Cuban Missile Crisis

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Hilsman, Roger. The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Struggle Over Policy. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996.

Cutler, Proceedings 122.7 (Jul. 1996), comments that Hilsman uses "newly disclosed information from the Soviet side, as well as his own vantage point" (he headed State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the time) to produce an account that "is hair-raising and inspiring while providing a unique viewpoint of this moment of superpower confrontation." For Halpern, Surveillant 4.4/5, Hilsman's position as one of the principals in this crisis makes his views important, but his emphasis on the importance of the Scali-Feklisov/Fomin back channel suggests that he has not updated the story with current documentation and research.

Hilsman, Roger. To Move a Nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John F. Kennedy. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, 1967. New York: Dell, 1968. [pb]

Abbot E. Smith, Studies 11.4 (Fall 1967), says that this "is an excellent book, well organized, well written, well worth reading.... There is a great deal about the CIA." Hilsman treats the CIA "fairly and judiciously.... He emphatically denies that the Agency is or was ... an Invisible Government." Pforzheimer finds that the parts of the book on President Kennedy and the CIA and the Cuban Missile Crisis "are of particular interest. Hilsman's comments are highly subjective and frequently very provocative and debatable."

Holland, "The Politics of Intelligence Postmortems: Cuba 1962-1963," IJI&C 20.3 (Fall 2007), p. 426, argues that "Hilsman's position [at the time and in this book] was that of loyalty to the Kennedy administrarion rather than the facts."

Holland, Max. "The 'Photo Gap' that Delayed Discovery of Missiles in Cuba." Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 4 (2005): 15-30.

"The political decision to desist from intrusive or risky overflights [of Cuba] and stretch out the missions" contributed to "a dysfunctional surveillance regime in a dynamic situation." The result was to delay the discovery of the offensive missiles at San Cristóbal by almost a month.

Holland, Max. "The Politics of Intelligence Postmortems: Cuba 1962-1963." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 3 (Fall 2007): 415-452.

"What is striking was how the four ex post facto analyses varied in their findings and conclusions regarding the performance of the Intelligence Community in the run-up to the missile crisis, notwithstanding the sameness of the facts at issue." Central to Holland's discussion is the treatment in the postmortems of the results and/or meaning of the 10 September 1962 meeting where the Committee on Overhead Reconnaissance (COMOR) agreed to restrict the regularly scheduled U-2 overflights of Cuba. The author concludes that "the lesson from 1962-1963 would seem to be that all such inquests should be viewed critically, and with the utmost caution."

Following the release in June 2007 of CIA IG Jack Earman's November 1962 report, Holland extends the thesis of this article in "More on Postmortems," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 188-189.

Hotz, Robert. "What Was the Threat." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12 Nov. 1962, 21.

According to Garthoff, I&NS 13.3/57/fn. 16, this "inaccurate" article "gave rise to a school of revisionist analysis [of the Cuban Missile Crisis] ... that questioned whether the Kennedy administration had honestly presented the picture of the missile threat, but these speculations were misinformed and without merit."

Hughes, John T., with A. Denis Clift. "The San Cristobal Trapezoid." Studies in Intelligence, Winter 1992: 41-56. Studies in Intelligence: 45th Anniversary Special Edition, Fall 2000, 149-165.

Hughes was Special Assistant to DIA Director Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Carroll during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Here, he gives his version of the events of that period.

Johnson, Thomas R., and David A. Hatch. NSA and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 1998. []

"[S]ignals intelligence did not provide any direct information about the Soviet introduction of offensive ballistic missiles into Cuba. However, in the more than two years before that fact was known, SIGINT analysts thoroughly studied the Cuban military buildup. Once the offensive missiles were discovered, SIGINT provided direct support for day-to-day management of the crisis."

Kahan, Jerome H., and Anne K. Long. "The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Study of Its Strategic Context." Political Science Quarterly 87 (Dec, 1972): 564-590.

Kennedy, Robert F. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Norton, 1969.

Kent, Sherman. "A Crucial Estimate Relived." Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 2 (Spring 1964): 1-18. Studies in Intelligence 36, no. 5 (1992): 111-119.

