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Since September of 1970 a renewal of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis has been in prospect. Highly placed White House sources reported that the Soviet Union had begun work on a submarine base on the southern coast of Cuba at Cienfuegos, a base which could repair and refuel missile-firing submarines of the Soviet Navy. Warnings were issued that this would be viewed with the "utmost seriousness" by the United States as a violation of the 1962 agreement by which land-based missiles were withdrawn from Cuba. Cited explicitly were President Kennedy's words that peace would be assured only "if all offensive missiles are removed from Cuba and kept out of the Hemisphere in the future."
Moscow characteristically answered the specific accusation by denying a substantially different charge; it had not been constructing "its own military base" in Cuba. Assuredly the Russians would never stake out a sovereign autonomous base area such as Guantanamo, or the British bases in Cyprus; but a "foreign base" was not at issue in 1962 either. As in other confrontations, a vehement Soviet denial of X can be a signal of a withdrawal of Y, and Pentagon sources by October 13 professed to have seen signs of a halt on the project. While a submarine tender, a large tug and two barges had been sighted in the harbor at Cienfuegos, the tug and the submarine tender had steamed out of the harbor on October 10, as if to return to the Soviet Union. On October 17, however, the two ships turned back to Mariel, a port on the northwest coast of Cuba; on November 10, they returned to Cienfuegos. A few more inconclusive sorties into the Caribbean followed, in what American officials now describe as a "cat and mouse game." Finally, on January 8, 1971, a Pentagon spokesman cautiously reported that the submarine tender had been tracked into the mid-Atlantic, apparently on its way back to the Soviet Union; however, on February 5, another tender was sailing toward Cuba.
It would seem, therefore, that this is the kind of "crisis" which can recur on short notice. As is also true in the case of the American facilities at Holy Loch in Scotland, much of the supporting structure for missile-firing as well as for other submarines can normally be kept aboard the seagoing tenders, since this offers mobility and political independence where required. The erection of facilities on dry land might generally offer a greater variety of rest and recreation opportunities for submarine crews; material functions handled from a tender may also be provided more cheaply and cost-effectively by a drydock, or by repair and storage facilities erected permanently on shore. Yet the "permanent facilities" may not be crucial, and the movement of a mother ship out from a harbor does not settle very much; it can always come back.
Some tricky problems of definition are raised, moreover, by ships such as a submarine tender. What if a tender were simply to wait in Cienfuegos harbor, open-endedly playing the "cat and mouse game," with no submarines appearing for the moment? Would this be a violation of the precedent of 1962, or merely a preliminary to a possible violation? What if Russian missile-firing submarines could be replenished on the high seas by the tender, and only the submarine tender sailed into Cienfuegos to be stocked with fuel and food, etc.? Perhaps this could be arranged so that nuclear warheads and missiles were never present in the Cuban harbor itself, but only mechanical spare parts for the submarine that carries them. Does this violate the precedent of 1962, as now reasserted? While the original September warning from the White House seemed to stress the servicing of submarines in Cienfuegos itself, the message on what was expected of the Russians was widened by a White House source in December to preclude servicing "in or from bases in Cuba." President Nixon personally and explicitly affirmed this interpretation in a television interview on January 4: "Now, in the event that nuclear submarines were serviced either in Cuba or from Cuba, that would be a violation of the understanding."
The Russian statement of October 13 indeed had responded that the 1962 agreement was being fully adhered to, accusing spokesmen in the Pentagon and White House of deliberately generating false tensions. Memories of 1962 unfortunately recall that the Russians then also denied the emplacement of missiles while they were in fact being installed. The Russians in citing adherence to the "1962 agreement" moreover could not fail to recognise its ambiguities for their prerogatives suggested above. Russian surface vessels periodically visit Cuban ports, and Moscow is assuredly not ready to forswear that as part of its 1962 agreement, or as part of its lack of interest in "foreign military bases." Do the Russians thus renounce the right to resupply any submarines in Cuba? Do they renounce the right to resupply missile-firing submarines, either directly or by intervening tender? We cannot yet be sure that the Russians are clearly forswearing such activity. If they forswore it, could we, on past experience, be certain they were keeping their word?
