient utilization of personnel requires that in many cases the same individuals perform both sets of duties.

3. Supplementary Conclusions:

It is concluded that DPD as an organizational unit cannot be split into two parts, one of which would have full and exclusive responsibility for Cuban Project activities and be placed under the command of C/WH-4. Taking this conclusion in conjunction with those stated in paragraph 4 of the reference it would appear that a solution must be sought not by splitting DPD, but by placing the whole of that Division under the control of the CTF Commander with respect to air activities which are in fact Cuban project operations. This solution will have the added and vital advantage of making available to C/WH-4 as a senior staff officer, AC/DPD who is the senior air commander in the Agency.

4. Physical Separation:

The considerations set forth in paragraph 2 above suggest that no modification of command relationships will overcome the major difficulties that grow out of the physical separation of WH-4 and DPD. It is manifestly infeasible to house the whole of DPD in the Cuban Project headquarters. The physical location of the DPD Air Support Section with WH-4 may be desirable but obviously will leave the DPD Operations Control Room and its Logistics and Administrative Branches in a remote location. Accordingly g such matters as the devising of cover stories, the working out of budgets and funding arrangements, certain security business, and the clearance of many cables will still have to be done between officers who are housed some distance apart. It should be emphasized that this is inherent in any arrangement whereby the full resources of DPD are employed in support of the Cuban Project. Perhaps the most serious problem is that presented by the remoteness of AC/DPD's office from that of C/WH-4. This can only be overcome by reasonably frequent meetings, between these two individuals. The inconvenience which is the cost of this solution is the price that must be paid for the employment in the Cuban Project of the best technical talent available to the Agency under circumstances that will permit that talent to be used parttime for the performance of other essential tasks.

5. Task Force Concept:

A solution along the lines outlined in paragraph 3 above is in the main consistent with comments on the military task force concept contained in paragraph 3. b. of the reference. In particular, the proposed solution will permit unity of command. It must be recognized, however, that this solution will in effect provide C/WH-4 with a large air section and with the services of a senior staff officer for air activities. It is the size and competence of the air section thus provided that precludes physical integration as explained in paragraph 4 preceding. Moreover, if such an air section is to be used efficiently and to make its full contribution, C/WH-4 must practice substantial delegation to his air section and should recognize that it is competent to handle details in the implementation of broad instructions issued by him. It is especially. desirable that full use be made of DPD in its capacity as the air section of the Cuban Project, along with other staff sections of WH-4 as appropriate, in the development of military plans. It will be necessary, if high professional standards are to be maintained, for several military specialists, of which air represents one, to be made use of in planning as well as in operations.

6. Approved Action:

a. Operational control of all air forces and facilities required and employed in the Cuban Project will be assigned to Chief, CTF.

b. Chief, CTF will exercise this control through a newly created staff section for air operations in the CTF.

c. AC/DPD will serve as the Chief of the CTF Air Section. The staff of the Air Section will include any and all DPD personnel when actually employed on Cuban Project business.

d. For DPD business unrelated to the Cuban Project, AC/DPD will continue to report in the usual manner to the DD/P. When and if questions arise concerning the allocation of DPD resources as between the Cuban Project and other requirements and activities. such questions will be resolved by the DD/P.

e. The Cuban Task Force as presently constituted has a unified force with a single Headquarters. If and when it should seem desirable to establish a forward Headquarters or a Field Command having responsibility for military operations in which air and other forces will be employed, the constitution of any such Field Command and its command channels to CTF Headquarters will require careful consideration. The desirability of such a combined Field Command and relationship between the CTF Air Section (DPD) and air assets committed in Field operations will be considered when military plans are more nearly complete.

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

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:56 am


The Survey is critical of the Project1' personnel management in two major respects:

1) The Project was not staffed throughout with top-quality people; and

2) A number of people were not used to the best advantage. (Page 144, para. 7).

There are three basic difficulties common to the entire Survey which are equally and perhaps especially applicable to the sections on personnel and which make specific responsive answers almost impossible. They are the existence of:

1) Unsupported allegations of fact as in paragraph 5 on page 42, which will be discussed further below.

2) Conclusions unsupported by facts as in paragraph 13 on page 45 where a number of "obstacles" are stated in such ,general terms as to make their understanding difficult or in paragraph 3 on page 42 where it is stated that as a result of a number of factors "none of the most experienced, senior operating officers of the Agency participated full time in the project." (Underlining supplied).

3) An admixture of allegations some of which apply to the DD/P generally (e. g., lack of Spanish linguists, para. 9, page 44; defective nature of entire CS staffing system, para. 11, page 44); some of which apply to the government or the Department of Defense (e.g., problems with Armed Forces, para. 13, page 45); and some relate to the Project.

An effort, however, will be made to be specific in reply and where this is impossible to indicate the difficulty. Regarding inadequate competence in staffing, it should be stated that the Survey mentions no names. A somewhat general response is, therefore, unavoidable, but to be reasonably specific, it has been felt that the names and the backgrounds of a number of the senior officers in the project, excluding the DD/P, A/DDP/A, and C/WH, would be helpful in determining the managerial judgments in this selection. (See Annex A). Support personnel, including communications, have not been included since the Survey is rightly complimentary of their performance. (Page 45, para. 12; page 145, lines 5-7).

A major criticism by the Survey in connection with personnel assignments was an alleged failure to carry out a statement made by the DCI in April 1960 that he would do anything necessary to provide the personnel needed for success. In fact, this was given substantial recognition. On 15 April 1960, the practice was established that if the Project wished to secure the services of a particular individual about whose release there was some question, C/WH would advise the A/DDP/A who would examine the case with the DD/P. Obviously carte blanche could not be given but a rapid procedure was established for resolution of difficult cases. In this connection, it is not clear if the Survey in paragraph 1 on page 41 is criticizing a failure to give carte blanche. but, if so, the conclusions suggest an organizational concept with which we disagree.

The Chief of the Clandestine Service Personnel Office (CSPO) also had meetings with the A/DDP/A in which the DCI's views were discussed (at least one of which is recorded in a Memorandum for the Record. dated 22 April 1960) and the CSPO arranged a procedure with WH-4 whereby personnel requests were brought to him either by name or by skill requirement, then by him to the appropriate Panel and finally to the element in question. The understanding was, as indicated above, that difficult cases would be brought to the DD/P via the A/DDP/A. The purpose of this procedure was to avoid the need for WH-4 negotiating directly with other elements regarding personnel thereby eliminating any potential divisional conflicts.

On 16 May 1960, COPS sent an EYES ONLY memorandum to Staff and Division Chiefs and Chief, Operational Services indicating the need of WH for clerical assistance as well as imposing certain requirements on the addressees for help in this request. A copy is attached as Annex B.

Again on 25 August 1960 at the DD/P weekly staff meeting attended by Division and Staff Chiefs of the CS, COPS, in order to re-emphasize the above, announced that the DD/P wanted to be sure that WH-4 was receiving "enough first class people to assure success in their efforts." The solution announced was:

"We have staffed WH-4 thus far without seriously interfering with other operations and activities. The seriousness of the situation demands your most sympathetic consideration of requests for temporary assistance to them. They now have about a dozen critical officer vacancies. We have agreed to having WH-4 suggest the names of those officers whom they would prefer to have particular jobs. The CS Personnel Office will be in touch with you on the names produced by WH-4 and on others identified as being qualified. If you can possibly spare them for the next few months. I urge you to do so. If you feel you cannot spare them, please tell the CSPO your reasons. Mr. Barnes, Mr. Bissell or I will then attempt to judge the relative priorities and make a decision respecting such assignments."

In view of the foregoing, there can be little doubt that senior CS officers knew of the CIA policy to support WH-4 in its personnel requirements. The success or failure of the application of the policy is, of course, a matter of judgment. Obviously no personnel roster is ever wholly satisfactory. Conversely, no project can take any officer regardless of other commitments. The attached roster, it is believed, establishes that on an impartial judgment the project-was served with officers of experience and competence.

Obviously the requirements of the Project were unusual and urgent, but a review of the pace at which officers (i.e., staff not contract) were assigned and detailed has revealed no more than the usual problems, e.g., a requesting officer wanting help more rapidly than provided and some junior officers being less qualified than desired. On the whole, however, assignments and details were kept pretty well up-to-date and the caliber adequate. In a number of cases the performance of many officers responded to the challenge of the project, and, consequently. was better than might have been anticipated. In this connection, it might be noted that despite the enormous time demands, inconveniences, family separations, and other difficulties imposed on personnel the project's record for sick leave or absenteeism was so good as to be spectacular.

