Sei sulla pagina 1di 118
841 Fee 2005 ize in History High noon Inthe Cold War Max Frankel apt the hearts and minds of the famous Ceo en ee a na et ee een! oo Cr ere en ed pore nee eae aes tag Oe knee a cetera Site eee Stace High Noon inthe Cold War gives balanced and nuanced portrait Kennedy and Khrushchev, depicting bath as more measured and deli eer on Ser ers eagery eee Brisk and engaging Pout ee See et eed ear a mere A ‘MUM 0103 3H NI NOON HOIH a "Exciting, sparsely elegant.” —The Washington Post Book World MAX FRANKEL WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE E841 Foe 2005 |, Max, 1990- . ren a: HNN {JMS-1369737-10 Praise for HIGH NOON IN THE COLD WAR "Do we need ye another book on the Caan Mine ris Is there ‘nrthing new to sy about the most studied event ofthe eald wan ‘And does ithave any relerance to the post 9/11 world? In the hagle ‘of Max Frankel, who covered the criss in October 1962 forthe New Tork Tiny, he answer all hee questions sounding yes” —RictAKD C, Houmooky, The New Fr Ties “Frankel tales the readers through an almost daly joumey in re ‘unting the rls and wibuations of he Caban Mine Cis Fins fourali that he is he gives readers the fling ty ae patie, ing inthe numerous dificalt meetings Kennedy had with his oq People and representatives ofthe Khrushchev hierarchy teens ate the compromises necessary to avoid what cod have become « -mclear confrontation” ~The Daf Neos “The mot complet historical pcre weve ever hd of the erent" Deve Mirning News “Think Frankel book ister, realy valuable, in particular forthe ‘new dels on the sublety with which the Kennedy adminignstion reacted and ow delice the president especialy weighed ee ie teres of hit ales and hit foes. I covered prt of the eri (tes locked up in Havana for much of), so Tam alvaysimeresed ig Sesh accounts asthe Cold War slowly dsgorges ts secre Bar rankel hs wed them to produce the most lcd eadable ond subs te account yet. This ess no oly haunts us sil but cast an eon stad oer the wes of American power today." Ronee Mace, author of aking fr My County Finding Mf drag A riveting and wonderfilly reveling account of how John Kennedy srggled-—not only with Nikta Khrushchev but with is ‘own miltary—to avoid» nuclear Armageddon ove the miles of ‘October Max Frankel els the story in master sl, with crack: ling tension on every page.” Davo Wiss, author of ‘Sip The nie try of How the PBI Raker Hane Braye Ameria “A smart shrewd, pithy overview ofthe Cold War most dangerous crisis Rectng his own experience covering the criss for The New irk Tis 26 well sis carefl reading of the latest scholarly re search, Frankel provides patelatly trenchant interpretation of the Kennedy administration’ thinking, a velleted in steret tape recordings ofits deliberaions” "Ws Tao, errand Soll Profesor of Poll Science st Amber College, author of Krak: Thy Mam ond Hi ra vrinne of the 2004 Pulser Prize or biography {An} account of che esis that takes you deep into the Kennedy ‘White Hoose and maybe a frinto Nikita Khnushcher' Kremlin se ith possible to get. On both ends of the criss, the perspective Frankel provides is fascinating —detaled, analyial, inowing, and conventional widom-challenging” —Pordand Orepnion ankel enjoyed unique vantage point asthe Time correspondent {in Moscow during Khrushchev’ heyday in the ate 1950s, bac in ‘Washington daring the Coban Misile Criss and for atime in Ha- ‘vata in the aftermath of those sary events. His narrative, fast-paced and quite siping, combines personal ecllection with ll the new ‘material thathas come out onthe xs.” The Neo Lear maging “Reads like a contemporary suspense nove” —Proedngy (Naal Instat Pres) “Frankel employs his considerable sil a writer and his exper- ‘ence 2 journalist who covered the rss to weave a fcinating and ‘Gin book, well written and engaging, this isan impoctan addon tothe liter ‘ure ofthe Cold War and the Cuban Mise Crisis Informative reexamination of he fanous 13 days.” iran Jonah “Engaging. [Prankel] brings balanced appreciation forthe mot ‘ations diving and obstacles facing oth leaders s they contoated eachother inthe il f 1962... Ausf corrective tothe histor calrecoed by a ustworthy narrator” Kirk Reis “A former exutive editor ofthe New Terk Tier and the Pulitzer ‘winner who covered Khrushchev Moscow, Kennedy’ Washington, and Casco’ Havana, Fane blends his own tes withthe most re ‘cent scholarship on the eis. The