There are thus some interesting, unanswered questions on why the Soviet Union would move to establish some sort of base on the Cuban coast just now. Yet one could also challenge the reasoning for the United States' making an issue of it. Why is the 1962 precedent to be interpreted this strictly? Why is the United States so opposed to "offensive weapons in the Hemisphere," and why should it be? Is there indeed a validity to the precedent so gloriously and toughly established by President Kennedy, very possibly with serious risk of World War III at that time?
To be sure, the words of President Kennedy opposing "offensive weapons in the Hemisphere" applied directly to IRBMs and MRBMs which the Soviet Union had transported to launching sites within Cuba. Yet the wording is somewhat expansive. If "the Hemisphere" (literally "half the globe") doesn't include everything that it might imply, in precise terms, it certainly includes waters off New England and Florida, as well as the Pacific Ocean west of California. Is it American policy to forbid or object to Russian missile- submarine deployments in any of the wider areas? With the American stress on assured second-strike deterrents for each side, how could we insist on Russian submarines being kept out of firing range of the United States?
A Russian venture might indeed be explained by developments in the deterrent missile technology of the two superpowers. The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in Helsinki and Vienna have accompanied a general discussion of future deterrent retaliatory systems on each side. It is more and more plausible that improved missile accuracies and the advent of MIRV multiple warheads will cast doubt on the reliability of land-based missiles, both in Montana and Siberia, as second-strike forces. Concern for the future stability of the strategic balance is usually answered by noting that submarine-based systems will remain invulnerable to preëmptive attack for a long time into the future.
Yet the Soviet Union until recently has been slow to invest in submarine- based missiles, and in the fall of 1970 had only a mixed-bag force of diesel and nuclear-powered vessels, some of which carry rockets and others only "cruise-missiles" which fly as airplanes to their targets. Some 12 to 18 "Y-class" submarines carry batteries of 16 missiles, while some 40 others can fire only three each (the Soviet Union is indeed now launching about eight new "Y-class" submarines a year). In terms of missiles deliverable from underwater, this therefore compares unfavorably with the 41 Polaris submarines with 16 missiles of the U.S. Navy.
The introduction of multiple warheads on submarine-based missiles bends the underwater-deterrent comparison all the more against the Soviet Union. The first Poseidon missiles will be deployed on board U.S. submarines early in 1971, with ten warheads on each launching rocket, thus menacing as many as 160 targets instead of 16. If the world begins looking at underwater arsenals rather than arsenals as a whole, the first census might thus come out vastly in favor of the United States. It may be some years yet before the Soviet Union develops multiple warheads for its submarine-based missiles.
Even prior to the introduction of multiple warheads, other technical complications favored the United States. The crucial factor for submarine- based missiles is not absolute totals per se, but the number on station within firing range of enemy targets at any particular time. One must thus deduct from the available force the time spent in drydock for repairs, and the time spent travelling from port to the firing zone. The United States increases the numbers of Polaris submarines on station by using advanced bases at Holy Loch in Scotland, Rota on the coast of Spain, and Guam in the Pacific. For the moment, the Soviet Navy is presumed to have no bases closer than Murmansk for the refuelling and refitting of its missile submarines. The result is that no more than 30 or 40 percent of the Soviet submarine-based force will normally be on station within firing range of targets in the United States, while the figure for the U.S. force vis-à-vis Russian targets has been estimated as high as 60 percent.
Cienfuegos could thus have an effect similar to that of Holy Loch in considerably increasing the normal punch of the Soviet force, by reducing the time spent in travelling to and from firing stations. At a time when the entire world is shifting attention from fixed land-based missiles to mobile and concealable submarine-based missiles, it would not be surprising if the Soviet Navy wished to make its submarines more useful by techniques similar to those used by the U.S. Navy.
The U.S. Navy has for some time sought funds for an ULMS (Undersea Long- range Missile System) which would far exceed the current Polaris system in performance. Perhaps most significantly, the range of missiles would be increased to facilitate the destruction of targets in the Soviet Union from anywhere on the globe. This would not only allow the dispersion of such submarines into a much larger area, making it all the more difficult for an opponent to determine their location, but it would in effect leave all such submarines constantly on station, even when docked at a wharf in their home country. The technology of an ULMS in American and Russian hands would eliminate any need for calculations of comparative times on station, perhaps making a base at Cienfuegos much less necessary for the Russians, in any event reducing any firing-range advantages Cienfuegos would have as compared with Holy Loch. Yet ULMS is still some distance off, and political decisions must be made on the basis of the military technology as it exists for the near future.