It might be noted that the CSPO, one of the few senior officers with whom the I.G. or his representatives had any discussions on this matter, asked the chief investigating officer what officers were considered poor. One PM officer was named. The CSPO then demonstrated that, although this officer was disliked by some people, he had been specifically requested by WH-4, had performed extremely well and in fact was continued in WH-4 after the misfortunes of April 1961 because of his performance in the project. No more was then said about this individual but no other examples were offered despite a specific request for names.

In view of the foregoing, it is suggested that the Survey allegations be at the very least set aside until specific evidence be introduced to which an answer can be addressed.

The few minor points listed by the Survey regarding personnel are discussed below:

1. A basic mistake was made by filling key spots early without realizing how much the project would grow with the result that officers often ended up supervising three to four times as many people as originally anticipated.

The inference of supervisors beyond their depth is clear. It can only be said that supervision during the project in no place seemed to require change due to inability. Moreover, it must be recognized that in a fast moving situation an informed junior officer, who has lived with the project often is more effective than an uninformed senior officer. At any rate, further factual support of the criticism must be produced before any more thorough answer can be provided.

2. None of the three GS-16 officers assigned to the project was given top-level managerial responsibilities (Page 42, para. 3).

Actually, there were four GS-16 officers with the project. One, however, was detailed for a special assignment. One of the other three was Chief of Station, Havana until the Embassy was closed in January 1961 when he returned and became the senior man dealing with the Cuban political elements. Another GS-16 was Deputy Chief of Station in Miami. The Chief in Miami was junior to him in grade but he had been with the project fro m the start (having initially been the project deputy); he was an old hand in the WH area and was performing well. All, including the GS-16, agreed that the Deputy Chief of Station, Miami was appropriate for the GS-16 since it was a high enough post to permit him to be effective and still did not upset a situation by changing purely for reasons of grade an officer, performing well, in favor of a latecomer who was not an area expert. The third GS-16 was a DD/I officer, not a DD/P officer, who performed well in a responsible overt post. To have made him a manager would have created problems since he did not have operational experience.

3. Of the 42 officers ''holding the principal operational jobs in WH-4 in Grade GS-12 through GS-15" a large percentage were rated in a low position in the initial "Relative Retention Lists". (Paras. 4-5, page 42).

Without analyzing specific cases. it is submitted that these statements are completely deceptive as possible evidence of poor quality of personnel. The reasons are:

a. The ranking of individuals under the above procedure in many cases had nothing to do with competence or ability in given assignments. Rather the criteria were the needs of the service over the years to come. A high grade specialist in a little needed field, therefore, might be rated very low. A specific example is a paramilitary officer assigned to WH-4 from another division who served in the project with distinction. Nevertheless, since his parent division had no foreseeable need for such officers, he was ranked low in the initial list. More generally a similar result might well be true of paramilitary officers since the feeling is that the Agency, particularly post-Cuba, will in all likelihood have few similar projects in the future. Surely this view would be reflected in initial lists prepared by Divisions and would tend to be corrected as necessary during the elaborate policy level review of the lists.

b. Ranking is competitive, and since many of the project officers were not WH officers, they were ranked in the retention lists initially by WH officers in competition with WH officers for long term WH assignments. On this scale, they might well come out badly regardless of their competence for the Cuban Project. In the first place, if paramilitary officers, their speciality is not in future demand; and if not WH area specialists, they would be poor competitors with area specialists looking to a long term future. They might, however, have been excellent officers in many Cuban Project assignments without area knowledge.

c. The initial lists were substantially revised for the above and other reasons in subsequent reviews. Consequently, by themselves they are of little validity.

Again, therefore, it is recommended that at the very least the Survey's allegations in this respect be set aside until a more detailed examination is possible covering the specific individuals in question; why they were rated low on initial lists; did their ratings change on later lists and, more specifically, what relation the rating for retention purposes had to the performance on the Cuban Project. Obviously, the reverse might also be true, i.e., an officer could receive a top rating for retention purposes but still have poor qualities for the type of urgent rather peculiar requirements existing in the Cuban Project.

4. "A very few project personnel spoke Spanish or had Latin- American background knowledge." (Para. 9, page 44).

Obviously, it would be desirable for most officers in a project of this sort to have both the language and area knowledge. Admittedly, the Agency has not achieved this capability to the extent desired, and probably never will. It must also be recognized that in special projects like Cuba the personnel demands must be met in substantial part by assignments based on functional experience even though the individual assigned lacks area or language qualifications.

As to the Project itself, the need for Spanish should also be analyzed. Obviously it was necessary primarily for those dealing with Cubans. Not all such officers, however, needed Spanish, since, for example, PM instructors were quite able to perform effectively without the language since they taught by showing and example. Actually, there were Spanish-speaking trainers in Guatemala so this point is made only for purposes of analysis. Moreover, the training job both on the ground and in the air was never an issue as it was generally conceded to have been excellent.

As to others dealing with the Cubans, the officers working with the Cuban politicians were all fluent in Spanish with one exception, a senior officer who had no difficulty dealing with the Cubans in English and who was relied on very heavily by many of the senior Cubans. His lack of Spanish, therefore, did not prevent his achieving a position of personal confidence.

The officers in propaganda had native Spanish and in addition the publications, the newspapers and the radio scripts were written and produced by Cubans who, in the case of most of the newspapers and publications, had run and produced the same items in Cuba immediately prior to defecting.

The senior FI and CI officers had fluent Spanish. In Miami, an officer with native Spanish organized a corps of 35 to 40 Cubans into a CI organization of considerable competence. Even the Survey called this a "responsive and useful instrument". (Para. 55, page 19; paras. 57-58. page 20).

C/WH-4 and his Paramilitary Chief had fluent Spanish, as did the Chief in Miami. To generalize, of the sixteen senior managerial officers listed in Annex A, eleven had fluent Spanish. During the last four months" the Project operated its own Signal Center and its own Cable Secretariat providing 24-hour coverage. Two of the three post-duty Duty Officers had fluent Spanish. Also, a Translation Unit of seven people was developed to provide 24-hour coverage of direct communications.

It can be asserted that Spanish speakers were available for all needed uses. Some inconvenience may have been caused on occasion due to not having even more Spanish speakers, but a lack of adequate Spanish speakers cannot honestly be alleged as a ground for any major failure in the project.

5. "Some of the people who served the project on contract were incompetent." (Para. 10, page 44).

Undoubtedly, this statement has some basis in fact, but since no more is said and the consequences to the Project not explained, a reply is not possible in any manageable context.

6. Regarding the improper use of skilled personnel, the Survey has little to say. Inadequate use of GS-16's is discussed above. The only other comments in the Survey are:

a. "In a number of instances, those senior operating personnel in the field stations that did speak Spanish had to be interrupted in their regular duties merely in order to act as interpreters. " (Para. 9, page 44). This is answered above.

b. "In many instances, case officers were used as 'handholders' for agents and technical specialists as stevedores." Surely any case officer does some handholding. Wherein this was particularly serious in the project is not known nor indicated by the Survey. The "stevedore" reference is elsewhere expanded by the Survey to the effect that the "technical and training abilities" of several Navy Chief Petty Officers who were borrowed in connection with work in certain of the Project's ships were "grossly misused" as "much of their time was spent at stevedore or deckhand labor. " (Paras 33-34, pages 120-121). It is quite true that some Navy personnel on duty with the Agency were made available by their components to represent the Agency interests and keep an eye on maritime repairs and modifications. Unquestionably, they were not fully employed though their presence at moments was very important. In all likelihood, therefore, this was a situation where some inefficiency of employment resulted. One Chief Petty Officer was upset by the assignment and asked to be returned to his regular duties. Others, however, accepted the situation as special and largely unavoidable, and served without complaint as long as their experience was needed.

c. The Navy Captain assigned at Agency request to the Project to handle maritime activity was "reported to have been not entirely happy with his brief Agency tour. In any event, he was another example of poor handling of people in this project, and he was not given a chance to solve the problems of maritime operations." (Para. 40, Page 123). It is not know who "reported" the Navy Captain (Captain Scapa) as "not entirely happy", but we are surprised at the statement since Agency officers close to him thought that he left in a pretty good frame of mind. Of course, it must be remembered that his experiences might well have caused some discouragement. He was flown on short notice from his shipboard Navy assignment to detail with another Agency with which he had no previous experience. He arrived in February 1961 so that the project was well along and he had to fit himself to it in a great hurry and under pressure. He was, however, able to provide substantial help and his assignment was distinctly worthwhile. He examined such ships as the project had; went to Vieques and inspected the Cuban crew training; spent a substantial amount of time at Project Headquarters working on the maritime aspects of the Trinidad and Zapata plans and finally accompanied the Paramilitary Chief to Puerto Cabezas to participate in the final briefing of the Brigade and the ships' crews. Thereafter, he returned to Project Headquarters and spent night and day in the war and operations rooms working on all maritime aspects of the final days of the effort. Such employment of Captain Scapa, it is submitted, was sensible and constructive.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:58 am

Section VII, Annex A - Biographic Summary of Certain Senior Officials.