esl i great story, tld from Aierent vantage poins and Siled with drama” —Pabices Weely HIGH NOON IN THE COLD WAR MAX FRANKEL oe 1105 Pi Pe Tne apd Eaton Cg ©2001 by Ma rel Aig ore re on ng Te Ra tie in he Utd oes Pri uci Hore ne Now rk Tiss tng Gon to ‘Prion elon eves of Radon Hoe cng tine ete et A eg Cum non a aos Howe ne 2008 in linia pe pentane oman. 1, i enn aoe inh WK hain it Hig nda eesti stan Mie i168. Hee tn ol Fe > gis i ie “rr se Uae Sm Te sa oe oe Map throne Pl ain he Ud Sees of Ae eeepc Bab ip Ca Haro FoR joyce Wb the bop that ener sine il preva in he es of Fm & David, Margot & Je, rin & Jo, Julia, Abe, Plate, Jte& Ave SOVIET MISSILES IN CUBA October 1962 H nuclear Storage St8 © Sovet Headquarters 2 (95-4 MRE) Regenent completes) at eter nn 220 CONTENTS Aor’ Nt “The Crisis Memory ‘The Palos of Spring ‘The Misile of October Kuk, ‘The Thorn inthe Fes “The Rockets Hit Home (Only One Wil Face the Bull, ‘And Who Will Bink? [No Very Good War All of Them’ How Far the Brink Adbelegnents Phasraph Oeits Bigrnty Inder at m7 185 18) AUTHOR'S NOTE Hiss ofthe Cuban Mise Crisis ave appeared in every decade since October 1962, and they have progresiely uncovered one a ‘ets and memories no only in the United Sates bt slo, ale Rosisand Cab. The revelations and evermore informed spleens te great enriched the tale and made the mos elaborately eam ined pola episode ofthe past entry. Yet pandotialy, ll hee ‘tudes have alo exacerbated debate abot the motions ofthe So tan Americas leaders who produced managed, and Sly reced 1 are 244 my own eeling of the le fo diane of oy yess eens Thar ound in he proving terre mich inn eal enlarge my contemporary experience of the cris und ween firm my understanding of major elemens—wvhy the css occured, ‘how ie played out and how close the world eame to nucear von | write withthe memories of reporee who covered the ess nit unfolded, fo The New York Tims in Washington. Uso write and ve fs withthe experience of covering the diplomacy and poles ooh THE CRISIS IN MEMORY Piven aceon at ee ‘ident Call Wr econ tse Merman ben Sn dane chet inn i ine eta en! Pee relied mee We renal fos peso deere spin he ron re Weld Werte get a om erent he Ra ning ee in compe sake! ty of een pone by ee Sree Thc eg er hep emebet a Ted of a ay tte sy dc seve fen ent ond or saber ee ‘roe neil srry rom ag en and Cuban veterans of the drama As one of them, McGeorge Bundy, Ins observed, *frests have been fled to print the reflections and conclusions of parcpens, observers and schol” ofthe eis And most rece, thee views and recollections have been augmented by ‘voluminous government records of the Unite Stats, some from od Soviet archives, and even afew fom Coban dossier Yerover the decades, even the most attentive ycholrs and partici pant kept debating the main questions surrounding his sensational ‘event ‘They fled to agree on why ic happened and they lacked the facts about how ic eally ended. And chey have sll ot overcome the popular misconceptions about the masives and conduct of the two (Cold War antagonists—Nikita Khrschey, he wily old peasant rl- ing the Sove empire, and John F. Kenney, the auny young presi- dene leading the Western democracies Nor have the many histories overcome the temptation to enrich the drama with alas chims that these two supercharged men came within hous even mites, of igniting an all-out nuclear wae ‘The fear of war during the eri week of October 22-28, 1962, vas palpable, inthe Kremlin a in the White House. It was even greater among populations that could read uncensored accounts of the ching, intimidating rhetoric with which Khrushchev and Kennedy bargained for concessions to resolve the criss. Yet with ll the information now available, ic is dear that Khrushchev and Kennedy were effectively deterred by their fear of war and took reat care t avoid even minor military clashes, In the end, both ‘were ready to betray importane allies, eit the counsel of chafing ilitary commander, and endure politcal hunsliton to finda way ‘out ofthe crs. Their aniety was el. But withthe benefit of ime and distance fom the emotions of the Cold War, we can now see Tae Rn ded ca Ameria upon interchange shaban (Soe cen wl are only al th wn pea wee scaly as nary ey. ate teethenirenrnes otto cyt psil America, that Khrushchev careered into the ers, : And 25 slowly learned in covding Kennedys Washington, the impersin of procting himself