It is still plausible, of course, that the Russian submarine-based missile force is fully adequate to deter a World War III launched by the United States; another deterrent is the uncertainty regarding the counterforce effectiveness of American MIRV against Russian land-based missiles. Yet weapons procurements and deployments are often dictated not by the strategic realities surrounding them, but rather by the myths that the public will believe. If the world now becomes convinced that numbers of submarine-based missiles are the only crucial component of the deterrent equation, a secondary strategic-political argument will have emerged for forward deployment of the Russian submarine force.
Why, then, has the United States chosen to make an issue of bases as the most important part of the Soviet deterrent? One can discover special reasons for the Kennedy objection to the 1962 Cuban deployment. Stationing missiles on Cuban soil reduced one's assurances that the Russians would always keep control over them. If we trusted Khrushchev not to destroy Washington, could we trust Castro to be as rational? One of the earliest assurances conveyed from Khrushchev during the 1962 crisis was indeed that the missiles remained under Soviet control. A similar problem might now pertain to Cienfuegos. The base might be stocked not only with fuel and food and spare parts, plus extra crews, but perhaps also with spare missiles. A submarine riding at anchor in the harbor will be within firing range of a number of American cities. Could Castro's forces in a sudden coup seize some missiles on shore, or aboard a docked submarine, and then irresponsibly exploit this sudden "proliferation" by firing them off? This may be unlikely, but it is at least more plausible than if Russian submarines never entered Cuban territorial waters at all.
Rather than talking in terms of the entire Western Hemisphere, the U.S. government could thus have used this instance to reformulate and shift its objections specifically to missiles on Cuban territory, if quasi- proliferation is what we really fear. As the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is now in effect with Soviet and American backing, the world might have been receptive to the logical drift of such a stand. Yet to base the issue on explicit fear of Castro's finger on the nuclear trigger would have exposed American policy to attack in other locations, since the Russians have long objected to the analogous presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in West Germany. Cannot Russia pretend to distrust Bonn as much as we distrust Havana? With 7,000 or more American warheads in place in the NATO area, the United States still has to challenge a Cuban deployment in terms other than the risk of de facto proliferation, and thus must use the hemispheric focus.
In 1962, there was also a fear that Cuban-based missiles could outflank the radar warning net which gives time for SAC bombers to get off the ground before being destroyed in a missile attack. This seems a less important threat for the 1970s, if only because we now have so many missiles that we rely much less on bombers as our sure deterrent. If submarine-type missiles in Cienfuegos were accurate enough to threaten SAC bases, moreover, these could easily be fired from off the coast of Florida. It might yet be that a Cuban base will allow the Russians to concentrate missile-launching submarines more densely to the southeast of the United States, to generate a more effective attack and someday bypass radar to catch most B-52s on the ground. One would have to take this prospect of a general Soviet counterforce attack very seriously, however, to interpret it as the primary explanation of a Cuban base.
A third objection in 1962 was more symbolic than strategic: that allowing the Russians to invade the Caribbean unchallenged with their missiles would signal American irresolution, with unfortunate consequences in Berlin, Southeast Asia and Latin America. With Fidel Castro threatening to induce similarly anti-American régimes all through the Hemisphere, Kennedy's decision to impose the quarantine might have been understandable merely in terms of containing Havana's influence and prestige. Catching Castro and the Russians in the act of bringing nuclear weapons into Latin America indeed diminished Castro's prestige; much of even the neutral world's sympathy was on the American side.
Perhaps there is thus an important correspondence here with the present situation, despite some improvement in Soviet-American relations since 1962. If there is less tension for the moment over West Berlin, American resolve may be in question in the Middle East. Political conflict might spread to Latin America, too, if internal developments suddenly encouraged the Russians to consolidate what seemed to be a momentum in their favor. The election of Salvador Allende in Chile, accompanied by the emergence of a left military régime in Bolivia, resembling one already controlling Peru, might have suggested that Moscow again rattle some missiles in the Caribbean region to demonstrate its power and interest; this conversely induced a tough American response.