Jacob D. Esterline, E.O.D. February 1951 Chief, Cuban Task Force

Mr. Esterline's prior Agency experience included an assignment as a senior official on the anti-Arbenz project in Guatemala and _____ _____. Mr. Esterline had fluent Spanish. He has since been assigned as Chief of Operations, WH Division.

During World War II he had 20 months with OSS including two tours behind the lines in Burma. He was a Captain and commanded guerrilla units up to battalion strength.

1951-52, Chief Instructor at Guerrilla Warfare School at Fort Benning

1953, Chief Instructor _____ in Guerrilla Warfare

Edward A. Stanulis, E.O.D. September 1952, Deputy Chief, Cuban Task Force

Mr. Stanulis served in succession as Chief, Plans and Programs, Chief of Operations, and ultimately as Deputy Chief of the Cuban Task Force.

His military service was with the U. S. Army from 1942 to 1950 wherein he progressed in rank from 2nd Lt. to Major.

He is now permanently retired for combat incurred disability (loss of leg). His assignments prior to combat duty included:

Asst. Reg. Intelligence Officer, Eastern Defense Command
Regimental Adjutant, Instructor, Intel. School
Asst. Plans and Ops Officer
Training Officer, Infantry Tactics

In combat (ETO), with the rank of Captain and Major, he served as Commanding Officer of an Infantry Co. (Rifle) with tactical control of battalion attacking elements. Having been wounded, he was a POW for six months.

On return to active duty in Washington he served as a Major in Public Information Divisions of the Army and the Department of Defense until his discharge in 1950.

He has also had broad experience in public affairs, writing, editing, and publishing. His prior Agency experience included assignments to OPC/PW, P&P Staff, and PP Staff. Assigned as an instructor and ultimately Chief of Headquarters Training, Ops School/OTR. Mr. Stanulis instructed in and assisted in the revision of PP, FI, and PM courses.

Richard D. Drain, E.O.D. March 1951, Chief of Operations, Cuban Task Force

Mr. Drain reported to the Project from an overseas assignment in _____ where he was Chief of Internal Operations and on occasion _____ _____.

His military record includes service as an officer with the U.S. Army, Field Artillery (Armored). His active duty extended from April, 1943 to May, 1946. His training included the Ground Forces Intelligence Course #1, with special emphasis on O.B. and the Armored Command Hqtrs. Combat Intelligence Course.

Among other assignments he conducted Basic Training; served as Assistant and Acting Battalion S-3; was an Instructor at the Armored School; and was Battery Officer in Advanced Training.

In combat (ETO) he was Forward Observer with a Combat Team and a Platoon Commander.

His decorations include the Silver Star and Bronze Star.

He is a lawyer and practiced in D.C. prior to Agency EOD. His Government experience also included Agency assignments as Executive Asst. to the DD/I, Staff Officer for O/IC (Office of Intelligence Coordination), Secretary, Intelligence Advisory Committee; and he was detached from the Agency for two extra-Agency assignments. In the first he served on the White House Staff of the Planning Coordination Group under Mr. Nelson Rockefeller. In the second he served with the Department of State as a Special Asst., Multilateral Affairs.

John F. Mallard, Col., USMC, E.O.D. August 1957, SA Military, Cuban Task Force

Prior to his assignment with this Agency, Col. Mallard had served with the Office of the CNO, Assistant Head Naval War Plans Section. His performance was outstanding with comments indicating an excellent background of staff experience and professional capabilities. Noted as diligent, thorough and possessing mature judgment. He had earlier served as Assistant Plans Officer on the staff of the Commander, 7th Fleet, where he also received an outstanding rating and was looked upon as a source of strength on the staff. Had earlier been a Battalion Commander and was rated an outstanding Artillery Battalion Commander. Col. Mallard carried the brunt of liaison with the military services and heavy responsibility with the State Department on military matters.

_____, E.O.D. June 1951, Chief/Intel/PM Section/Cuban Task Force

_____ reported to the Project from the FI Staff. His earlier, assignments had included that of senior FI Case Officer in _____, Chief/_____ _____ and Chief Instructor, Resistance Ops Coursee/OTR. He has received numerous commendations for his performances in Headquarters, in the field, and in Agency liaison activities.

His military service was with the USMC where he served overseas as Bomb Disposal Officer from 1943 to 1945 at New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, and Northern Solomons. He is a Major in the USMCR.

Albert C. Davies, Lt. Col.. USA, E.O.D. March 1960, DC/Intel/PM Section/ Cuban Task Force

At the time of his assignment to the Project Col. Davies (a regular infantry officer) had been serving as Army-G- 2, USACARIB from 1956. He is rated by his service as an Infantry Staff Officer. Served in the European theatre during World War II and in Korea. He holds the Silver Star and the Bronze Medal with two oak leaf clusters. Prior to his assignment to USACARIB he had been an infantry instructor at Fort Leavenworth, Battalion Executive Officer, and Battalion Commander in the Far East, and had been a student at the Army Command and General Staff Officers Course in Oklahoma. Col. Davies' assignment with the Cuban Task Force included that of Post Command at Lt. Randolph and later Deputy Chief, Intel Unit-PM Section. He has broad area familiarity with Latin America and has some fluency in the Spanish language. He is currently serving as Chief/Intel, Research, and Reports/WH/4.

_____, E.O.D. February 1952, C/FI Section/Cuban Task Force (Later DC/WH/4)

_____ experience included ten years with the Department of State with whom he served in Tegucigalpa, Madrid, and Santiago, Chile, the latter two as Second Secretary. He has fluent Spanish, Portuguese, and French, and has wide experience in Latin American affairs with a thorough knowledge of economic matters.

His WH Division assignments include the following


He is now preparing to assume duties of _____.

Ralph G. Seehafer, E.O.D. August 1952, DC/FI Section/Cuban Task Force

Mr. Seehafer entered on duty with the Agency in August of 1952 and has served exclusively with WH Division. His overseas tours of duty included an assignment as _____. He possesses fluent Spanish and also speaks Portuguese and German. Mr. Seehafer took his undergraduate degree in Hispanic studies. He is noted for his deliberate and untiring efforts and was a source of strength to the several senior officers who served as Chief of the FI Section.

David A. Phillips, E.O.D. April 1955, C/PP Section/Cuban Task Force

Originally a contract agent and covert associate in _____. Mr. Phillips became a staff employee with the Agency on assignment to P&P Staff and PP/Operations. He then had assignments to the Havana Station and _____. Noted as an outstanding propagandist with excellent supervisory qualities. Mr. Phillips has fluent Spanish with excellent area knowledge as evidenced by the fact that he often speaks publicly on the area, including having been on the "Town Hall of the Air".

Philip A. Toomey, E.O.D. December 1951, DC/Propaganda Section/Cuban Task Force

Entered on duty with the Agency in December 1951 and has had prior assignment with OPC/WE/Plans and Ops, served abroad _____ as a PP Ops Officer, returned to the PP Staff in Headquarters and was serving with WH/3 at the time of his assignment to the Project. He has native Spanish and possesses ability to handle a tremendous amount of work. Mature judgment and skill in the propaganda field are only a couple of his attributes.

Jack Hawkins, Col., USMC E.O.D. October 1960, C/WH/4/PM

Col. Hawkins was serving on the staff of Marine Corps School, Quantico, Virginia at the time of his appointment by Commandant, USMC to the Cuban Task Force. He is a Naval Academy graduate and saw service in the Philippines at Bataan and Corregidor until taken prisoner. Having escaped from his prison camp. he joined guerrilla forces and led raiding parties in attacks against the enemy for which action he was awarded the DSC. He was later awarded a Bronze Medal for the Okinawa campaign. Following World War II he served as a member of the Naval Mission to Venezuela and later as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines in combat in Korea. He was there awarded the Silver Star. Served as an instructor in Quantico for three years and then as G-3 at Camp LeJune where he was promoted to his present rank of Colonel. Col. Hawkins possesses native fluency in Spanish. He was personally selected for the assignment by General Shoup, C.G.; USMC

Frank J. Egan, Lt. Col.. USA, E.O.D. June 1960, C/SPU/PM/WH/ 4

Col. Egan reported to the Cuban Task Force with a background of experience in Special Forces, U.S. Army. He had on earlier occasion worked in a liaison capacity with this Agency and always showed a true appreciation of the peculiar requirements of covert action. Serving originally as Chief of the Strikes and Plans Unit/PM Section. Col. Egan later proceeded to Guatemala where he assumed command of all indigenous Brigade training. He held this position with the help of a few staff and contract employees until the arrival of the group of Special Forces Trainers. His capacity for work was outstanding and the rating he received by his senior officer, Col. Hawkins, reflects Col. Hawkins' respect for his abilities. Comments particularly pertinent refer to his ability to influence and inspire the confidence and respect of troops.