Westerfield: "Kent's account of his greatest mistake: the prediction three weeks before the Cuban missile crisis that Moscow would be unlikely to station missiles in Cuba that could reach much of the United States." See Michael Douglas Smith, "The Perils of Analysis: Revisiting Sherman Kent’s Defense of SNIE 85-3-62." Studies in Intelligence 51, no. 3 (2007). []

Knorr, Klaus. "Failures in National Intelligence Estimates: The Case of the Cuban Missiles." World Politics 16, no. 3 (Apr. 1964): 455-467.

Kramer, Mark, et al. "Remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis: Should We Swallow Oral History?" International Security 15, no. 1 (1990): 212-218.

Larson, David, ed. The "Cuban Crisis" of 1962: Selected Documents and Chronology. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.

Laubenthal, Sanders A. [CAPT/USAF] The Missiles in Cuba, 1962: The Role of SAC Intelligence. Offutt AFB, NE: Strategic Air Command, 1984.

Lechuga, Carlos M., and Mirta Muniz. In the Eye of the Storm: Castro, Khrushchev, Kennedy, and Missile Crisis. Melbourne, Australia: Ocean Press, 1995.

Mapother, John R. "Berlin and the Cuban Crisis." Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 12, no. 1 (1993): 1-3.

The Cuban Missile Crisis "was the final act of an attempt at military extortion that began in November 1958."

May, Ernest R., and Philip D. Zelikow, eds. The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Clark comment: This work consists of the edited transcripts of the taped meetings of President Kennedy's Executive Committee (Ex-Com) during the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.

For Hendrickson, FA 77.3 (May-Jun. 1998), as invaluable as these tapes will prove to historians, "they still leave ample room for argument over what brought about the crisis, whether the participants acted wisely, and how it was resolved." Pincus, WPNWE, 20 Oct. 1997, notes that there are no stunning new facts here. However, he adds that "a great deal ... is new if you want to understand the day-to-day evolution of a policy and the people involved in a crisis through all its ups and downs."

Powers, London Review of Books (13 Nov. 1997) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 171-184, says that the editors "have convincingly placed the White House deliberations within the political and military context of the missile crisis itself. To this they have added a brilliant account of the shared assumptions which Kennedy and his advisers brought to their discussions."

McAuliffe, Mary S., ed. CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis 1962. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992.

According to Surveillant 3.1, the editor/compiler, Dr. Mary S. McAuliffe, "recently completed an internal study of John A. McCone's tenure as DCI, and is the author of Crisis on the Left: Cold War Politics and American Liberals, 1947-1954" (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 1978). FILS 11.6 says this collection is "unique and provides ... invaluable information." For Lowenthal, the documents give "a good feel for the role played by intelligence in this crisis and [how] senior policy and intelligence officials interacted." Additional documents on the 1962 crisis are published in Laurence Chang and Peter Kornbluh, eds., The Cuban Missile Crisis (1992).

Merom, Gil. "The 1962 Cuban Intelligence Estimate: A Methodological Perspective." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1999): 48-80.

The author argues that "positive evaluations of the intelligence performance," specifically with regard to SNIE 85-3-62, "are misplaced.... [T]he American intelligence failure in the Cuban case [can be explained] in terms of a lack of commitment to fundamental methodological principles of investigation and analysis." Raymond A Garthoff, "A Commentary on Merom's Methodology," Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 3 (Autumn 2000): 146-153, finds that "[m]any aspects of the discussion are distorted by the author's fitting data into a Procrustean bed" of two alleged and competing theories in the intelligence community -- "conservative" and "revolutionary."

Meyer, Karl E. "Inside the C.I.A.: A Bit of Sunlight on the Missile Crisis." New York Times, 24 Oct. 1992, A14 (N).

Munson, Harlow T., and W.P. Southard. "Two Witnesses for the Defense." Studies in Intelligence 8, no. 4 (Fall 1964): 93-98.

Munton, Don, and David A. Welch. The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. [pb]

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