Yet Castro's Cuba is no longer the "wave of the future" in Latin America, nor the model for leftist rises to power in Chile, Bolivia or Peru. The connection of any such developments to Russian missile stocks and deployments is not so direct. If Kennedy's hemispheric formulation was at all appropriate in political and symbolic terms in 1962, it may seem much less so now.
The substance of symbolic or political determination, however, is a function of momentum and relative comparison, as well as of the absolutes of the situation. President Kennedy in 1962 did more than humiliate Castro and Khrushchev; his "victory" thereafter committed the United States to maintaining these winnings, lest it seem to be weakening in comparison with the past. President Nixon might thus have cause to regret the position so handily captured by Kennedy. Just as the successful retention of West Berlin in 1948 loaded the United States ever afterward with an ambiguous position that could not be surrendered lightly, so the withdrawal of Russian missiles from Cuba and the Hemisphere established a precedent which may be difficult to defend, if only because it is difficult to define.
For example, how would American policy have been applied in the last decade if British or French nuclear weapons had been deployed, for good or bad reasons, in the Hemisphere? Could French missile submarines, to further their dispersal, be tolerated at a base in Martinique? Tahiti, for that matter, where French H-bombs are tested, is in "the Hemisphere." The ban on offensive weapons of course might have been waived for U.S. NATO allies, even those with an "all-azimuth" strategy such as France "adopted" for a time. But it would have been far more difficult to consider such a waiver for the Russians, simply because it would compare unfavorably with the strong-willed posture of 1962.
The Russians might have permanently put aside ideas of reinsuring their deterrent with land-based missiles in Cuba. Yet a sincere shift to submarine-basing would still have led them to search for bases like Holy Loch. Since only Cuba can offer such bases, a real misunderstanding may thus have occurred on whether Kennedy's injunction of 1962 also applied to "missiles in transit" through Cuba, and in and out of Cienfuegos, or just to missiles "emplaced" in Cuba.
Yet it is just as possible that the Russians have not blundered, but were deliberately seizing on the possible ambiguities so as to test American resolve. After missiles had been repeatedly loaded and unloaded from submarines at Cienfuegos, the news might quietly have been allowed to seep out that the United States "no longer objected to nuclear missiles in Cuba," with a follow-up of some token deployment of land-based missiles, with the political inference that the world should now acknowledge that any American superiority in 1962 had definitely been reversed. One can understand how an American administration would want to warn the Russians away from such a course, whether or not it privately wished that American prestige had never been coupled to the denuclearization of Cuba.
Moscow can start even further back in trying to erode the precedent. In strategic terms, there is a tremendous difference between ordinary submarines and those which fire missiles aimed at American cities. In terms of the support facilities that might appear on the Cuban coast, however, there might be little or no difference between the requirements of the two kinds of ships. Ordinary submarines can be thought of as "tactical" weapons, not at all banned by the 1962 precedent; perhaps they are "offensive," perhaps they are not. There is also a perennial sloppiness and confusion in the world's press on the term "nuclear submarine;" this obviously can mean a submarine firing nuclear missiles, or a submarine simply powered by a nuclear reactor, perhaps firing only the torpedos of a normal tactical submarine.
While some reports emerging from Washington thus suggested that Cienfuegos would support Russian missile-firing submarines, others merely indicated submarines in general. It might be all too easy for the Russians to establish a tolerated precedent with a base for ordinary fleet-type submarines, and then to introduce submarines carrying ballistic missiles or cruise-missiles. Perhaps this would explain an American decision to interpret any submarine base whatsoever as objectionable.
The Russian statement reaffirming the 1962 agreement was thus itself a concession to the United States at the symbolic level. For some purposes, e.g. the impact in Chile, in West Berlin or in the Middle East, it matters less what the Russians actually do, than what they openly assert the prerogative of doing. Kosygin and Brezhnev, by admitting to being bound by Khrushchev's concession, can have eased Washington's suspicions that they were setting the stage for an open termination of the agreement. If the American accusation and challenge were premature in these terms, they were none the less successful and well taken. But the renewed Russian guarantee of nondeployment here can still terminate or be reinterpreted with any change of Soviet administration or Soviet mood. And honest differences of interpretation can still arise between the powers.