Ernest Sparks, E.O.D. August 1954, Sr. Cuban Task Force Rep/Guatemala

Entering on duty as Ops Instructor in 1952. Mr. Sparks departed for Korea with the USMC and remained there as an IO/PM and Maritime Officer until 1954. He then served at _____ until 1958 first as an Instructor, then Chief of the Maritime Branch, later as Instructor, and ultimately, Chief of the Ops Course. He was commended as an outstanding instructor and capable administrator. Prior to his assignment to the Cuban Task Force he served as Chief/Cover Training (_____ where he set up and administered a highly competent tutorial facility. His performance was noted as being outstanding.

Jacob Scapa, Capt., USN, E.O.D. February 1961, C/Maritime Ops/Cuban Task Force

Assigned to the Cuban Task Force as a Special Assistant for Military Matters by the CNO, Capt. Scapa appeared on the scene in the late stages of Project development. He was at the time of his assignment on the Staff of the Commander, Amphibious Training Command, Atlantic Fleet. He had earlier served as Commanding Officer of the USS Walke and served aboard the USS Wisconsin, and had been on the Staff of the Supreme Allied Command, Atlantic. Capt. Scapa quickly reviewed and made himself familiar with all maritime operations and plans. He participated in pre-invasion briefings and added a significant touch of professionalism to maritime matters.

TDY visit to Miami Base/ _____ to review problem of Maintenance Facility for LCI's and Small Boats. On return recommended and assisted in acquisition of Navy CPO's (Machinists).

Then assigned to Plans and Strike Operations Unit where he assisted greatly in liaison with Navy components and in preparation of sailing instructions, etc. He participated in final briefings of Brigade and maritime personnel. Active during actual strike in War Room, Headquarters, Cuban Task Force. Currently Chief of Naval Mission, Ecuador.

_____, E.O.D. September 1951, C/CI Section/Cuban Task Force

Entered on duty with the Agency as an instructor in the Ops Course in 1951. He remained with OTR until his assignment to _____. He served there as a Training and Intel Officer and Director of FI Operations. Returning to OTR in 1956 as an instructor in the CE/CI Training Course, he was responsible for the training of two _____ services. He became Chief Instructor in the Agency Orientation, CI Familiarization and Security Officer Courses. All reports indicate he was a superb instructor, a good executive and supervisor. He has been noted as being the outstanding instructor on the Headquarters Operations School faculty.

Gerard Droller, E.O.D. September 1949, C/PA/Cuban Task Force

Extremely capable PP Officer, original, enthusiastic, aggressive. Requires challenge. Outstanding PA man. time EE Officer. Entered on duty with the Agency in 1949 in OPC tour in _____ -- 52-54 excellent reports. Respectively C/Ops/_____, C/ _____ , DC/_____ _____, C/ _____.

Bernard E. Reichhardt, E.O.D. November 1947, P&P Officer/Cuban Task Force (Later C/FI Section)

Mr. Reichhardt's earlier Agency assignments included that of Finance Officer, later Chief/Cover Division. He served FE Division in _____ and as Chief/Branch 1/Headquarters. Later assignments were to the PP Staff and with Branch 3 WH Division. His assignments with the Project included a stint of duty at Miami Base before returning to Headquarters as DC/PA Section/ Cuban Task Force. He was then moved up as Plans and Policy Officer and ultimately served as Chief/FI Section. Mr. Reichhardt has native fluency in Spanish. He is currently _____.

_____, E.O.D. September 1947, Special Asst/WH/4/Cuban Task Force

Prior assignments included _____ and Department of State (Mexico) 1931- 41. _____ has fluent Spanish. Was commended for extraordinary performance _____ by C/WHD. Characterized as dependable and resourceful, and having the ability to get the most out of employees.

E. Howard Hunt, E.O.D. November 1949, PP/PM/Cuban Task Force

Mr. Hunt's background prior to his service with the Agency was working as a writer and as a correspondent for Time, Inc. He was assigned to OPC and served in _____ for three (3) years, was then reassigned to SE/P & PW Staff. He was then assigned as a PP Officer to _____ before being selected as _____. He was rated, before his assignment to the Cuban Task Force, as having outstanding ability in the covert action field. He is exceptionally talented and imaginative in the PP field. His assignment in _____ drew outstanding reports. He has fluent Spanish.

B.H. Vandervoort, E.O.D. September 1947, C/SI Unit (FI/D), Cuban Task Force

Mr. Vandervoort's outstanding military background is well known to all in the Clandestine Services. He possesses area knowledge in WE, FE and WH Divisions and he has good Spanish. He is a competent reporter. Earlier personnel reports note his exceptional qualifications for participation in contingency task force operations. He had also earlier been recommended as a Senior War Planner.

U.S. Army service from 1939 to 1946 and was discharged with the rank of Lt. Col. He gave outstanding service in the ETO and was decorated by Generals Gavin and Ridgeway as "outstanding WW II Battalion Co., 82nd Airborne". Decorations: two DSC's, two Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, plus French, Dutch, Belgian Decorations.

Robert Reynolds, E.O.D. October 1949, COB/Miami Base

Mr. Reynolds' career has been spent largely with WH Division beginning with his assignments in OSO. He served in_____, _____ _____, and later as _____. Mr. Reynolds had returned to WH/3 at the time of his assignment to the Project and was one of the first senior officers so assigned. Serving first as DC/Cuban Task Force he was later transferred to Miami Base as Chief of Base. Mr. Reynolds possesses fluent Spanish ability.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:59 am

Section VII, Annex B - Memorandum dated 16 May 1960 for Chiefs of All Special Staffs and Operating Divisions, "Clerical Assistance for WH Division."

VII - Annex B

16 May 1960


MEMORANDUM FOR: Chiefs of All Special Staffs and Operating Divisions

SUBJECT: Clerical Assistance for WH Division

1. Certain activities of the WH Division require experienced clerical personnel. It is desired that all CS components contribute to this effort to the maximum extent possible.

2. Requirements now exist for first-class stenographers and typists, grade immaterial, who have had general experience in the Clandestine Services for temporary detail to WH Division for an indefinite period. It is requested that you provide at least one such person from your component. Please notify the Clandestine Services Personnel Office (Ext. 4541) of your selection so that the necessary arrangements may be made. The CSPO will notify you several days in advance of the date when your nominee should report to WH for duty.

Richard Helms
Chief of Operations, DD/P
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:59 am


One of the conclusions of the Survey (as stated in para. 3 on page 143) was "as the project grew, the Agency reduced the exile leaders to the status of puppets, thereby losing the advantages of their active participation." This summarizes the Survey's general criticism of the handling of the Cuban leaders. Two more specific criticisms are made at least by inference in the discussion of this matter in the body of the Survey. The first was that the decision in November 1960 to consider requests for paramilitary aid from groups other than the FRD "complicated relations between Project case officers and the FRD leaders," and "appears to have resulted in some diffusion of effort". It also "seriously hampered progress toward FRD unity, sharpened internal FRD antagonisms, and contributed to the decline in strike force recruiting efforts". The second criticism is that the Agency prevented close contact between the political leaders, first of the FRD and later of the CRC, and the military forces in training in Guatemala. The Survey states (para. 36, page 92) that "this was probably a mistake and an unreasonable interference in the Cubans' management of their own affairs. Controlled contact between the FRD and the troops would have done much to improve morale and motivation of the troops and make the training job easier".

As will be shown in the following paragraphs, the generalized criticism that the exile leaders were treated as puppets has little if any basis in fact. As to the two more specific criticisms, the facts are correctly stated, but as explained below there were plausible reasons for both decisions and even with the benefit of hindsight these decisions appear to have been wise. This does not mean that no disadvantages attached to them. The Survey is correct in pointing out that relations with the FRD were strained by the decision to support certain non-FRD groups and that the lack of contact between the political leaders and the Brigade gave rise to difficulties on both sides. What is omitted from the Survey's discussion, however, is any explanation of the considerations that made these two decisions seem necessary, let alone any attempt to balance the risks and costs of different courses of action against the disadvantages of those actually pursued.

The press has carried many stories especially after the events of April 1961 citing the sentiments of Cuban exiles to the effect that they were disenchanted with their role in the affair. It is understandable that after the defeat these Cubans would look for scapegoats and allege that they had been used as puppets. It is, on the other hand, disturbing that these Cuban utterances in the press are accepted as fact in the Survey, particularly when considerable documentary evidence to the contrary was available to the Survey team.

Before analyzing the Survey's above conclusions, it is important to examine various aspects and complexities of what the Survey calls "exile leaders". First, one must differentiate between the political and military leaders. Second, one must recognize the pressures which existed within each of these two groups. Third, one should understand what the term "leadership" meant within the Miami Cuban exile community.

