184. 2/3/1961

“FEB 3, 1961: The Joint Chiefs of Staff [JCS] approve JCSM 57-61, the Military Evaluation of the CIA Para-Military Plan for Cuba and forward it to Defense Secretary [Robert] McNamara. The evaluation concludes that ‘since the Cuban Army is without experience in coordinated offensive action, the invasion force should be able to successfully resist the initial attacks’ but ‘lacking a popular uprising or substantial follow-on forces, the Cuban Army could eventually reduce the beachhead.’ According to the JCS, ‘the operation as presently envisaged would not necessarily require overt U.S. intervention.’ At the same time, the evaluation cautions that: ‘It is obvious that ultimate success will depend upon political factors. It should be noted that assessment of the combat worth of assault forces is based upon second and third hand reports. For these reasons, an independent evaluation of the combat effectiveness of the invasion force and detailed analysis of logistics plans should be made by a team of Army, Naval, and Air Force officers. Despite the shortcomings pointed out in the assessment, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that timely execution of this plan has a ‘fair’ chance of ultimate success and, even if it does not achieve the full results desired, could contribute to the eventual overthrow of the Castro regime.’”

“The Bay of Pigs Invasion/Playa Giron: A Chronology of Events,” The National Security Archive, NSArchive2.gwu.edu

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