The United States might more certainly have been taken off the hook by the Latin American Nuclear Free Zone Treaty of 1967 (the Treaty of Tlatelolco). The treaty requires Latin American states not to produce nuclear weapons, accept them from any donor, or to allow such weapons to be stationed on their territory. Holders of possessions in the Latin American area (specifically Britain, France, The Netherlands and the United States) are invited to sign an Additional Protocol I, barring nuclear weapons from their territories. Possessors of nuclear weapons (Britain, France, the Soviet Union, communist China and the United States) are asked to sign an Additional Protocol II, forswearing any deployment or use of nuclear weapons within the Latin American Nuclear Free Zone. Great Britain has signed both Protocols, the United States has signed only Protocol II, and France, the Soviet Union and communist China have signed neither.
Signatories to the treaty are not bound unless every Latin American republic signs and ratifies, and unless all the eligible states adhere to Protocols I and II. Latin American states can waive some of these requirements, and thus bind themselves in any event; Mexico has done so, but Chile, Argentina and Brazil have not. Had the treaty won more general acceptance, the American responsibility for keeping Cuba non-nuclear could have been passed over into less embarrassed hands. While the treaty certainly does not cover the entire Hemisphere, it purports to cover the entire Caribbean, along with a zone of water extending far out into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (including even the waters off the U.S. coasts outside the three-mile limit) north to 35 degrees North Latitude. The United States managed to extract an interpretation that the treaty does not forbid "transit" movements of nuclear weapons on ships through these ocean areas and through the Panama Canal. If "deployment" is thus banned while "transit" is not, the water zones of the treaty would have quite a confusing relevance to Russian missile-submarines. Would it be legal for them to pass through the zone "on the way to their firing station," as long as their "firing station" were outside the zone?
Cuba and the Soviet Union are not accepting the treaty in any event. Moscow has complained about the extension of the treaty's zone far out into international waters. Moscow (along with Washington) also disapproves of the treaty's supposed distinction between "peaceful nuclear explosives" and nuclear weapons. The Johnson administration declined to sign Protocol I because it wished to retain deployment options for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands? which it wanted to have specifically left out of the nuclear-free zone. Averting what would have been an abysmally obvious double standard, the United States at least did not lobby for an exemption also for nuclear weapons rights on Guantanamo Bay? the American base on Cuba's southern coast. The U.S. Senate has not yet ratified Protocol II.
Comparative Latin American assessments of superpower strength and resolve may not have been that significant, however. Less reasonable factors can play an important part in explaining the American attitudes here. The logic by which the United States should tolerate or even welcome a Soviet submarine-based force seems simple and obvious; assured second-strike forces on each side eliminate the need for nervousness, or for policies of shooting-on-warning. More than ten years ago Professor Oskar Morgenstero even advocated U.S. assistance for missile-submarine development in the Soviet Union since the secure balance seemed so mutually advantageous. Yet it is far from certain that this logic has really been accepted in the United States.
The image of Soviet submarines cruising off our shores with missiles aimed at our cities raises gestalt problems which can lead to very inconsistent policy. Since 1942, or even since 1917, Americans have been psychologically adverse to the activities of foreign submarines off the Atlantic coast Memories of burning tankers off Florida, and "brown-outs" of coastal cities to make merchant ships less vulnerable by night, may thus have conditioned our people to react against hostile submarines despite a logic which suggests tolerating them with equanimity.
It is even possible that the American public is not really aware of its exposure to nuclear destruction in the "balance of terror." American cities have long been hostages in this balance, hostages held in exchange for the safety of Russian cities. Yet it is somehow still possible for a Congressman as prominent as the late Representative Mendel Rivers to arouse and alarm the public with the news that, due to Russian submarines off our coast, "cities of the Eastern Seaboard become hostages of the Soviet Union." In the 1962 crisis, one could find a similarly uneven perception of strategic reality in the U.S. government Secretary of Defense McNamara's initial reaction to the Russian missiles in Cuba was very calmly that "a missile is a missile," that Americans already vulnerable to ICBMs fired from Russia were not any more vulnerable as a result of the Cuban deployment. McNamara was quickly persuaded by President Kennedy, and by others involved in the decision, that his calmness was inappropriate. Such unexcited reactions seem inconsistent with all of today's strategic "facts of life."