From the very beginning of the Project it was evident that there were considerable differences of opinion -- on almost all important questions -- among Cuban exiles of varying political shades and leadership capabilities Clearly, there was unanimity on the desirability and need to overthrow Castro; but during the great debate on how to accomplish this, two main trends became discernible: the activists, principally the military element in this category, wanted to fight. Political considerations meant little to this segment of exiles who believed political solutions would evolve automatically after Castro's demise. As a matter of fact, they had the greatest contempt for "the politicians". On the other hand, the politically-minded exiles realized that the overthrow of Castro without specific plans and preparations to fill the vacuum created by his departure would be an immense error. They agreed with the activists that the overthrow could only be accomplished by violent action but they feared that during the fighting one or more of the military leaders would emerge whose politico/ economic postures were unknown quantities and who -- in the exuberance of victory -- might be accepted by the population as the new political chief of Cuba. Consequently, the political and military exile elements grew apart despite the existence of bonds of friendship and loyalty between individuals in one element and people in the other. Thus, when speaking of "exile leaders" a distinction must be made between political and military leadership.

Also within the political and military groups a high degree of competition existed. Personal ambitions were rampant. Each individual claimed larger followings inside and outside Cuba than the next man; each tried to belittle the potential and capabilities of the other; each proselyted the other's assets. In the early autumn of 1960, over sixty different anti-Castro political groups were active and vocal, almost all of them in the Miami area. They ranged in size from an individual exile with three or four personal henchmen to sizeable bodies with substantial organizations still active within Cuba itself. The Agency representatives were in contact with many of these and its constant effort was to induce as many groups and individuals as possible to support a broadly based unified movement which would exclude only the supporters of Castro on the left and the Batistianos on the right. The Agency exerted pressure on the Cubans throughout the whole period from mid-1960 up to the invasion in only two ways: to promote the greatest and most inclusive unity of effort and to promote the greatest feasible effectiveness. Decisions, however, as to who should be the dominant leader and what the political platform of the opposition should be were studiously left to the Cubans themselves.

Despite the pressure for unity, it remained true up to the election (by the Cubans) of Jose Miro Cardona as president of the CRC in March 19__ that exile Cuban leadership -- if taken in the broadest meaning of the term -- consisted of the spokesmen of a great number of anti-Castro groups whose prominence, importance and capabilities for active participation in the operation varied greatly and whose claim for leadership remained highly controversial. If the term is to connote the FRD Executive Committee then it is highly pertinent to keep in mind the barrier between the "Politicians" and the "Militarists" mentioned above and the very remarkable checks the FRD Executive Committee members imposed on each other. For rather obvious reasons they attempted to make the FRD an "Exclusive Club" by restricting, if not closing, membership in it and they insisted on a system of parity throughout all FRD working elements, that is to say that each Executive Committee member placed the same number of his followers, as did anyone of his fellow members, on any working group.
This concept of leadership -- not surprising in exile politics and somewhat reminiscent of past Cuban history and practices -- had, of course, its effect on dynamic action and puts the term leadership in a somewhat different context. Moreover, the U.S. and the Agency did not feel that a different concept could be forced on the Cubans.

As the pace of the build-up and of current operations accelerated in the autumn of 1960, it became increasingly apparent that any approach to the effectiveness which was the second of the two objectives of Agency pressure would require a higher degree of control over and direction of the anti-Castro movement by the Agency than had originally been hoped. The Cubans never did succeed in creating a Cuban organization sufficiently free of internal divisions and competently enough staffed to perform the rapidly expanding operational tasks. Radio broadcasts had to be organized, publications arranged, and propaganda material prepared. Paramilitary personnel had to be recruited, screened, and trained. Boats had to be procured, crewed, and maintained. Air crews had likewise to be selected and trained and air operations mounted. Two bases had to be built in Guatemala. There was the large and continuing task of logistic support. All of these tasks would have had to be performed in one form or another even if the major emphasis had continued to be on the internal resistance rather than on the preparation of a strike force. The FRD never came close to achieving the capability to take the major initiative in planning, directing, or conducting these activities. The hope entertained in the summer of 1960 that the FRD would soon evolve into an organization which could take increasing responsibility for the direction of the effort, relying on the Agency mainly for financial and logistic support and for some help in training, proved completely illusional. It is fair to say that by mid-autumn of 1960, the choice was between a degree of initiative and control by the Agency recognized at the time to be undesirable and, as the only feasible alternative, the abandonment of any serious effort to accomplish the end in view.

Against this background one can examine whether the FRD's political and military elements were reduced to the status of puppets and whether the advantages of their active participation was lost by this.

1. The FRD political element.

a) From the outset, the basic principle was established to respect the independence of the Project's Cuban collaborators and, for all intents and purposes, to treat and deal with them as equals; no orders were to be issued, results were to be accomplished by persuasion and by the application of normal, generally accepted practices of political intercourse. The 11-12 May 1960 New York meeting which resulted in the formation of the FRD is but one example of the application of this Agency's posture: Agency representatives served as hosts for the assembled Cubans, stated unequivocally the view that formation of a unified opposition to Castro was strictly a Cuban affair and then withdrew leaving it to the delegates to establish their organization in terms upon which they could agree.

b) The staffing of the FRD working elements and the initiation of activities via these elements was in the hands of the Cubans who were not obliged to check their moves with their U.S. contacts. In fact, the inclusion of Aureleano Sanchez Arango in the Executive Committee on 10 June 1960, which took place without Agency consultation and was at that time at least considered an undesirable development, is another example of the freedom of action the Cubans enjoyed. It might also be said that Sanchez Arango never had any assets of any kind to offer. He had a longstanding friendship with "Pepe" Figueres of Costa Rica and President Betancourt of Venezuela which enabled him to muster some pressure in the early days for a high position. In view, however, of his lack of following, his resignation was of no significance whatsoever contrary to the statement of the Survey (Para. 16, page 85).

c) From the moment the FRD was formed in May 1960 in New York, the Cubans were aware of the importance attributed in the early stages of the Project by their U.S. contacts to having FRD Headquarters moved to Mexico. The Cubans opposed this move for a variety of reasons -- mostly personal and some, from their view point, political. Had the Agency treated its counterparts as puppets, this move could have been accomplished within a matter of weeks. However, in spite of considerable pressures on the Agency, the principle of tactful persuasion was relied upon and it was not until August 1960 that the FRD got to Mexico and then it was only for a short time.

d) The establishment of FRD branch offices in numerous Latin American countries was accomplished by the FRD Executive Committee, with U.S. contacts merely playing an advisory role.

e) The aforementioned self-imposed system of parity and _____ running the FRD by Committee resulted in less dynamic action than was desirable. A partnership with divergent views among the partners is not the best mechanism for decisive action. Thus, U.S. contacts suggested in September 1960, the creation of the position of an FRD General Coordinator, a suggestion accepted in principle by all Cubans concerned. The Cubans, however, wanted their U.S. colleagues to declare their preferences for a particular person. Again this was not done because of the principle of non-U.S. interference in strictly unilateral exile Cuban affairs. The exile internal warfare on this leadership issue assumed rather remarkable proportions but finally the FRD Executive Committee selected Antonio de Varona as General Coordinator on 27 September 1960.

f) The concept of permitting the FRD Cubans to run their own show as much as possible coupled with their own preoccupation on mending their political fences and creating their own political machines, caused many tactical difficulties to those Agency elements charged with day-to-day propaganda activities whose successful implementation hinged on immediate action without protracted negotiations on each detail. Thus, of necessity unilateral Agency operations had to be created in substantially all the action fields (e.g., propaganda, intelligence collection, paramilitary) which were impossible to conceal from the FRD. The FRD leadership resented what they considered competition and demanded exclusive control of these activities; they also demanded that the FRD be the only channel for U.S. dealings with any segment of the internal Cuban opposition or the Cuban exile community. On the latter point the Department of State did not agree; on the former, the Agency could not acquiesce because of operational considerations. Moreover, on the former point there was a strong feeling throughout the U.S. Government that it would be wrong to permit the FRD to be in a position to rule out any Cuban elements which might have usable internal Cuban assets. It was clear at least by December 1960 that the effort to broaden the membership of the FRD to the point where it included all political acceptable elements of the opposition had failed and that the effort of its members to use it to advance their own political fortunes within the exile community was resented. All elements of the U.S. Government were agreed that it could not be an exclusive chosen instrument with a monopoly of governmental support. These problems were certainly not the product of coercion.

53. Tentative plans for a provisional government were first discussed with FRD leaders in December, and this set off a flurry of intrigue and bickering which delayed the recruiting process and did nothing to advance the cause of unity. In mid-January Miami Base reported that "the over-all problem is simply to maintain the Frente (FRD) as an operational facade until military action intervenes and a provisional government can be established." Until the question of how and by whom such a government was to be selected could be answered, the base reported, "we are at political dead center."