pel intaby sae ere aceite ans ene ter ae so eps er Seman ‘ment of history. — as mane a. ce a eid aaa "Theva the Caren i wy tht cone sere Tiina sow unde US actions nxt mide ne ea eile Cote ee Gee Cin wy octane ke 7 escent ony erie aon the Gn wen ene i Co, tn Spt lene nd hen ec ie ya Nan at rc oman th St nd Aman tees este ae Crapo enc nen bi sl trot inma ho vk often pope nt ef en Ings ah on gsm nie ms ‘nn asd page a sorm Deny fara eons pve ye she ey (cen ert mone ese! hey ane oie THE PALMS OF SPRING | Seen ietienennatie nt cote an Sie Vanes bac ttn coe sp hte whe Se Sen er ome apn nd a mts sos te ar hen cans ce Rem sey ey nanos re leh troy eect a tie he el Sarat ‘etiam pn er ene se lw whe ny ely Sos ne ‘seh ened on te mout lhe shee con Roar ee ‘nt sno erg On Ot pens aq mpl Anon yin np eae eae a scensiond repent caliect ee aay as Washington, DC, Das, or the Panama Canal. These were precisely the kind of weapons that che Soviet leader, Nikita 5, Krutch, had said he would never need to deploy outside his own ‘country, hoping wo lll hi American adversaries until the mistiles ‘were amed and well defended. But his deceptions were pecsly the Kind oflies that the Amcrican leader, Jn F. Kennedy el he coud not sfely lave unpunished. And so the chairman, ofthe USSR and the president of the USA stumbled into the scariest episode ofthe tome ag. or seven portentous daysin October 1982, they marched gravely toward one another, nukes drawn. fl ike High Noon inthe Cold War. once HE acquinen dictatorial power in the mi-1950s, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev proved the an adventurous leader tying rsh his people owt ofa Stalinist hell coward brighter fate. Ashe ‘remembered years late, cating his memoir, the idea of Sending his isis to Cuba just popped ino his head one day in Apel 1962, hile he strolled on the bans ofthe Black Sea with is miner of e- fense, Marshal Rodion Malinosly, a comrade ince the great Word ‘War I bate of Stalingrad. The buldog-fced marshal wis growling ‘gin shout the American Jupiter mises simed at Soviet bases from neighboring Turkey just across the water. ‘Wall chen, Khrushchev wondered why coulda they do these to the Americans—fom Cabs? After siting 0 long, so smugly be hind thei ocean moat, American should fly share che nse of living inthe thermonuclear shadows tha hag ove all Europeans ‘That neat symmetsy—we Russians will do in Cabs what you Americans ae doing in Tukey—made the idea especialy appealing. Ieseemed morally sie, physically reciprocal, and eminent leg ‘The Americans might object, but they had no good reason to fe in- je oe weakened Khrashchev's memo nocwithsanding, however, the mise de- ‘lopment was no momentary whim, He had loaed che iden weeks cate to his clot colleague inthe Soviet oligarchy, Ansty Mikoyan. And he had hinted atin early March, while hating wth ‘sew amtassador to Washington, Astaly Dobryin. Aer noting ‘that the fue of Germany was sill he maine in US.-Sonet o> lation, Khrushchev displayed his esenment of America nuclear ny. evority~andof those damn bases in Turkey “under the very nose of the Soviet Union.” "WR high time ther long arms were cut shore” he told Do- bein, ‘We now Inow, thanks to the reolectons of his son, Serge ‘hrashche, himself once aSovet mise engineer, tht the caiman 4nd Marshal Malinowly faced much greater problem that spring than s Few American rockets in Turkey. They hd learned in 4 Feb~ ‘ary council of war, that Soviet long-range nucless wespons, the ‘ind ha could reach from Soviet erst al the way into the United States, were doomed to remain inferior to Americ for many years ‘The “imperil” as Khrushchev liked t call Americans, could ours gun hen en tines over Soviet rocket scents had reported that hee dsigns and tests of intercontinental alist misiles ICBMs) had hit mutple snags. “Two dozen prototypes were impossiby slow tore up for Bring and ‘tremely hard to sim with accuracy The only availble fuels were 9 volatile that the missiles could not be kept ready for launch or ‘counted on to elude an attack fom the much more namerous Amer jean forces. ‘This biter news meant chat Khrushchev’ colorful boasts, over ‘any years thathe was churning owt mises “like sesagee and that they could hit“ By” eight thousand miles away were just so mach mty blr. I fact, the bling had Become self-defeating. I had ‘inspired the Americans to produce better weapons s that they no longer