For whatever reason, the American élite and public seem surprisingly averse to recognizing U.S. vulnerability, or at least to having forward deployment remind them of this vulnerability, even some 15 years after Soviet acquisition of the H-bomb. It is still easy for the U.S. Navy to capture attention for its fund requests by pointing to Soviet procurement of missile-firing submarines. It might even be able to win endorsement for policies of chasing or harassing Soviet submarines off our coasts, or "anywhere in the Hemisphere," or at least when docking on the coast of Cuba. The public's sensitivity can thus be exploited by smaller bureaus, or by the national government as a whole. If President Kennedy or President Nixon wished to be politically tough in confronting the Russians, they both knew that American public support would be far more forthcoming on "missiles at our doorstep" than on other issues.
If the Cienfuegos issue does nothing else, it suggests serious problems in relying wholly on underwater deterrent forces. Missiles based on land are increasingly threatened by multiple warheads (MIRV) and improving accuracies of missiles in general. If the Circular Error Probable (CEP) can now be reduced to hundreds of feet, only a small percentage of land-based missiles would survive an opponent's first-strike attack. If each side has multiple warheads, it would be plausible that whoever struck first would come out ahead militarily. A policy of firing off one's land-based missiles on radar-warning, to avoid being caught by such a first strike, is extremely dangerous, if only because of the risks of technical malfunctions in radar.
Many commentators have viewed these developments with relative equanimity, noting that each side will still have increasingly massive submarine-based retaliatory forces which should suffice as a deterrent, no matter what happens in attacks on Siberia or Montana. Yet missiles based on land do not move around under the sea-lanes and off the coasts of the world, generating scare-headlines, inducing speculation about proliferation, insubordination, underwater collisions or what-have-you. If underwater deterrents are more secure from a strategic perspective, they may cause more and more political problems as the world's population of missile-firing submarines grows. As the Russian fleet of such ships increases, we may see more tension in the United States than we might have predicted; Cienfuegos may simply be the first example. The addition of British, French and especially Chinese missile-firing submarines on station in various of the seven seas can increase disquiet.
This is hardly an argument for avoiding underwater deterrence systems and the strategic advantages they offer for preserving stability and peace. It is rather a case for anticipating problems to be encountered, and some costs that may have to be paid. Several approaches to alleviating these tensions come to mind.
The Soviet Union has previously proposed agreement on zones from which one side or the other would withhold its missile-submarines. Just as we now resent missiles in Cuba or off Miami, Moscow has long claimed to resent missiles "at its doorstep," in Turkey or just off Murmansk. At earlier times, with an earlier technology, these Soviet proposals seemed intended to weaken the American deterrent When and if ULMS becomes practical, however, missile submarines can be held far back from opposing coasts, still able to strike at all opposing cities if war should ever come. ULMS might thus be a real blessing, a form of underwater strategic weapons development reducing political tension rather than increasing it, if the oceans of the world are demarcated into deployment zones for the respective powers. Indeed the Soviet response to American charges on Cienfuegos was careful to remind the United States of these earlier proposals for restrictions on Polaris deployments.
Yet it will still be some years before a very long-range submarine-based missile is developed, produced and deployed in the U.S. Navy, and even longer in the Soviet fleet. The United States public will never be persuaded that ULMS technology should be given to the Soviet Union in the interests of hastening an end to the political tensions caused by forward deployments. As a minimum alternative, therefore, it will be important now to try to acquaint the American public with at least some of the real strategic significance of Soviet missile-firing submarines deployed off our coasts, perhaps even with strategic desirability of such deployments from a far-sighted point of view.
If the American public has never understood how vulnerable it was slated to be in the "balance of terror," a clarification of strategy here may draw a huge wave of disapproval and a vote of no-confidence. If such were the ease, the U.S. government would be forced into the most serious reëxamination of its posture, reopening possibilities of drastic disarmament, or drastic investment in ASM missile defenses, with all the uncertainties and instabilities this may suggest. Far short of this, it is simply possible that Americans have never been forced to make the connection between the desirability of "assured destruction" submarine forces and the geography of the oceans into which they must be deployed.
Whether this desirability would have included a tolerance or Cienfuegos remains open to debate because of the other considerations cited. It may still be very difficult to tolerate any missile presence "in Cuba" in 1970, precisely because Kennedy chose not to tolerate it in 1962. Much depends on how the requirements of deterrents and military strategy seep through to the public at large. Kennedy's "finest hour" in 1962, whatever other important impact it had, did not help to educate us on such questions.