54. This dead center remained until very near the target date and was only resolved by an ultimatum to the FRD Executive Committee directing its members to agree on the chairman for a Revolutionary Council or risk the loss of all further support.

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

g) The inability of the FRD Cubans again -- because of their incessant preoccupation with political advantage -- to establish an effective paramilitary recruiting mechanism within the Project deadlines called for the utilization of Cuban officers and men outside the FRD channel. This action was in line with the realities of the situation, i.e., the inability of the political elements to tackle the military tasks as speedily and effectively as necessary and the aforementioned unwillingness of the military (or activists) to accept the political leadership. (Only after the election of Miro Cardona as CRC President did the Liberation Army support and accept the political structure.) Thus, political personalities retained their independence in their specialty and the military (and activists) worked -- with the guidance of U.S. military specialists -- in theirs. If closer coordination had been possible between the political and the military it would clearly have been desirable. Only the political urgencies of an actual attack were sufficient to achieve any real unity and this was in many ways a mirage and a "sometime thing".

It is true as stated in the Survey that the Agency intervened actively to prevent visits by the political leaders to the training camps in December and January, and that this was deeply resented by the political leaders. It is also true that this lack of contact with the political leadership left the Cuban military personnel unsure of what and for whom they were going to fight, even though being activists not political scientists they were generally satisfied with a mere "Down with Castro" slogan. There were, however, the most specific and urgent reasons for following this policy. During these months, as the crucial role of the strike force was recognized by all concerned, the competition between the political leaders to secure control of it was at its maximum. Varona used the FRD recruiting machinery to try to insure a preponderance of loyal personnel that would be acceptable to and have some loyalty to him. Other members of the CRC were equally anxious to insure the inclusion of recruits loyal to them. Most (but not all) of the FRD leaders resented the inclusion of men who had not been supplied through their own recruitment machinery. The FRD leadership, and later some members of the CRC, were determined to try to displace the senior military officers of the Brigade with political appointees acceptable to them. During the four months before the invasion, no one of the political leaders could have been allowed to visit the camps alone without accusations of favoritism. Meanwhile, the Cuban military leaders in training and the American training officers who were endeavoring to fashion the Brigade into a cohesive and powerful force, feared above all any encouragement of factionalism in the ranks. Moreover, although the troops needed indoctrination in the ideology for which they were going to risk their lives, it was known that some members of the FRD and later of the CRC were unpopular in the camps. There was a real possibility that if there were many visits of the political leadership, and if these visits were not carefully controlled when they were permitted, a real cleavage would have opened up between the military force and the political committee with the possible disruption of the Brigade, the one essential asset at the time. The decision to isolate the Brigade from the political leadership for a considerable period was obviously a difficult one and no one can state with certainty that the course of action actually followed was the wisest. It did, however, produce a situation on D-Day in which the Brigade was unified and the political leadership had, at least superficially, accepted their relationship to it.

h) As the deadline for the Project approached the need to broaden by democratic means and strictly by Cuban action the FRD base and to evolve a provisional government became pressing. Continuous negotiations were conducted during February 1961 and March 1961, and on 22 March 1961 the CRC was created. Every Agency position paper prepared on this matter stressed the need for letting the Cubans have their own say. Indeed it was felt that only Cuban selection could have any real value. This policy had the approval of the Department of State and was carried out to the letter. The following excerpts from an address by an Agency representative to the Cuban Revolutionary Assembly on 18 March 1961 just prior to the start of the selection of the CRC exemplified this: "Naturally, the procedures employed in the election of your leader or Provisional President must remain entirely in your hands ... Obviously we are not trying to tell you whom you should elect -- that is your responsibility and yours alone ... The decision is up to you. I am confident you will make the right one." Thus, acting independently the Cuban exiles elected Miro Cardona as their provisional President.

i) It is quite true that CRC members went into isolation during the 17 April invasion; it is also true that statements on the invasion were issued in their names. On the former, CRC members were briefed and counseled by two high ranking Agency officials and the Cuban agreement was given voluntarily and without coercion and in recognition of the demands of the hour. In fact Miro Cardona was told that he might stay in New York City over the fateful weekend of 14-17 April. He, however, asked to be isolated with the other members of the CRC.

j) In summary, the facts prove that FRD (and later CRC) members were not reduced to the status of puppets -- regardless of their feeling in the ice cold reality of defeat -- and that their action capabilities were exploited to the fullest (an outstanding example is the great number of laws and plans which were ready for promulgation and implementation upon the assumption of power in Cuba by the Provisional Government). Such limitations as existed on active participation by Cubans in post-Castro plans for Cuba were created by their own preoccupation with matters relating to personal ambitions, long-standing personal biases and exile politics Caribbean style. Indeed as pointed out above, politicians had little to do with the military aspects of the operation since they lacked by their own admission technical competence. Just before the landing, however, the politico-military understanding was at its best. The Brigade and its leadership recognized the political leadership of the CRC and Manuel Artime, a leading member of the CRC, stayed and landed with the Brigade as a representative of the CRC.

2. The FRD Military Element.

a) The military element similarly enjoyed freedom of action consonant with traditionally accepted rules of military discipline and order. Although American advisors, of necessity, directed the planning of the troop training from the basic stage through advanced large unit exercises and maneuvers, the Cuban military leadership participated in this planning and was solely responsible for the conduct of the training and for the control of the troops. In this latter connection, the Cuban military leaders were responsible for the maintenance of law, order and discipline and in the discharge of these responsibilities meted out disciplinary punishment ranging from "company punishment" to incarceration.

b) Without coercion on our part, the Liberation Troops pledged their loyalty to the Cuban political leadership as represented by the Cuban Revolutionary Council.

c) The traditional cleavages of military versus political leadership naturally were evident in this operation as they are in almost any organized state in the world. There is no evidence, however, to support any contention that the gap between their respective objectives and methods to be employed to achieve these objectives was any wider than would be expected given the circumstances that existed. Merely because those like Manuel Ray who never favored an invasion said after the defeat "I told you so" to all available newspapers did not mean that the D-Day unity was not sufficiently strong to have provided a platform on which to build. Failure, quite naturally, provided the most potent fuel to the flames of dissension which lay only just below the surface.

3. Miscellaneous.

Other than the main conclusion mentioned above, there are some minor criticisms in the Survey. Project officers are criticised for not speaking Spanish. This point is discussed elsewhere but it might again be noted that of the six senior officers dealing with the Cuban leaders, five had fluent Spanish and the one officer who did not succeeded nevertheless in achieving a close relationship with a number of the top Cubans including Miro Cardona.

Paragraphs 42-50 on pages 94 to 97 of the Survey contain a series of criticisms and preachments which are so general, unsupported or unconnected to some specific consequence that we can only comment that they have been noted with dismay and that we regret that until more detail is furnished, an answer is not possible.

The remainder of the Survey's section on the political front and the relations to the Cubans starting on page 81 is mainly factual. It is only unfortunate that it treats so complex a problem so superficially and fails to include any of the extensive Agency relationships with the State Department and the White House with respect to the proper line to take with the Cuban leaders and the correct interpretation of the political views of these leaders. Also, what political attitudes were the most desirable from the point of view of the U.S.? In addition, the Agency did considerable work on the preparation of political documents. Moreover, some non-Agency experts were obtained to work with the Cuban leaders at their request in the development of the planks for their political platform. The absence of this whole story and the problems faced as it unfolded makes it difficult to have any real understanding of what was involved on the political side.
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Re: Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation and As

Postby admin » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:00 am


The Survey only has a one sentence conclusion regarding the carrying out of paramilitary operations (as distinguished from the basic military concept), namely, "Air and boat operations showed up poorly." (Para. 4., page 143). The body of the Survey, however, has three chapters on this point dealing with "Air", "Maritime", and "Training Underground Leaders". (Page 98-134). The major points in these chapters will be considered below.

[NB: Three maps have been kept and are available, if desired, which show all air and maritime deliveries into Cuba plus all PM assets on Cuban soil as of 17 April 1961. These can be examined at any time. They are believed relevant to these paramilitary points.]