had to fear his blustering diplomacy. Worst ofall, she mise deficit threatened Khrushchev’ dsice to tur tanks and destroyers ito plowshares—to shi ubles from the military badget othe pro- econ of desperately needed food and consumer goods ‘The Soviet leader and his defense minister obviously needed & quick and inespensive path around thei predicament. American rockets and bombers could deliver so many clear washead to So- ‘it ages that they could easily overwhelm Russa small retaliatory force. Without effective long-range missile, Khrushchev had to rely ‘0n vulnerable, langditance bombers hit lacked Ameren’ technol ‘ogy for mids refueling and could each the Unite Stats only with sca misons. Krutch dd, however, possess hundred of effective meim- ange missile. He hd indeed tuned them ou ke sasages, aimed them at British, French, and German cis, and invoked them often in support of his asertive European policies. Now that Cuba was raiable as «launching platform conveniendy anchored off the Florida coms, chest medium-range missles cold instantly serve an intercontinental fnetion, For the modest cost of transporting some ofthe mises to Fidel Case isand, Khrushchey could double the reach ofthe Sovee nuclear forces ‘A deployment to Gaba would no come close to matching Amer~ lea Srepower. Sil in these early yeas of the maces age, the threat of even few rockets tht coud relay strike American cies in min- es woud achieve crude balance of teror and serve to deter an at- tack on the Soviet Union. By providing » good defense for the missiles in Caba and also basing some missle Sring submarines there, Khrushchev thought he would achieves quick and cheap fix for an otherwise chronic wealnes In i pt metaphor, the deployment to Cubs would grea lengthen Rusia lear arms Aways RELUCTANT TO coNFESS a weakness, Khrushchey se- vealed his Cuban plan only afew associates, and he shrewdly di it | _————— bin nT 2 diated the Sore hierarchy in 19652 that even Racist shone ily became pai: Only Anan Mop “st coleague inthe Soviet Presidium the nation’ board spar selsseninienottnoen rer = sown youth nd fered nwt {iene nai Dt Mp eden cin itd Sat Ade dl nik snarowy cance Aneta lig cic wold hemes Seen Krathchev asked his advice in late Api, Alebsyev predicted that the Cubans would refuse o cooperste. They prized thei indepen dence and would fst losing face among Latin revlitionarie they lee thee island become a Sovie missle plaform. ‘Where others saw obstacles, Khrihcher saw challenge. He thought he Knew how to prevent Cuban veto. In eatly May, he crowned Alelseye as his nest anassador to Havana apdsoinformed (Casco in «warm, expansive leer. Khrushchev promised, Bally, 2 send Fidel dhe many defensive weapons he had requested months ar- lie. nd he planned alot send addional weapons, bes lef unde- serbed in writing which he held outa absolutly essential for Cuba's defense. The arms shipments would cost Cuba nothing. Moreover all prior debt tothe Soviet Union were now forgiven. Pease therefore prepare tomelome Ambassdor-designateAlekseye and the "rig ‘ion and land reclamation delegation” that was coming with him. ‘The real bos ofthis delegation turned ou toe Marshal Sergei Biryueo, the head of Soviet socket forces, rveling in disguise as “Engineer Pewox” Aad consary tall predictions the marshal made aneasyale, Casto didnot agree with the argument thet Cuba needed nuclear smisiles to defend ine He would have ben stisid wth a treaty of alliance or few Rusia troop serving a sort ofp wie to engage the Sones in any war with America, Indeed, Castro felt strongly, a Aleksey ha predicted, that harboring Soviet mises would cam- promise his reputation for independence and tarnish his image in Latin Ameria, He nonetheless rendily accepted Khrushchev plan He thought it would “butres the defensive power” of the enti commoist boc. Fidel conferred briefly with hie asocates nd all were pleased to be of service wo the word communist case. Tar- shed oF not, they were delighted to playa prominent part in the ast-West stroggle. They could hardly wait to thumb dei noses 2, ‘he menacing Yngus rom behind Soviet nuclear och. ——— ‘Maps in hand, Marshal Bityuzov and his “reclamation” : se dpraee ind ee aim ‘min sei ee alr aul ‘be naturally camouflaged among clusters of Cubat lm trees, Khrushchev, as Mikoyan scornfully : ‘ie # doubt the pl Polo gun, Manhl Mi enced him with swift ick to the shins oe