1. Before discussing the many specific criticisms of the Survey, a few background points should be presented.

a. For reasons already discussed, U.S. bases could not be used. Consequently, drop missions had to be flown the longer distance from Guatemala, the only foreign soil within range for which permission from the local government was possible. Conceivably, President Somoza might have approved Nicaragua, but for many reasons Guatemala was preferable for these missions, e.g., a usable base in Nicaragua was not ready until late in the project; Nicaragua was farther from the U.S. and during this period supplies had to come from the U.S.; the trainees were in Guatemala, so that by using the same country the logistic support was simplified; and a separate country for the strike base was desired. Moreover, it was advisable to keep pre-strike activities out of the country providing the strike base.

b. U.S. airmen could not be used. The Cubans recruited had extensive experience and were given a lot of training. Their air background, however, was commercial flying which, as it turned out, did not provide them with the kind of night flying navigational precision desired. Moreover, being Cuban and emotionally involved, their discipline was not good. For example, they often violated orders by remaining over targets too long in an effort to find the DZ and help their countrymen.

c. Reception committees were either untrained or performed under difficult conditions. Even a trained individual, other than perhaps a surveyor, can make a slight error in figuring the coordinates of a DZ, particularly in rough terrain. A small mistake is enough to destroy the effectiveness of an air drop.

d. The recent and productive experience of making drops in difficult areas, such as _____, has convinced us that communications with the receiving group, including ground to air communications from the DZ to the dropping aircraft (whether by radio, W/T or beacon), is essential to any assurance of success. In the Cuban situation, communications at best were difficult. For example, although contact was established with groups in the Escambray by courier, efforts to infiltrate a trained radio operator with equipment were never successful. In other cases it was advisable, if not necessary, to keep the radio operator away from the DZ in order to avoid risking so scarce a commodity. This meant an unavoidable delay with respect to last minute messages between the senders and the actual receivers. In no case were the desired communications mentioned above ever possible.

e. The Cuban land mass is not easy for drops. Either the terrain is rough and DZs are few as in the Escambray or the area is relatively crowded making an isolated spot difficult to find. In addition, Castro, as a former guerrilla leader, had surveyed possible DZs and was thoroughly familiar with their location.

f. Drop operations without all aids are inherently difficult. As already stated even toward the end of WW II skilled crews dropping to skilled and experienced reception committees were accorded, as a rule of thumb on the basis of lessons learned, only a 50% chance of success. The technical facilities in Cuba were less good than those in France in 1944-45 and the human capabilities much less good.

Having made the foregoing comments, it should then be admitted that the drop record in Cuba was poor. Efforts to improve it, however, were not successful, nor is it clear that any permissible action would have done any good. Some 27,800 lbs. of materiel were actually delivered (somewhat more than stated by the Survey). (See para. 9, page 101). The major deliveries, however, as already explained, were by boat. Only one body drop was made. The reason for this was that drops were obviously going badly and individuals could be infiltrated more successfully by boat.

2. Specific allegations of the Survey follow:

a. The first drop was close but missed by 7 miles as stated by the Survey (para. 1, page 98). A contributing factor was an unknown dam construction marked by lights. No U-2 flights had been approved at this stage of the project and knowledge of the construction was not available. On return the plane hit the proper coast in point in Guatemala, and the crew captain then turned the plane over to the co-pilot. The latter took a short cut, climbed above some cloud cover, was lost when he came down and landed on the first field he found, i.e., in Mexico, even though he still had sufficient fuel to return to Guatemala. Obviously, this was bad procedure and poor crew discipline.

b. The rice and beans drop (para. 4., et seq., page 99) is an exaggerated case. In order to fill out the load, the DDCI decided to drop some food, as food shortages were clearly a problem with the resistance. Probably too much food was dropped and the agent was disturbed and angry. He continued, however, to work for the resistance and with the Agency, coming to Miami at a later date and returning again to Cuba thereafter.

c. Reception procedures (para. 11-12, pages 101-102) were the best that could be devised in each instance, given the circumstances, i.e., the DZ, the local situation, the communications and the materiel available or that which could be used, (e.g., bonfires often were impossible, thereby making flashlights necessary). As to differences of view, there is no doubt that before a final flight plan was decided upon in particular cases there were often varying suggestions as to what should or should not be done. The clearance procedures already described were fully understood, however, and, it is believed, worked. In view of all the circumstances, they were not "cumbersome", as alleged by the Survey. The Special Group gave the overall clearance; the Task Force made the request for a drop and recommended the time, the place and the load; DPD handled the preparation of the flight plan and suggested any changes prompted by air safety considerations; and the DDCI gave the specific flight plan and final operational clearance. The crews were briefed in Guatemala. Their air discipline, as already indicated, was poor but how to correct it was difficult. Pilots and crews were hard to find so that they could not be fired. Navigation also was faulty though usually mistakes occurred in the difficult area after hitting the Cuban coast-in point.

d. Pilots were often told, as indicated by the Survey, to drop if they had any reason to believe that they were close to their targets. Often the need was so urgent that any effort to deliver supplies was justifiable. Moreover. capture of materiel by Castro's forces was a matter of no consequence as the Cubans had more equipment than they could use. Also, there were cases where recovery was by non-resistance Cubans who then passed the materiel to the resistance. Consequently, this chance was always present. If the blind drop theory was wrong, at least it was consciously adopted by all concerned at the time.

e. The so-called "tardy corrective action" (para. 33, page 108) was misunderstood by the Survey. In late February or early March a review of drops was made to try to see what, if anything, could be done to improve results. The findings merely confirmed the problems but really provided no solutions. Some suggestions were made which, in effect, were merely a restatement of existing procedures. Blind drops, as already indicated, were continued as a matter of policy when conditions were urgent, even though the review recommended their elimination. The other study made in January 1961 (para. 31, page 107) was stopped by the Paramilitary Chief as he knew that a solution by use of American pilots was politically unacceptable no matter how desirable operationally.

In conclusion it might be said that the DPD overall air drop record is a good one and will stand close examination. The failures in Cuba were not the result of lack of competence nor of poor organization. They were rather the result of many complex factors, some beyond Agency control, some undoubtedly within Agency control. During the project, the only real solutions were believed to be in the area of political infeasibility, although an improved record might have otherwise been achieved. Surely if better communications could have been provided with the resistance elements at the time of drops, there would have been greater success. It must be remembered in this connection that during the early months in 1961 the communications picture improved materially. Moreover, during the last two or three weeks before the invasion some 15 drop requests were received which could not for other reasons be fulfilled. The groups making these requests were, however, well equipped and capable.


In the maritime field, it should be noted that the Survey makes no mention of the operational atmosphere or difficulties. This, of course, is true throughout the Survey, but, because of the particular difficulties encountered in connection with ships and crews and the amounts of money involved, the omission of realities seems perhaps more conspicuous in the maritime field.

One major omission, for example, is the effort made by the Agency to find boats in the Navy and the Coast Guard. Although such effort was made and both Services were thoroughly cooperative, no usable boats could be found. Consequently, although the Agency fleet was not what might have been desired, it was, of necessity? obtained out of what could be found.

Another omission is any review of performance in relation to difficulties. For example, under the circumstances, it is suggested that the infiltration of 88,000 lbs. of materiel plus 79 bodies and the exfiltration of 51 bodies is a perfectly reasonable performance. Moreover, the transportation of the Brigade to the beachhead without hitch was surely a commendable operation.

As to supplies, the Survey criticizes the limited distribution achieved geographically in Cuba, but the fact is that the distribution was fairly good. This has been explained in an earlier section along with the reasons why the central south coast was not covered.

As to the condition of ships and the money required for their purchase and repair. no detailed discussion seems justified, although the Survey devotes considerable space to these items. The only significance of these allegations, it is felt, would be if, in the light of the existing requirements, urgencies and availabilities (i.e., of both equipment and people). the judgments exercised were reprehensible. Admittedly, the Agency fleet cost a substantial amount of money. Moreover, as stated, the craft were not ideal. The issue, however, is what else was possible. It is doubted that anything could have been done at the time which would have materially altered the situation.

Admittedly. as indicated in the Survey (para. 41, pages 123 -124). the Agency capability in the maritime field at the start of the Cuban project was not very substantial. This, however, is no great surprise in view of the unlikelihood pre-Cuba that the Agency would become involved in a project requiring this type of maritime capability. It should be noted that for two years prior to Cuba DD/P officers examined all aspects of PM requirements, including maritime, to determine what preparatory steps, if any, could be constructively taken in advance of an actual project requirement. Although a number of actions were taken, the Cuban maritime needs were not anticipated.

In this connection, in retrospect it would probably have been wise to have requested Captain Scapa or some other senior Navy officer earlier in the project. A Marine Colonel was, of course, the Paramilitary Chief and had charge of maritime operations. Also, continuous liaison with the Navy and Navy officers in Defense was taking place. Nevertheless, a full time Navy Captain in the project could have resulted in the adoption of more imaginative methods which might possibly have produced greater performance. Even in retrospect, however, it is not known what these would have been.

1. The main specific criticisms of the Survey are:

a. Difficulties with crews particularly the "Barbara J". There is no question that trouble was experienced with the Cuban crews. One problem was that the Cubans. when recruited, thought that they were going to control the ships. This impression could have been given by Agency officers in good faith. At any rate, it soon became apparent that such control was impossible, particularly for the landing operation. Clearance was, therefore, requested by the Agency and obtained to hire American masters plus a few American officers for special posts (e.g., chief engineer, communications) on the main landing ships. The heads of MSTS went to extensive pain and trouble to help the Agency find such officers. When hired, however, they were resented by the Cuban seamen, who felt that they had been deprived of their own command and control, and time and circumstances did not permit shakedown cruises. The consequence, particularly when the crews were first put on board ship, was trouble, partly for the reason given and partly because of differences between the Cubans themselves. These latter conflicts were unfortunate, but it is unknown how they could have been discovered or anticipated during the recruitment unless more time had been available. These problems, moreover, were ironed out before the landing movement in which these particular ships were involved. In addition, the crews were effectively given good training at Vieques as evidenced both by Captain Scapa's examination and the later performance of the crews.

b. The Survey makes a great deal of the case of one of the Masters of the "Barbara J" who was discharged and subsequently had his name included in a letter of commendation. (Paras. 24-25-26, pages 117-118). This case had a long history known to the inspectors which unfortunately the Survey does not choose to mention. Briefly, the Master was considered by MSTS as one of their best men. In fact he was one of the youngest of their men (about 35) to be made a Master. A strong personality difference arose between him and one of the senior Agency contract employees who was to be a central figure in the landing. This employee made charges against the Master including a charge that the Master had been drinking on an operational trip. He, therefore, demanded that the Master be discharged. The case was such that under the circumstances the Agency employee had to be backed or lost. Due to the employee's importance to the mission, the fact that he was a very good officer, and the shortness of time, he was backed and the Master discharged. On further investigation, it was found that the Master not only denied all the allegations against him but claimed that he could find men to substantiate his story and asked in writing to vindicate himself. In view of his superior MSTS record and faced with serious issues of fact plus obvious security problems and with no time or opportunity to hold hearings to resolve these issues, it was decided to give the Master his contract pay and to explain the facts to the Industrial Relations Officer of MSTS. This was done. Thereafter, at the last moment it became essential to obtain a Master for one of the reserve supply ships. Due to the urgency of the situation, the Master's background and the very good impression that the Master had made following the other incident he was asked to take the job. Knowing of the problems at the beachhead including the dangers from enemy air attack and despite his strong disagreement with the decision resulting in his discharge, the Master still immediately accepted, took command of the ship and put to sea. Due to subsequent events beyond his control, he was recalled. In view of all these facts, his name was later included in the general letter to MSTS commending the performance of the more than 20 officers provided by MSTS. On this record, the action taken still seems correct.

c. As to infiltration of teams (para. 11, page 128), there were some difficulties but again the situation must be examined in regard to all the existing facts. In the first place through the summer, fall and early winter of 1960, the Havana Station was in existence (the Embassy and thus the Station was closed in early January). Consequently, internal Cuban contacts and communications were excellent. Moreover, legal travel was relatively easy and as pointed out by the Survey, some 8 radio operators were put into Cuba legally. In addition, defectors. as indicated in an earlier section, were exfiltrating in large numbers. Many of these held responsible positions in the Castro Government or in the community and were in close touch with resistance groups. Moreover, the Miami exile community, many of whom were U.S. representatives of internal resistance groups, had their own communications through couriers or otherwise. Consequently, the six maritime operations mentioned by the Survey in September, October, and November must be assessed in relation to this background. Also. in addition, in the summer and fall of 1960 (ending in December) the RIO ESCONDIDO was used to infiltrate and exfiltrate as many as 16 people. The ship had a smuggling compartment in the boiler room which could take two individuals. preferably one. The Survey does not mention these movements, probably because they were not considered maritime operations, rather arrangements with the ship's captain. Five of the 16 people infiltrated during this period were key resistance leaders and their W/T operators. Another factor during this period was that legal movement was relatively easy for individuals legally in Cuba so that the desirability of putting in individuals who had to live and leave black was reduced. In view of all these factors, it was decided to keep out many of the teams originally planned for infiltration. The reaction of trained teams to such inactivity was, what might have been expected, anger, discouragement and lowered morale. On top of this the ill-fated trip of the "Barbara J" was unfortunate since 3 teams were aboard who were not put ashore in Cuba. Consequently, the attitude of this group of Cuban trainees was at times bad. After the Havana Station was closed, however, the infiltration efforts picked up despite being thwarted by bad weather through January. By the end of March or early April, the paramilitary agent infiltration had achieved an adequate total. Moreover, thirteen communicators was a satisfactory number although it is probably fair to say that there is no such thing as too many communicators.

d. The Survey alleges that small boat operations were not planned (para. 17, page 114). Probably under the press of events the paper work was not as tidy as might be found in normal charter parties. Planning, however, was, it is believed, what was possible. Maritime operations can only be planned in relation to known facts such as an available reception, an available boat and a moment timely for a mission. Overall plans are obviously possible and it is believed that it can be shown that such plans existed. In the same way what was desired in the way of boats was known but actual purchases were only feasible as particular craft materialized on the market.


The major criticisms of the training were that the sites were inadequate and in some cases too remote; training on foreign soil would have been better accomplished in the U.S.; some of the U.S. training was with haphazard facilities and trainers; and the training was piecemeal without plan.

Before responding to the particular allegations, it must be noted that, with all due respect, the Survey's criticism suggests the attitudes of a dweller in a secure and well-ordered academic "Never-never Land" who assumes that all training must be similarly conducted or it is poorly managed. It is the Harvard Law School trying to comment on the advantages of sandlot training for baseball players. The only difference being that the HLS would be judiciously analytic which is a point of view never achieved by the Survey.

The facts are that none of the project's training sites were ideal or picked solely for the accomplishment of the training involved. Security considerations, or, in other words, political concerns, played a vital role.

Moreover, If results are any criteria, the training sites we e adequate. As far as the Brigade and its air arm are concerned, the conclusions of impartial experts (i.e., the JCS team) regarding the competence achieved are recorded in writing. The performance of the trainees on the beachhead is further proof. The training of the landing ships' crews at Vieques was good and effective in operation. The training in Panama was excellent on all reports as was the screening and handling of personnel to be trained at Useppa Island. The Nino Diaz group at New Orleans was, according to all observers, well trained and ready to fight. Its failure to land was due to poor leadership and not the fault of the troops.

The communications training has always been reported as excellent and the Survey itself commends the communications effort. Practice also established that the trained agent communicators in Cuba had far fewer garbles in their messages than normally found in such transmissions.

The agents, who were trained (and all those who were infiltrated as agents were given training), received courses in how to live black; some weapons and demolitions training; some CE; air reception and how to handle drops; resistance organization and how to contact underground groups. The teams who were to be infiltrated received, as stated by the Survey (para. 12, page 129) and mentioned earlier, training in "security, basic clandestine tradecraft, intelligence collection and reporting, propaganda and agitation, subversive activities, resistance organization, reception operations, explosives and demolitions, guerrilla action and similar action."

There was, therefore, no lack of training doctrine or planning. Incidentally, since it has been raised by the Survey (para. 11 et seq., page 101), the air reception procedures taught to all agents were those taught in the Agency School on this subject.

Regarding sites, it should be pointed out that, whether good or bad, the Guatemala sites were the only ones available. The U.S. was politically unacceptable and the Guatemala government was the deciding element as to the sites in Guatemala that could be used. The Survey says that the ground training base in Guatemala "obviously ... could not "accommodate 500 individuals. (Para. 10, page 127). The fact was that it did plus many more and worked.

Similarly the initial situation at New Orleans was difficult. (Para. 23, page 133). Again, however, the problems were adequately corrected to provide adequate training. It took work and some help from the Armed Services to get the base functioning but both occurred and prevai1ed.

The Survey, as indicated, also alleges that training could have been more effective and secure if done in the United States (Paras. 11-12, page 138). The Survey points to tank and communications training which did take place in the U.S. to support its conclusion. What is not said is that the tank training only involved 25 men and was done at a U.S. base accustomed to training foreign groups and quite able to assimilate a small group of this size. Similarly, communications could be and were taught in small classes. Political clearances, therefore, were granted specifically for these classes, i.e., a U.S. base for tankers and U.S. safehouses for communicators, but as a recognized exception to the basic rule of generally denying the use of the U. S. for any kind of training. The Nino Diaz group at New Orleans was obviously another exception and one which was somewhat inconsistent with the general rule, but the clearance was given nevertheless because time was short (the invasion was imminent) and an attempted diversionary operation was considered important. Moreover, no other site was available that was either better or usable, taking all factors into account.

The question of haphazard facilities and trainers has been discussed earlier. Obviously, there is a good deal of adjusting to the needs of the moment in a project of this sort. It is believed, however, that the record will show that the training plans were reasonably detailed and complete. Moreover, that wherever a training course of any length was involved, there was a specific training plan.
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